BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The City of Bakersfield is getting bigger. Real estate experts say it’s getting more competitive and expensive to buy a home here … as the local population booms. You can expect housing headaches if you’re searching for a home in Bakersfield. If you’re looking for housing, you’ll pay more than Ed Levenson did 20 years ago.

“It’s three bedrooms and an office,” said Levenson, a Bakersfield resident. “There’s a swimming pool and a spa, that was all there before I got there. I think it was about $160,000 at the time.”

Local experts say homes are 36% more expensive now than they were than they were last year … so buyers can expect to pay about $400,000 for a house in Bakersfield.

“People have discovered Bakersfield, if you will,” said Gary Crabtree, a Home Appraiser. “It is, at this time, about the third most affordable in the state of California. With a price of $350,000 in Bakersfield, that same home will cost over a million dollars in San Francisco.”

And when you find your perfect home, you can bet on competition snatching it in less than two weeks.

“All of these homes are being sold with multiple offers,” said Crabtree.

If you want to build a home, you’ll pay nearly $450,000. That’s a 32% jump from last year … thanks to supply chain issues.

“There’s a shortage of materials,” said Crabtree. “Because a lot of it is sitting in supply containers off the Pacific coast.”

This comes as Census data shows Kern is one of the fastest-growing counties in California. More than 93,000 people moved here from 2010 to 2020. That is, people who can afford it.

“A lot of people have made that choice to leave California and move to Arizona, Texas, Idaho.,” said Crabtree. Their cost of living is not as high.”

Despite recent price hikes, data shows Bakersfield is still one of the cheapest places to live in California.