Bakersfield housing market headaches

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — New data shows it’s getting harder to find a home in Bakersfield, as fewer houses hit the market and prices hike every month. Bakersfield’s housing market is squeezing some buyers out, as the median home price has jumped nearly 20 percent since last year. Destinee Sims fears she may have to leave town as she struggles to find a new home.

“I was raised here, my dad was raised here, my grandma, my great grandma,” said Sims. “Now we’re going to have to leave it entirely, possibly even the town.”

She says she’s been searching for months. She’s looking for a home under $340,000 with at least four bedrooms in Central Bakersfield.

“You’ll get told you’re the only people to tour it, but now there’s a second offer and it’s more than double market value,” said Sims. “How do you beat that?”

She’s not alone. If you want to buy a home in the Central Valley, experts say you may have to bid against as many as 30 other potential buyers.

“That is starting bidding wars, to the point where they are usually offering anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 above the appraised value of the home,” said Gary Crabtree, a home appraiser.

This comes as many Californians have spent the year working from home.

“People are no longer tied to their homes or a desk, and they no longer have to commute. So they’ve taken the choice of moving to a place that is affordable,” said Crabtree. “The Central Valley, for that matter, is the most affordable in California.”

It’s not only getting more expensive to buy a home, but if you want to build like this, it may cost 20% more now than it would this time last year.

“A good number of the materials that are used to build a house are actually manufactured in China,” said Crabtree. “With the sanctions and tariffs placed upon imported goods from China that’s also raised the cost of new construction.”

Experts say hiring a good realtor can make it easier to buy a house, as Crabtree predicts it will only get more difficult to find an affordable home in Bakersfield.

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