BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As the existing housing market continues to stabilize itself in Bakersfield, inflation begins to hit new construction homes.

According to the monthly Crabtree report by Bakersfield property appraiser Gary Crabtree, in March, the median home price was at $370,000 for the third month in a row, which is about 19 percent higher than it was year over year. At the same time, California’s median home price increased by 11.9 percent to $849,089.

This trend applies to existing homes. However, the median price for new construction homes has increased due to the high costs of production brought on by inflation. 

The median price for new construction is up 6.9 percent since February and 31.5 percent since March of 2021, according to the report.

Despite inflation, new construction home sales in Bakersfield have increased 71.2 percent since February, according to the report. Sales for existing homes has also increased by 34.5 percent since February, selling at about $223.95 per square foot. Unsold inventory decreased month over month by 14.4 percent.

“Median marketing times decreased to 7 days as demand begins to increase for the prime marketing season,” Crabtree said in the report.

The report also noted that the cost of living in Bakersfield was 8.5 percent higher year over year, but that it has not impacted the housing market yet.

The unemployment rate in Kern County in March was 7.7 percent, an EDD release said, compared to 8.4 percent in February. The state had an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in March, and the country’s rate was 3.8 percent.

Interest rates on 30 year fixed mortgages have increased to 5 percent, according to the report. With the increase in interest, Crabtree said one in three buyers can afford an existing home and one in four buyers can afford a new home.

Overall, Crabtree said the Bakersfield market is growing in demand.

“The Bakersfield median price is 44 percent below the state’s median price and stable. The latest data indicates the Bakersfield market has the third lowest affordability in the state,” Crabtree said. “With the cost of living and interest rates increasing affordability is becoming an issue.”