As the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the economy threatening a recession, the local housing market in Fresno has bounced back to produce something unusual: a simultaneous buyer’s and seller’s market.
Fresno Area Realtors president Don Scordino told The Sun that there are not enough homes for sale to meet demand, but the interest rates are so low – both reasons working to create a unique market.
Although interest rates have fallen over the last few decades, the pandemic caused them to sink even further, Scordino said, which acted as a counterbalance to the supply and demand disruption in March and April due to economic fears.
“I think we can’t forget that in mid-March we were told, ‘You can’t even show a home.’ Talk about a business disrupter,” Scordino said. “So absolutely that impacted us.”
Sales were down in April and May following the shelter-in-place orders, Scordino said, but the market has rebounded in June to the tune of a 24 percent increase over the previous two months.
The housing market is heating up and houses for sale are getting multiple offers due to a greater demand and the low interest rates, Scordino said.
Although June 2020 results were down 12 percent from June 2019, when the market was “robust” and “healthy,” the market’s stabilization from the previous months’ uncertainties is a good sign moving forward.
“So 12 percent is significant, but it’s nothing to fear,” Scordino said.
In the first week after the shelter-in-place order was enacted in March, there were 102 listings in the Fresno area that fell out of escrow, Scordino said. In the last week of June, that number fell to 52.
Median prices from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2020 have actually increased, from $277,000 to $295,000.
“As long as sellers will put their homes on the market and sell homes, we’re going to have a very healthy market for the rest of the year,” Scordino said. “If at the end of the year we look back and say, ‘Well sales are down,’ it’s going to be because of a lack of sellers, not a lack of demand of buyers. Simply put, there’s not enough homes for everybody that wants to buy one.”
As far as finishing out the year, Scordino predicts that the Fresno market will be healthier than the rest of the state.
“I think people are now seeing that a way of life here in the Central Valley, it’s far more comfortable than maybe living in a densely populated city,” Scordino said. “Also, the affordability here is really something. Our experience is far more positive than most of California.”