Fresno and six other California cities are among the nation's top 10 turnaround real estate markets in the third quarter of this year, according to an online real estate listing service.
Florida led the list last year, but the housing recovery is making its way west, Realtor.com said. The website ranks cities based on improvements in unemployment rates, home-price appreciation and the change in inventory.
Fresno ranks No. 9 on the list, the same spot it held during the second quarter. During the first quarter, Fresno ranked No. 56.
The median home price in Fresno increased 6% in the third quarter compared to a year ago, the report said. And the number of homes available for sale has fallen by more than 44%, which has boosted buyer demand and fueled the construction of new home developments in nearby Clovis.
"I think we're doing real well," said Dan Hawkins, president of the Fresno Association of Realtors. "I think investors are buying and things are selling fast. It is a turnaround market."
The only problems remaining in the Fresno area are high foreclosures with one in every 421 housing units in the county receiving a notice of default. Unemployment also remains high at 14%, the report said.
Oakland leads the top turnaround cities with an improved unemployment rate of 8.2% and fewer foreclosures. Only one of every 369 homes received a notice of default in the third quarter.
Sacramento made its debut on the list in second place. The housing inventory is down nearly 46% and median home prices were up 12% in the third quarter compared to a year ago at the same time, the report said. San Jose, San Francisco, Bakersfield and the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc area also made the list.
Housing affordability factor falls statewide
Rising home prices are offsetting low interest rates and dragging down the housing affordability in Fresno and other communities statewide, according to a quarterly report released Monday by the California Association of Realtors.
In the third quarter of this year, 69% of the prospective homebuyers in Fresno could afford to buy a median-priced, single-family house, down from 71% in the second quarter, the association said.
That means a Fresno homebuyer has to earn a median income of $29,620 to qualify for the purchase of a home that cost $152,970.
Fresno gets Zillow-like online listing service
Fresno Realtor Munish Ghai has started a local online real estate listing service similar to Zillow and Trulia.
"I get people calling me from New York and San Diego telling me to advertise with Trulia and Zillow and I was thinking I can create my own," said Ghai, a real estate agent with Big Realty. "It will take time."
Using public property records from the assessor's office, Ghai developed an online form that allows users to search for properties in Fresno and Madera counties for price, size and more.
The website, fresnoproperties.org, is getting 150 to 170 clicks a day and up to 1,500 views on the weekend, Ghai said.