The tumultuous Valley real estate market hit a turning point on the road to recovery this year when home prices started a consistent climb.
The market also saw mortgage interest rates remain at historic lows, increased buyer demand as a result of fewer homes for sale and a slowdown in foreclosure activity too.
So, what does that mean for real estate in 2013?
Local Realtors are optimistic that these factors will bring good tidings for next year, but a housing expert says to be careful — more foreclosures could be in store.
John Shamshoian, the newly elected president of the Fresno Association of Realtors remains positive that home sales will pick up in the new year.
“Traditional sales rose significantly in 2012 and that trend should continue,” Shamshoian said. And “more home sellers have regained enough equity to sell their current home and take advantage of this market to purchase a more expensive home.”
Other buyers, like those who have reestablished their credit after a foreclosure, are also now qualifying for new loans, Shamshoian said.
But how about that shadow inventory of foreclosures rumored for years now to explode into the market?
Shamshoian doesn’t expect foreclosures to increase much based on this year’s activity which showed half the number of foreclosures compared to 2011.
But Fresno State’s housing expert Andrew Hansz, the director of the Gazarian Real Estate Center said “expect inventories to rise as we work through more of the distressed properties.”
The market isn’t on track for a full recovery yet and could get more complicated as the federal government works on its fiscal cliff issues, Hansz said.
“The key to a sustainable real estate market recovery is job growth,” Hansz said. “The uncertainty caused by the fiscal cliff issues we currently face is not conducive to business expansion and job growth… 2013 could be an unlucky year as the fiscal cliff is a direct and immediate threat to our economy and a real estate market recovery.”