Lower supply and higher demand drove up Bakersfield home prices another 3 percent last month, according to the latest housing report from local appraiser Gary Crabtree.
Active listings of single-family homes in the city declined by almost 12 percent to 432 between February and March, Crabtree reported in his closely watched housing market update. A year before, there were 738 listings in Bakersfield.
“The supply represents the lowest since I began tracking the market in January 1993,” he wrote in a note accompanying the report.
Meanwhile, home sale closings totaled 473 in March — an 11 percent jump from February, according to Crabtree’s preliminary forecast. This measure of market demand was significantly higher in March 2012, when 578 Bakersfield homes were sold.
The city’s median sale price increased in March to $175,000 from $169,945 the month before, Crabtree reported. That was nearly a third (32 percent) more than March 2012’s median price.
Given the acute supply shortage, Crabtree commented that Bakersfield’s home market has reached a “critical point” in its continuing recovery.
Using his own forecasting model, the Bakersfield home appraiser predicted that the city’s median sale price will rise 19 percent over the next 12 months.
BY JOHN COX
Californian staff writer