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Monday, Aug 06 2012 08:45 PM
Home prices hold nearly steady, inventory still low
By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The median sale price of an existing single-family home in the Bakersfield area inched down 1.6 percent from June to July to $142,000,, which was 1.4 percent higher than July of last year.

That’s according to the Preliminary Crabtree Report, a monthly gauge of the local housing market prepared by Gary Crabtree of Affiliated Appraisers.

The total supply of homes on the market was 1,391 in July, but that figure is conservative. Once you take out short sales with contingent offers, active listings drop to 598. A short sale is an agreement with a lender to sell a home for less than the balance on a mortgage. In such transactions, both the seller and the bank have to approve a purchase offer.

Pending sales, a measure of future demand, were flat for the month but rose 9.8 percent to 435 year-over-year. Closed sales, at 496, were down 17.3 percent for the month and down 15.8 percent for the year.

Time on the market continues to fall because of the time of year and the area’s low inventory. It took an average of 47 days for a home to sell in July, compared with 57 days a year earlier.

Lender-owned properties accounted for about a quarter of all sales last month, up 1.7 percent from June but down 19.1 percent for the year. That reflects the market’s slow but steady decline in foreclosures, which have fallen 31.2 percent since last year.

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