Report: Bakersfield housing market continues to rise

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Housing prices continue to rise, and 2014 is seeing the return of a "normal" housing market, according to Bakersfield appraiser Gary Crabtree's annual report.

The longtime appraiser, who has been releasing his housing report since 2004, said a lot of the rise in home prices is due to the time of the year.

"In May, June, July and August, more people are interested in purchasing homes, because they want their homes closed before school starts, so they can get their kids in school," Crabtree said. "We're also seeing an increase in the number of houses placed on the market. We're now seeing a more normal supply that will keep up with the increased demand."

According the report, the median home price is up 12 percent from a year ago at roughly $209,000, but the rising costs are making it difficult for some buyers, whose incomes are not rising, Crabtree said.

"Interest rates are continuing to help out, because they are continuing to stay low," he said. "But, again, without a median family income increase, it's hard for families to be able to afford these homes."

The number of houses available on the market has nearly doubled at 1,015, up from 515 one year ago.

"Many of those homes were being purchased by investors," Crabtree said. "And we're seeing investors now leave the market, which now opens the market up for the home buyer.

"I would say this is good news, because the market is reacting more like a normal market, and we're not seeing these real large spikes and declines, which we were seeing after the bubble burst in 2006," he added.