Stanislaus County home sales prices rose for the second straight month in June, jumping $4,000 to a median $139,000. That's the first two-month rise since the housing market began crashing 3 1/2 years ago.
"There was an over correction on the way down, just like there was when prices were going up," said Craig Lewis, president of Prudential California Realty. "We’ve hit the bottom. I don't think prices will move up rapidly, but they’ll rise slow and steady now."
It's a classic case of supply and demand.
"There are plenty of buyers at these prices, but not enough homes," explained Lewis, who said his 300 agents sold a record-number of homes during the last year.
Any house in decent condition priced under $250,000 is getting multiple purchase offers. Some homes have more than 40 people competing to buy.
That competition is pushing up values. But there's a long way to go before most current homeowners will be happy. The median price paid for a Stanislaus home was $396,000 in December 2005. Virtually every home purchased in the last eight years is worth less now that it was then.
The same is true in Merced and San Joaquin counties. According to statistics released today by MDA DataQuick, median-priced homes in Merced sold for $110,000 in June, up $5,000 from May. San Joaquin homes sold for a median $152,000 in June, which was the same as May but up $6,500 from April.