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Lodi Realtors report that the demand for local homes is far outstripping the supply

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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:34 am, Fri Sep 21, 2012.

After 28 years in any business, you might think you've seen it all, but Realtor Larry Underhill says he has encountered something new.

He has never seen a time when the housing inventory was smaller.

"There is very little for sale," he said. "The demand is far outstripping the supply. There are multiple offers on properties. Anything well-priced and attractive at all sells in a matter of days."

Local real estate agents in the know say that right now is one of the best sellers' markets in a century.

In the 90 days before Aug 20, 213 homes sold in Lodi according to www.redfin.com, an online source of real estate data. Six months ago, in the 90 days leading up to March, only 181 homes sold.

Sheri Aguilar, the incoming president of the Lodi Association of Realtors, shared several pieces of information she counts on to determine whether or not the market is doing well.

Aguilar looks at the current inventory, how many offers are placed on a single home, and whether those offers are over the asking price. This reveals how eager buyers are to get into a new home.

The affordability index for the area is looking good at 86 percent.

The index combines the median income with the median sale price of a home. That means 86 percent of Lodians can afford a home with the right financing. In 2005, that number was at 10 percent due to high interest rates at the time.

"People can afford homes," she said. "We're calling it the perfect storm. We've got historically low prices and interest rates."

Sales are actually low at the moment because there are so few houses on the market. Inventory is at 51 percent of average. Aguilar says that they need twice as many homes on the market to meet demand.

Most houses are spending fewer than 40 days on the market and receiving between three and 20 offers, several going over the asking price. Sellers in 2005 were lucky to get a single offer in six months on the market, due to a lack of buyer confidence.

Another major sign is that developers are beginning to build again.

Underhill spoke with a developer on Thursday morning who has seen his fair share of ups and downs in the market.

"He said every poll and indicator is positive," said Underhill. "Momentum is building."

One challenge to getting in on the incoming real estate boom is timing.

Underhill said by the time appraisers and loan underwriters are comfortable calling it a trend, the window is beginning to close. This is exactly what happened at the last upturn of the housing market, he said.

But what is he hearing from the buyers themselves?

"There's an eagerness to jump into the market. There's more cash transactions going on than I've seen in years. Smart money is entering the market and buying real estate," he said.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:03 am on Mon, Sep 24, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    2013 will be grim no matter".. of course, grim defined as living in a state that is anti business and pro union. No matter who wins in 2012, California will be dominated by liberals, creating liberal legislation, appointing liberal judiciary, promoting liberal union organizations.

    Of course for others who appreciate liberalism/socialism, the sunny state of California will be heavenly... until the tax revenue is lost from businesses and jobs that will eventually leave to join those that have already left.

  • Walter Chang posted at 4:35 pm on Sat, Sep 22, 2012.

    Walt Posts: 984

    "2013 will be grim no matter"


  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:20 pm on Sat, Sep 22, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Chang stated...“To sprinkle his special "brine solution" upon!)

    Typical Chang, Someone has concerns... someone gives him reality

    No matter why, he would rather die, better to hide and flee,
    then take a pee on your knee...cowardly is he.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:10 pm on Sat, Sep 22, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ms Bobin... please wake up from your sleep. Brown is cutting the California budget with a meat clever... NOW

    When the election is over, 2013 will be grim no matter who is in office. This fate was sealed when Liberals such as yourself inexplicably voted for a clueless governor in Jerry Brown. I think you would have been a better governor Ms Bobin, even though you see imaginary people around every corner.

  • Walter Chang posted at 11:25 am on Sat, Sep 22, 2012.

    Walt Posts: 984

    "California is very high risk"

    Typical Darrell, doggedly patrols the comments section...

    Looking for fresh territory...

    To sprinkle his special "brine solution" apon!


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:40 am on Sat, Sep 22, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4296

    Last time I checked (about 15 seconds ago), California was still the 8th largest economy in the world.

    Conservatives desire to continually put a damper on a little good news is just astounding.

    It's like cheerleading for defeat rather than success.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:41 am on Fri, Sep 21, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    To buy a house in California is very high risk. As jobs continue to leave the state because of other states offering greener business pastures, tax revenues to the state will diminish. As tax revenues go down, as jobs go away, so will the demand of housing.

    Until California changes it's hostile approach to businesses and considers them a partner instead of entities the public needs to be protected from, why would anyone take the risk to buy here?

  • Jay Samone posted at 7:54 am on Fri, Sep 21, 2012.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    It's articles like these make me feel like these "reporters" need to learn a lesson in true reporting. When you write an article, do you ever go past the surface? What about asking those questions that would provide actual information instead of the fluff we regularly see here? Instead of writing about a small inventory and how excited the Lodi Association of Realtors is because it means there's a market upturn, why don't you write about why most houses don't even hit the MLS? Why not write about why the banks are holding onto their inventory? Why not ask about all of the vacant homes all over Lodi that haven't hit the market after months of being vacant? Why not ask the "tough questions" and provide the citizens with answers instead of this...[thumbdown]

  • Jay Samone posted at 7:48 am on Fri, Sep 21, 2012.

    Jay Samone Posts: 359

    Are you kidding me? OF COURSE THE INVENTORY IS SMALLER!!!!! The banks are holding on to their foreclosures and not releasing the "inventory" so they can make their money back. Additionally, any time a house goes for auction, an investor gets it, waters the lawn, slaps a coat of paint on it, and (maybe) puts some junky carpeting in there and they jack the price up $100K for a listing that screams "Not a Short-Sale or REO". Anyone ever wonder where all those "cash buyers" are coming from? They are not just "rich" investors, they are mostly real estate agents who made a ton of money jacking up the prices the first time around, coming around a second time and picking off the inventory before the public gets a chance to bid on it. Most houses don't even hit the MLS system because the listing agent already has a buyer. Talk about a racket.



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