KERN COUNTY, Calif. — Despite a decline in California's population growth, more people are looking to call Kern County home.
It seems that they can’t build homes fast enough for the demand of the market. With this population increase, a local broker says an excess of 20 to 30 people can be vying for one house in Kern Kounty at a given time.
“Only one offer is going to win,” said Gary Carruesco.
The Kern County housing game is attracting more players, including remote workers seeking cheaper housing in the Golden Empire than their former coastal homes, according to local broker, Gary Carruesco.
A letter to the Fiscal Officer of Kern County from the California Department of Finance shows that the county has seen a 0.65% population increase from January 2020 to January 2021, which is impacting the housing market.
“we have some of the lowest inventory, if not the lowest inventory in many, many years of only about 300 or so homes that are available and active on the market. We need to have about 800 to keep up with the buyers that are still out there,” said Gary Carruesco, a broker for Brimhall Realty.
With the demand, go up the costs, Carruesco says, that may not change for several years. Right now, the prices are higher than the last housing boom in 2006.
“Those buyers that are getting discouraged, they’re trying to wait this market out,” said Carruesco.
But Carruesco says, they shouldn’t be. The mortgage interest rates are lower than they were in 2006, 7%t versus about 2-3%.
“That allows for them to qualify for a house that’s higher priced.”
Carruesco added certain loan programs for first-time home buyers and those with lower incomes can still qualify for a new home. Another tip, be qualified with a lender, and in Kern County specifically a local one.
"We as real estate agents and brokers can walk into that lender’s office here locally in Kern County and talk about that person’s loan and understand how qualified these buyers really are.”
Carruesco says that when you crunch the numbers the interest rates are so low that you can pay less a month when you buy a house than you can with rentals.
Carruesco says last he heard California as a whole is short about 300,000 units for the demand that is out there for rental properties.
In Kern County alone he says it can average 15 people who qualify for rental properties on a waiting list because the demand is higher than the supply.