Bakersfield's single-family home market ended 2015 in positive territory as compared with a year before, according to a preliminary report by a prominent local observer.
Appraiser Gary Crabtree said the median sales price of an existing home in the city last year was $219,000, an increase of 4.3 percent over 2014.
Total sales volume rose by 3.6 percent to 6,050, he reported, adding that the value of all homes sold last year came to $1.4 billion, an increase of almost 8 percent from 2014.
The market’s overall appreciation rate in 2015 was significantly lower than the year before. Crabtree’s preliminary figures indicate Bakersfield home values increased 4.3 percent last year, as compared with 12.9 percent in 2014 and 30.4 percent in 2013.
Though a bit off the 6 percent to 7 percent annual appreciation rate Crabtree predicted in January of last year, the city’s overall increase in home price appreciation nevertheless represents progress during what was for many a difficult year as oil companies struggling with low prices laid off more than 2,500 workers around Kern County.
“Given the current economic conditions of the community, the single family market is considered relatively stable,” Crabtree wrote in a brief note accompanying his December 2015 report.
Key aspects of December sales activity were also encouraging. Crabtree said a supply decline and increasing demand meant the local home market “ended the year on a rather positive note,” even though the median sales price last month — $215,000 — was nearly 1 percent lower than November’s level.
Last month, market supply as measured by the number of homes listed for sale declined 6.6 percent to 1,408, the appraiser reported. That was a 12.5 percent gain from a year before.
Meanwhile, the number of existing home sales closed that month, a measure of demand, rose 20.3 percent to 480, a 3 percent increase from December 2014.