Saturday, May 26, 2007

'Renting Because They Can't Afford Their Homes Anymore'

From the Lodi News-Sentinel:

The housing market in Lodi isn't spectacular — in fact, it's sluggish. But compared with nearly every other city in the area, sluggish looks pretty good.
Few think Lodi has cracked the housing slump yet and that may actually take some time. Kevin Fritz, who buys and sells houses as a hobby, said he's had to lower the price on most of his houses. "It was easy (to flip homes) three years ago — now it's a challenge. But I still see that there's buyers out there," said Fritz, who works from his Lodi home as a regional manager for a fire hydrant manufacturing company.

Fritz has battled the housing slump by posting numerous "for sale" signs, hosting lots of open houses and keeping his yards in top shape. Being flexible on price has also helped, he said. "The houses are still selling," said Fritz. "You've just got to listen to all offers."
Currently there are 485 homes on the market between Lodi and Woodbridge, said Paul Mertz, a past president of the Lodi Association of Realtors. That's about a nine or 10 month supply of inventory, but quite a bit less than in Stockton where many existing and new homes are still on the market.
Arturo and Reyna Leyva don't have enough money to buy a house quite yet. But even if they did, the Lodi couple said they'd probably keep renting. "We'd probably wait," said Reyna, who along with her husband is studying to gain her teaching credential from California State University, Stanislaus.

Paying $900 a month for their Lakeshore Meadows Apartment is probably the best bet for now, Arturo Leyva said. "Having your own house has its advantages, but (the prices) are too high," he said Friday in south Lodi.

While the area's housing market is still lethargic, apartment complexes and rental agencies are seeing an uptick in business — many benefiting from the housing slump.

"We're seeing a lot of people coming in and renting because they can't afford their homes anymore — that's the big thing right now," said Joanna Vasquez, a receptionist at Homefinders in Stockton, which provides rental listings for homes and apartments in the region.

Julie Stearns, co-owner of Colonial North Property Management in North Stockton, said many homeowners have given up on selling their homes for now. "They're opting just to rent it out and wait out this (housing) slump," said Stearn....


RMB said...

These guys are smoking crack. Go to the Lodi Association of Realtors web site and you will see that sales are at the lowest point they have been in 10 years. Prices are soon to follow.

Lander said...

Some good stuff on that site. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll add it to my sidebar links.

Here's the graph of Lodi home sales. They also have graphs for Galt, Stockton, Modesto, Manteca, Tracy, and Turlock.