H-CENTRAL COAST

Apr 29, 2013 8:42 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Pending home sales rise while inventory on the Central Coast is low

For the first time in three years, pending home sales are at their highest level, but as KSBY discovered there is limited supply of homes for sale.

Central Coast realtors say people are waiting for more equity to build in their homes before they sell. The shortage is not just on the Central Coast. Local realtors said Monday it's happening nationwide.

In January of 2012 there were 448 homes for sale in south San Luis Obispo County, which includes Avila Beach, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo and Nipomo, explained Gary Gracia of Prudential California Realty in Arroyo Grande. "Today there are 276 homes on the market in the same area," he said.

So why is there a lack of interest in selling?

"The people who didn't lose their house or do a short sell are waiting for the equity to return to sell," said Gracia.

That means prices aren't where home owners want them to be, but realtors say prices are starting to rise.

"I believe this summer we will see increased inventory and as the lenders get wind, they are going to want to push the rates back up," said Gracia.

Higher interest rates usually mean fewer sales, so once again the market will level off, but realtors say there is a solution -- new home construction.

"We have had tons of demand for the single family homes and some of the town homes," said Gracia at a development in Templeton that should be complete by summer.

"You are seeing folks in some cases that are waiting on interest lists and a few developers are going back to lotteries," said David Campa, owner of Campa Real Estate Group in San Luis Obispo.

Home stores are also seeing an increase in business. Home Depot in San Luis Obispo has seen a 10% jump in kitchen, flooring and gardening sales since last spring.

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