Press "Enter" to skip to content

Sara Rizzardini of RAAR speaks at IWV Outlook Conference

Hello, and thank you for having me here today. My name is Sara Rizzardini, and I am a local real estate broker with TNT Western Homes. I have been in real estate since 2004 and am currently serving as the President of the board of directors for the Ridgecrest Area Association of Realtors.

Sara Rizzardini speaks on the current and forecasted local real estate market. / Laura Austin Photo

We are excited to be here today and share with you some insight on the current and forecasted Ridgecrest real estate market.

Market Report

Our current local median list price is $309,500. The median price per square foot is $175.

We currently have 44 active homes on the market, with an additional 40 under contract. This speaks to the ongoing demand for housing in our community. This inventory and the homes under contract showcase a vibrant market with steady activity. The average day on the market is 124 days.

In February, we are on track to keep a steady pace of average number of closed sales.

Trends and Market Impacts

We continue to see many people from other areas relocating to Ridgecrest.

New hires, retirees, and remote workers are looking for affordable housing options to rent and buy.

A recent change in Additional Dwelling Unit laws allows builders to build duplexes on single-family lots, which has significantly increased the new construction of multi-family buildings.

Multifamily building, meaning two or more units on one piece of land. Many local and out-of-the-area investors are noticing and investing in these properties.

These buildings, along with the multiple new construction single-family homes continuing to be built by our local builders, have provided modern, energy-efficient homes for people looking to upgrade. In addition to that, we are seeing many first-time home buyers starting to reenter the market.

Inventory Comparison

In 2023, we saw a spike in new and sold listings between May and June. It will level off for the remainder of the year and continue steadily this year. Interest rates played a considerable role in our local market, bringing prices down from the post-pandemic highs to more reasonable numbers, creating a healthy balance of supply and demand for our buyers and sellers.

Before the pandemic hit, we would average roughly 5-10 homes sold through foreclosure auction on the steps of the Kern County Building in Bakersfield every month. A foreclosure moratorium brought those sales to a halt, and even though the moratorium was lifted in 2022, we have yet to see the county resume foreclosure auctions. We anticipate that the county will get back to auctioning off these properties this year.

This should add fuel to the investment activity we are already seeing. Most of these properties get cleaned up and put on the market at accessible prices. Many of these foreclosed properties are vacant, susceptible to squatters and vandalism. Getting these in the hands of investors will increase the supply of homes available for buyers and decrease the possibility of squatters in our neighborhoods.

Active Listing Inventory

The steady pace of new listings we have seen over the last 12 months will likely continue throughout this year. With interest rates projected to hold and drop this spring, we anticipate strong buyer demand and listing prices. Our current stick-built house active listing inventory ranges in price from $139,000 to $659,000

Issues to Note

In the last 18 months, 72 permits have been pulled for multi-family buildings. The new duplexes we are seeing pop up in neighborhoods all over town are offering rents ranging from $1400-1800 per month. These units are energy efficient, fully electric with solar, and most even provide electric vehicle charging ports in the garage.

This has created a unique opportunity for investors to purchase income-producing properties with positive cash flow at a reasonable price. And in return, this has been providing great rental options to many people.

We expect to continue to see many of these be built throughout 2024. These units will help meet the hiring needs of the Base and our expanding community.

Closing

Our local real estate market is highly unique. Whether you are a tenant needing a rental, a first-time home buyer looking for a new home, or an investor looking for an opportunity, Ridgecrest can accommodate it. With many lending options at competitive rates and some of the most affordable prices in southern California, most people here can achieve the status of homeowner or landlord. Ridgecrest real estate truly is the land of opportunity, and we hope to see everyone thrive in it this year and every year.