Low housing inventory spurs construction

Low Housing Inventory Spurs Construction

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Driving through a neighborhood in Palm Desert, it's hard to find a "for sale" sign.

"There are homes for sale, they're just moving faster. So what we're seeing is inventory looks low because when homes go on the market they're actually getting sold faster," said Penny Jelmberg, a realtor in Palm Desert.  

The Federal Reserve decision to continue its economic stimulus program sent mortgage rates falling.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed loans now average 4.32 percent, down from 4.5 percent just a week earlier.

And, that gives some people in the desert a reason to buy.

"We're looking for a two-bedroom. It doesn't have to be big, we've been there done that with the big house and now we're just kind of downsizing," said Jeannie Manetta, a local homebuyer.  

Jeannie Manetta and her husband, Tom, rented for the past year and a half.  Lower interest rates gave them the extra push to finally buy.

"Now things are much more reasonable so that's why we have a lot of people out here right now I'm sure that are looking for a place," Manetta said. 

With the low housing inventory in the Coachella Valley and lower interest rates comes an increase in construction.  Builders want to meet the demand of people wanting to buy a home in the desert.

"You're going to see more new homes come on the market, you're going to see people building again, that's all happening," Jelmberg said.

According to the City of Palm Desert's building department, the value of new construction in the city increased by 18 percent from 2011 to 2012. Through September of this year, it increased by 46 percent from last year.

"If you look at land that comes up for sale, the minute it comes up for sale now it's getting sold.  So we're going to see some new communities and that's a good thing," Jelmberg said. 

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