For the first time in about six years, Valley homeowners looking to sell now have the upper hand.
Realty Concepts broker Dan Hawkins says, "I think the primary reason is low inventory. When you have low inventory then you have low interest rates and high demand. It's going to drive the prices up."
Prices have gone way up. Over the last year, home prices in Fresno have jumped about 10%. The median price of a home in 2012 was up more than $20,000 dollars from 2011.
"Everything is pointing up for a fabulous 2013, but I'm optimistically cautious just to see what happens," says Hawkins.
The spike suggests the housing market might finally be on its way to recovery. It's also turned once reluctant sellers, into optimistic ones. Omar Garcia is preparing to sell his late father's home.
Garcia says, "You don't want anything to go for cheap, especially a home you grew up in and lived in all your life in. It has a lot of emotional value to it, so knowing that we will get a bit more puts an ease on our burdens knowing that we won't take a huge loss."
Hawkins says, "The sellers will finally get some appreciation, which they've been waiting a long time for."
For buyer's, it's a bit of a drawback. In 2012, about 1500 fewer homes were up for sale in Fresno than the year before. The competition forced first time buyer Rosa Barrera to raise her offer, but she says she's at ease knowing the chances of ever being upside on her own home, fall in a more stable market.
Experts say a full recovery will likely take more time, but at least the trend points to a housing market that's on the mend.
Other parts of the Valley also saw impressive increases over the last year. Home prices in Merced and Visalia went up about 10% as well. In the Hanford and Madera area, prices went up a little more than 6%.
The national average increase, excluding foreclosures and short sales, was 6.9%. That's the biggest increase in average home prices since may of 2006.