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Home Buyers Camp In Front Of New San Ramon Subdivision

SAN RAMON (CBS 5) – Would-be homeowners have been camping outside a new subdivision in San Ramon, some of them for weeks, in hopes of buying a home this weekend.

"We've been here for more than two weeks. We have camped here day and night so that we are number one on the list," said Komal Dutta.

A new phase of homes in the Gale Ranch community will go on sale Saturday morning, with asking prices starting around $700,000.

"For new homes, lines, lotteries, luck of the draw, very competitive, very stressful," said Bill Clarkson of Golden Hills Brokers.

Clarkson, who is also Mayor of San Ramon, has worked in the area for 34 years. He said the market hasn't been this competitive since before the housing bubble burst.

"Inventory has been shrinking since February. We've seen San Ramon have up to 250 homes on the market. It's dropped to around 70 or 80," Clarkson said.

Accoring to figures from the real estate website Redfin, low interest rates are shrinking housing inventories across the Bay Area. In the San Francisco market, there are currently around 4,000 homes on the market, 57 percent fewer than there were last year.

Some buyers are hiring people such as Maria Shier to wait in line when new homes come on the market.

"They hired me to be here 24 hours a day," Shier said.

Dutta is doing the waiting herself, along with her children. It's an investment that she said is worth the wait.

"We enjoy it," Dutta said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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