Tag Archives: Orange County Housing

Orange County Housing Report – May 11th, 2018

Orange County Housing Report:
“Cracks Appearing”

Orange County Housing Report May 11th, 2018

Even though the housing market is hot, trends have emerged that confirm that it is starting to cool.

Cracks Appearing: Trends are developing which demonstrate that the six-year housing run is beginning to cool.

Headlines are the same across the country: there are not enough homes on the market and buyers are having an extremely difficult time finding a home It has been a supply and demand issue for more than six years now, dating back to 2012. The story has not changed much for quite some time; that is, until now.

Now that a third of the year is in the rearview mirror, noticeable cracks have appeared that illustrate a cooling market. It is not as if housing has suddenly tilted in favor of buyers. No, there are still multiple offers and plenty of homes flying off the market and into escrow just moments after the FOR SALE sign is pounded into the front yard. Buyers are still frustrated by the lack of available homes on the market below $1 million. Sellers are still in the driver’s seat. Nonetheless, trends have surfaced that highlight a cooling marketplace.

CRACK – The current active inventory has increased by 15% in the past month. After a rather dismal, anemic start to the year, the active inventory in Orange County has been surging, adding 726 homes in just four weeks. That is the largest one-month gain since July 2013. There are currently 5,434 homes on the market, well below the 8,000 home long-term average; yet, the current trend is for a rapidly increasing active inventory.CRACK – This is the first time there are more homes on the market compared to the prior year since August 2016.  For 20 consecutive months, the year over year active inventory comparison had been less. That just changed. There are 47 more homes today compared to one year ago. On New Year’s Day, there were 674 fewer homes on the market compared to January 1, 2017. As the year has rolled along, the difference diminished over time.

 

CRACK – Demand is at its lowest level for this time of the year since 2008.  Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior 30-days, has been muted since the start of the year. There are simply far fewer pending sales compared to the past several years. The difference has been substantial over the past six weeks. Year over year, demand is down 11%, that is 2,675 pending sales compared to 3,012. Typically, during the Spring Market, pending sales activity is firing on all cylinders, the busiest time of the year. Yet, demand has not been this low for a start to May since 2008 when it measured only 2,540 pending sales.

CRACK – A staggering 11% of all active listings reduced their asking price within the last week. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has a helpful red arrow pointing downward adjacent to the asking price if the asking price was reduced. In bringing up a list of homes across Orange County, there are a lot more red arrows pointing down compared to the past several years. This phenomenon is indicative of a market inundated by overpricing. Many sellers are arbitrarily pricing and not relying on the expertise of real estate professionals, so, to be successful, they have to reduce the asking price, and often more than once.

While there are definite cracks in the over six-year housing run, the market is still a seller’s market. It is just not as hot as the Spring of 2017. These trends have only developed this year. They are cautionary flags in approaching the local housing market. If these trends continue, the market will only cool further, but it will take time. The housing market will not change overnight. This year still promises to be a very good year for sellers, only a bit more challenging, which necessitates a more cautious, deliberate strategy and approach to the housing market.

CRACK – Like Orange County, all of Southern California, as a whole, is experiencing more homes on the market compared to last year, and a lot less demand. The active inventory is up for all of Southern California for the first time since May 2015. Most counties are experiencing a higher active inventory compared to the prior year. All counties are currently facing far less demand compared to last year. The bottom line: the trend of a cooler market is not just isolated to Orange County. It is affecting all of Southern California.

Active Inventory: The active inventory added 6% more homes in the past two weeks.

The active listing inventory continued its swift climb in the past two weeks, adding 290 homes, up 6%, and now totals 5,434, its highest level since September 2017. Expect the inventory to continue to climb as the market moves deeper into the Spring and Summer Markets, peaking sometime between July and August.

Demand:  Demand increased by only 1% in the past two weeks.

In the past two weeks, demand, the number of pending sales over the prior 30 days, increased by a paltry 35 additional pending sales. It now totals 2,675, the lowest demand reading for this time of the year since 2008. This lower demand level will affect the number of future closed sales for Orange County in comparison to the last few years.

The expected market time, the amount of time it would take for a home that comes onto the market today to be placed into escrow down the road, increased from 58 days to 61 in the past two weeks, transitioning from a hot, seller’s market, to a slight seller’s market (less appreciation, but sellers still get to call the shots). Last year at this time, the expected market time was at 54 days, a bit hotter than today.

Luxury End:  The luxury inventory and luxury demand both increased in the last couple of weeks.  

In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1.25 million increased by 41 pending sales, up 11%, and now totals 412. The luxury home inventory increased from 1,974 homes to 2,025, up 3%. Year over year, luxury demand is up by 14 pending sales, or 4%, and the active luxury listing inventory is up by an additional 138 homes, or 7%. With a surge in luxury demand, the overall expected market time for all homes priced above $1.25 million decreased from 160 days to 147 days over the past two-weeks. Last year the expected market time was at 142 days.

For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time decreased from 104 to 92 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 129 to 121 days. For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 208 days to 182. For homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased from 386 to 456 days. At 456 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home into escrow around the start of August 2019.

Orange County Housing Market Summary:

  • The active listing inventory increased by an incredible 290 homes in the past two weeks, up 6%, and now totals 5,434. Expect the inventory to increase from now through mid-Summer. Last year, there were 5,387 homes on the market, 47 fewer than today.
  • This year, 20% fewer homes have come on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year, and there have been 27% fewer closed sales so far this year. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly vanishing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased in the past two-weeks by 35 pending sales, up 1%, and now totals 2,675. Last year, there were 3,012 pending sales, 13% more than today.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $1.7 million over the past two weeks. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 39 days. This range represents 35% of the active inventory and 55% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 49 days, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). This range represents 18% of the active inventory and 23% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 81 days, a slight seller’s market (between 60 and 90 days).
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time decreased from 104 days to 92. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 129 days to 121. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 208 days to 182. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased from 386 to 456 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 37% of the inventory and only 15% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County increased from 58 days to 61 in the past two weeks, a slight seller’s market (from 60 to 90 days).
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 0.8% of all listings and 1.2% of demand. There are only 20 foreclosures and 24 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 44 total distressed homes on the active market, up one in the past two weeks. Last year there were 81 total distressed sales, 84% more than today.
  • There were 2,614 closed residential resales in April, down by 2% from April 2017’s 2,677 closed sales. April was nearly identical to March 2018’s closings. The sales to list price ratio was 98.7% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.5% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.6%. That means that 98.9% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

 

 

 

 

 

Orange County Housing Report – April 24th, 2018

Orange County Housing Report:
“Vanishing Into Thin Air”

Orange County Housing Report April 24th, 2018

The lower end of the housing market is not only disappearing, it is impacting pending and closed sales.

Vanishing Lower Ranges: A mind-blowing 15% fewer homes have come on the market below $750,000 so far this year compared to 2017.

The market has been blistering hot for years now. For homes priced below $750,000, it has been a hot seller’s market (an expected market time less than 60-days) since October 2015. Home prices have appreciated dramatically for six solid years. As a result, there are only a handful of detached homes priced below $500,000 today, 55 to be precise, or 1% of the active listing inventory. Back in January 2012, there were 1,806, 22% of the active inventory. Detached homes below $500,000 have essentially disappeared. Similarly, there are only 69 condominiums, 1.5% of the active inventory, priced below $250,000 today. At the beginning of 2012, there were 1,413, 17% of the inventory. Condominiums below $250,000 is a thing of the past.

The story of the disappearing lower end has been evolving. With housing continuing to appreciate, there are now fewer detached homes available below $750,000. It is 13% of all available homes to purchase today compared to 38% in 2012. Relatedly, there are fewer condominiums priced below $500,000, only 13% of today’s inventory compared to 33% in 2012.

The numbers illustrate just how staggering the shortage of lower range homes has become in 2018. So far this year, 20% fewer properties have been placed on the market priced below $500,000 compared to 2017. As a result, there have been 29% fewer closed sales in this price range. The difference is significant. This is precisely why there are so many buyers sitting around waiting for homes to come on the market; there simply are not enough homes in the lower ranges.

For homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000, there have been 12% fewer homes to come on the market in 2018 compared to 2017. Closed sales are down by 5% in this price range.

There was a similar storyline last year. Fewer homes were coming on the market in the lower ranges. Yet, it did not impact closed sales. Despite 6% fewer homes year over year that came on the market in 2017, closed sales were nearly identical, up by 0.6%.

Something is distinctly different this year; total sales are down this year compared to last year. Last year, closed sales above $750,000 made up the difference of fewer closed sales in the lower ranges. Not this year. The upper ranges are not making up the difference. There are 5% fewer homes (all price ranges) that came on the market compared to the same time last year; and, there are 6% fewer closed sales. The lack of opportunities below $750,000 is affecting the total number of closed sales in Orange County.

The erosion of more affordable housing has been going on for years. The below $750,000 range was 84% of all closed sales back in 2012. It dropped to 62% last year. Through March of 2018, it has dropped to 59% of all closings. This trend will only continue as long as the market remains hot. With a depressed inventory and unrelenting demand, this sizzling market is poised to continue for quite some time.

For buyers anticipating more homes in the affordable price ranges coming on the market soon, it is just not going to happen. The number of opportunities is diminishing over time. Buyers who wait will be confronted with fewer available options to purchase.

Active Inventory: The active inventory only added 99 homes in the past two weeks.

The active listing inventory continued its climb in the past two weeks, just at a slower pace, adding 99 homes, up 2%, and now totals 4,708. The active inventory had been increasing at a very fast pace, but not in the past two weeks. Expect the inventory to continue to climb as the market moves deeper into the Spring and Summer Markets, peaking sometime between July and August. In comparing the active inventory to last year, the difference was shrinking after a very anemic start to the year. The difference was down to 107 homes two weeks ago. But, after adding a meager 2% to the inventory in the past two weeks, the difference grew to 308 homes. There were 5,016 homes last year at this time, 7% more than today’s level.

Demand:  Demand increased by an unimpressive 3% in the past two weeks.

Last year, demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, increased by 11% at this time of the year. This year, demand increased by only 3%, adding 64 pending sales over the past couple of weeks, and now totals 2,602. The last time demand was above the 2,600 pending sale level was back in August 2017. The Spring Market is here, just not at the same pace as the past few years. Roll the clock back to 2014 to find similar levels, which was the slowest year in terms of sales in the 6 year run in housing. There were 11% fewer closed sales in 2014 compared to 2017. With fewer pending sales in the lower price ranges, demand is taking a bit of a hit in 2018. If this trend continues, it could impact total sales for the year.

Last year at this time, demand was at 2,957 pending sales, 14% more than today.

The expected market time, the amount of time it would take for a home that comes onto the market today to be placed into escrow down the road, remained at 54 days in the past two weeks, a hot, seller’s market. Last year at this time, the expected market time was at 51 days, a bit hotter than today.

Luxury End:  The luxury inventory increased while demand remained the same. 

In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1.25 million remained at 353 pending sales. The luxury home inventory increased from 1,797 homes to 1,859, up 3%. Last year at this time, luxury demand was increasing rapidly and the overall expected market time was falling fast. Not this year. A new trend may be emerging, a slower luxury market; or, it may be just a blip on the radar. Only time will tell. With an increase in the inventory and unchanged demand, the overall expected market time for all homes priced above $1.25 million increased from 153 to 158 days over the past two-weeks.

For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time increased from 88 to 95 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time increased from 142 to 155 days. For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 202 days to 187. For homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased from 296 to 313 days. At 313 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home into escrow around mid-February 2019.

Orange County Housing Market Summary:

  • The active listing inventory increased by 99 homes in the past two weeks, up 2%, and now totals 4,708. Expect the inventory to increase from now through mid-Summer. Last year, there were 5,016 homes on the market, 308 more than today.
  • This year, 20% fewer homes have come on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year, and there have been 29% fewer closed sales so far this year. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly disappearing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased in the past two-weeks by 64 pending sells, up 3%, and now totals 2,602. Last year, there were 2,957 pending sales, 14% more than today.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $1.8 million over the past two weeks. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 32 days. This range represents 34% of the active inventory and 57% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 43 days, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). This range represents 18% of the active inventory and 22% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 68 days, a slight seller’s market (between 60 and 90 days).
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time increased from 88 days to 95. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time increased from 142 to 155 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 202 days to 187 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased from 296 to 313 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 39% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County remained at 54 days in the past two weeks, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). From here, we can expect the market time to remain below 60-days through May.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 0.8% of all listings and 1.5% of demand. There are only 18 foreclosures and 21 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 39 total distressed homes on the active market, unchanged in the past two weeks. Last year there were 78 total distressed sales, 100% more than today.
  • There were 2,613 closed residential resales in March, down by 6% from March 2017’s 2,792 closed sales. March marked a 44% increase from February 2018. The sales to list price ratio was 97.6% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.5% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.6%. That means that 98.9% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange County Housing Report April 6th, 2018

Orange County Housing Report:
“Wait and Afford Less”

Orange County Housing Report April 6th, 2018

With rising interest rates, purchasing power drops for buyers considerably the longer they wait.


Purchasing Power
: An increase in interest rates by 1% translates to an 11% drop in the home a buyer is able to afford.

For the past several years, experts and prognosticators across the country had been calling for increasing interest rates. Yet, it never really materialized. To many it was reminiscent of Chicken Little’s, “THE SKY IS FALLING!!” Sure interest rates had their ups and downs, but, in the end, they consistently dropped back down to historical lows, below 4%. That is, until this year.

With the election of President Trump in November 2016, interest rates rose significantly, climbing nearly 1% overnight. The new presidential administration was poised to lower taxes, increase spending on infrastructure, and reform trade around the world. These policies were seen as extremely inflationary and resulted in increasing rates. As financial markets realized that the policies were not going to occur overnight, once again, interest rates dropped below 4%.

It wasn’t unit the end of 2017 where the rubber started meeting the road with the passing of the new tax law. Interest rates responded almost immediately and began to climb. With the announcement of trade reform and a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, there is tremendous pressure on rates today.

The experts and prognosticators may have had their timing off, but they collectively understood that it was not a matter of “if” interest rates would rise, but “when” they would rise. With the massive manipulation of the monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, the United States has been in economic, uncharted waters, making the art of forecasting rates not an exact science.

At this point, the pressure on interest rates to rise is real. But, after more than a decade of extremely affordable rates, everybody has become accustom to these affordable levels. It is time for a brief history lesson:

  • 1981 = 18%
  • 1990 = 10%
  • 2000 = 8%
  • 2007 = 6.5%
  • Today = 4.5%

Yes, 3.5% is a better rate; however, 4.5% is still a very low rate in historical context. Buyers should not wait for another drop. Instead, they should cash in on today’s mortgage rates. These low levels are an absolute gift based upon the economic history book.

Buyers must understand that the longer they wait to purchase, the greater the risk that rates will rise. As they rise, a buyer’s purchasing power erodes considerably the higher then climb. If mortgage rates climbed by 1% from where they are today, buyers looking for a $2,500 monthly payment would see their purchase power drop from $616,750 to $550,375; that’s a $66,375 drop in purchase price. For buyers looking for a $3,500 monthly payment, it drops from $863,500 to $770,500, a drop of $93,000. And, for buyers looking at a $4,500 monthly payment, it drops from $1,110,125 to $990,625, plunging by nearly $120,000.

Keep in mind, 5.5% is still a very low rate. The trouble is there are younger buyers in the marketplace who have never experienced rates above 5%. The housing market is not going to implode. It will not be the end of the world. But, it will eat into affordability and purchasing power. That 1% increase in mortgage rates will result in an 11% drop is what a buyer is able to afford.

With an improving economy, the new tax law, trade reform, and a new infrastructure plan, expect rates to rise. Buyers should not sit on the sideline and wait for them to drop. If they do, they will watch their purchase power crumble.

Active Inventory: The active inventory increased by 4% in the past two weeks.

The active listing inventory continued to climb in the past two weeks, adding an additional 189 homes, up 4%, and now totals 4,609. The active inventory is increasing at its fastest pace since 2014. It will continue to climb as the market moves deeper into the Spring Market, and will climb through the summer, peaking sometime between July and August.

After starting the year with 674 fewer homes compared to the start of 2017, 12% fewer, the year over year difference has drastically diminished. Today, there are only 107 fewer homes compared to last year, a 2% difference.

Demand:  Demand increased by 5% in the past two weeks.

Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, increased by 121 pending sales over the past couple of weeks and now totals 2,538, a 5% rise. The last time demand was above the 2,500 pending sale level was back in September 2017. The Spring Market is in full bloom and demand will continue to rise, peaking sometime between April and May.

Last year at this time, demand was at 2,664 pending sales, 126 more than today, or 5%. The number of pending sales has dropped this year because of a serious lack of inventory of homes priced below $750,000. This price range is significant as it represented 62% of all closed sales in 2017. So far this year, there has been 12% fewer homes that have come on the market below $750,000. The lack of homes in the most affordable price ranges has seriously undermined potential demand.

The expected market time, the amount of time it would take for a home that comes onto the market today to be placed into escrow down the road, decreased slightly from 55 to 54 days in the past two weeks, a hot, seller’s market. Last year at this time, the expected market time was at 53 days, very similar to today.

Luxury End:  The luxury inventory and luxury demand increased in the past couple of weeks. 

In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1.25 million increased from 343 to 353 pending sales, up 3%. The luxury home inventory increased from 1,704 homes to 1,797, up 5%. From here, expect both demand and the inventory to rise throughout the Spring Market. The current expected market time for all homes priced above $1.25 million increased from 149 to 153 days over the past two-weeks.

Orange County Housing Market Summary:
For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time increased from 78 to 88 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 149 to 142 days. For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 193 days to 202. In addition, for homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 338 to 296 days. At 296 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home into escrow around mid-January 2019.

  • The active listing inventory increased by 189 homes in the past two weeks, up 4%, and now totals 4,609. Expect the inventory to increase from now through mid-Summer. Last year, there were 4,716 homes on the market, 107 more than today.
  • This year, 18% fewer homes have come on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year and 39% fewer than two years ago. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly disappearing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased in the past two-weeks by 121 pending sells, up 5%. The average pending price is $913,011.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $1.8 million over the past two weeks. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 33 days. This range represents 34% of the active inventory and 57% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 44 days, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). This range represents 17% of the active inventory and 22% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 71 days, a slight seller’s market (between 60 and 90 days).
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time increased from 78 days to 88. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 149 to 142 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 193 days to 202 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 338 to 296 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 39% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County decreased from 55 days to 54 in the past two weeks, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). From here, we can expect the market time to remain below 60-days through May.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 0.8% of all listings and 1.3% of demand. There are only 17 foreclosures and 22 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 39 total distressed homes on the active market, dropping by 5 in the past two weeks. Last year there were 79 total distressed sales, 102% more than today.
  • There were 1,820 closed residential resales in February, down by 4% from February 2017’s 1,888 closed sales. February marked a 1% increase from January 2018. The sales to list price ratio was 97.6% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.9% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 0.7%. That means that 98.4% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange County Housing Report March 15th, 2018

Orange County Housing Report:
“Too Much Noise”

Orange County Housing Report March 15th, 2018

Everybody seems to have an opinion about the direction of the housing market.

Ignore the Noise: From talk of a housing bubble to speculation that the market will slow because of higher rates, the best advice is to ignore all of the noise and turn to the facts.

Wow! There is a lot of talk and speculation about the housing market these days. Some people are convinced that housing is a bubble and it will implode, dropping more than it did during the Great Recession. Yikes, interest rates have reached 4.5%, it must mean the end of the housing run is near. On a live video, one real estate professional warned that the market will turn this autumn stating that a downturn occurs every 10-years. Some speculated that the new tax law would affect the luxury market negatively.

From recent volatility in the stock market to the looming trade wars, there is a lot of uncertainty out there and it has been spilling over to housing. Is a housing downturn around the corner? Will the market finally favor buyers? The answer is simple, not anytime soon. Ignore all of the noise.

There is no major, upcoming downturn larger than the Great Recession. Interest rates would have to rise beyond 5.5% to negatively impact housing. No, real estate recessions do not occur every 10 years like clockwork. The new tax law is not impacting the luxury market. Stock market volatility and the trade war are not influencing housing. It is all just noise.

Some of the buzz may originate from wishful thinking. For others, it may be fear generated from the uncertainty that swirls around the modern economy. Yet, all of the clamor is not based on the facts. Quite simply, nobody can ignore the data. It is a seller’s market with ZERO indicators, or trends, that the market is going to turn in the buyer’s favor anytime soon.

FACT – It is a HOT seller’s market with an expected market time of 55 days. Any time the expected market time, the amount of time it would take for a home on the market today to be placed into escrow, falls below 90-days, it is a seller’s market. When it falls below 60 days, it is considered a HOT seller’s market, one that is pumping on all cylinders and leaning heavily in favor of sellers. Crowded open houses, multiple offers, buyers seemingly tripping over each other to purchase, that has become a springtime norm for Orange County housing and it is no different today.

FACT – In the past 15 years, today’s active inventory is at the second lowest level behind 2013. For the market to start tipping in the buyer’s direction, the inventory needs to rise above the long-term average of 8,000 homes for a sustained period of time. Not just exceeding 8,000 homes for a month or two; instead, it must remain elevated for years. During the Great Recession, the inventory exceeded 8,000 homes for six years. The active listing inventory is currently at 4,420 homes and does not look like it will come close to even touching 8,000.

FACT – More luxury homes have sold so far this year than ever before. Through the first two months of the year, there have been 444 closed sales above $1.25 million, a new record. Last year, the prior record, there were 430 closed sales, 3% fewer. So far, the new tax law has had zero impact on the trend in a record level of closed luxury sales.

FACT – The supply is low and demand is high. One cannot ignore basic supply and demand from Econ 101. When very little supply, a nine-year trend, is matched with very hot demand, a six-year trend, prices rise. Even though interest rates have risen to 4.5%, current rates are still low in historical contexts, making homes more affordable. This is precisely why the rise in interest rates has not adversely affected the market. Instead, it has pushed more buyers to buy before rates continue to rise.

FACT – A lack of homeowners coming on the market, especially below $750,000, is starting to eat into the number of closed sales. When there are fewer homes to purchase, sales go down. The headlines this year are going to report that sales are down and prices are up. That does not mean that the market is slowing. Instead, it means that the lack of entry-level homes coming on the market will make purchasing within this range even more challenging than prior years.

The bottom line is this: facts and data do not lie. Buyer, seller, and all consumer expectations should really be anchored in fact, not the noise of rumors, opinions, or uneducated guesses. The housing market is hot and it will remain a seller’s market for the long run.

Active Inventory: The active inventory increased by 6% in the past two weeks.

Across the board, in every price range, the active inventory increased. In the past two weeks, the inventory added 242 homes, a 6% increase, and now totals 4,420. Even though demand is hot and there are very few homes on the market, they are not instantly being placed into escrow. This is partly due to the fact that it takes a bit of time to market and negotiate a sale, even in a fast pace, seller’s market; HOWEVER, there are still plenty of homeowners aggressively pricing their homes, stretching the value too much. These homes are starting to accumulate on the market without success.  Today, buyers are willing to stretch in price a bit, but they are not going to get carried away, as values are already high. Alternatively, sellers should price their homes carefully, adhering to their Fair Market Value. When a home is priced right, it will procure multiple offers, allowing a seller to pit the offers again each other. This often results in a sales price at, or even above, the asking price.

Last year at this time, there were 4,571 homes on the market, 3% more than today. The year over year difference has slowly been diminishing.

Demand:  Demand dropped by 1% in the past two weeks.

Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 24 pending sales over the past couple of weeks and now totals 2,417, a 1% drop. Year in and year out, demand typically pauses for a brief moment at the beginning of March, strange annual phenomena. After “springing forward” this weekend, there will be more daylight to work with and the Spring Market will accelerate. Demand will increase dramatically from now through April and will peak sometime between April and May.

Last year at this time, demand was at 2,576 pending sales, 159 more than today, or 7%. The number of pending sales has dropped this year because of a serious lack of inventory of homes priced below $750,000. As a matter of fact, there have been 12% fewer homes that have come on the market below $750,000 so far this year. This lack of affordable housing has seriously undermined potential demand.

The expected market time, the amount of time it would take for a home that comes onto the market today to be placed into escrow, increased from 51 to 55 days in the past two weeks, still a hot, seller’s market. Last year at this time, the expected market time was at 53 days, very similar to today.

In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1.25 million decreased from 354 to 343 pending sales, down 3%. The luxury home inventory increased from 1,629 homes to 1,704, up 5%. From here, expect both demand and the inventory to rise throughout the Spring Market. The current expected market time for all homes priced above $1.25 million increased from 138 to 149 days over the past two-weeks.

Luxury End:  The luxury inventory increased while luxury demand slightly decreased. 

For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time decreased from 79 to 78 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time increased from 115 to 149 days. For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 167 days to 193. In addition, for homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 515 to 338 days. At 338 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home into escrow around the February 2019.

Orange County Housing Market Summary: 

  • The active listing inventory increased by 242 homes in the past two weeks, up 5%, and now totals 4,420. Expect the inventory to increase from now through mid-Summer. Last year, there were 4,571 homes on the market, 151 more than today.
  • There are 24% fewer homes on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year at this time and demand is the same as last year. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly disappearing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased in the past two-weeks by 24 pending sells, down 1%. The average pending price is $900,305.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $1.8 million over the past two weeks. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 33 days. This range represents 35% of the active inventory and 58% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 43 days, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). This range represents 17% of the active inventory and 22% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 82 days, a slight seller’s market (between 60 and 90 days).
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time dropped from 79 days to 78. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time increased from 115 to 149 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 167 days to 193 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 515 to 338 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 38% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County increased from 51 days to 55 in the past two weeks, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). From here, we can expect the market time to remain below 60-days through May.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 1% of all listings and 1.4% of demand. There are only 14 foreclosures and 30 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 44 total distressed homes on the active market, rising by four in the past two weeks. Last year there were 77 total distressed sales, 77% more than today.
  • There were 1,820 closed residential resales in February, down by 4% from February 2017’s 1,888 closed sales. February marked a 1% increase from January 2018. The sales to list price ratio was 97.6% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.9% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 0.7%. That means that 98.4% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange County Housing Report February 27th, 2018

Orange County Housing Report:
“The 6-Year Drought”

Orange County Housing Report February 27th, 2018

There have been far fewer homeowners selling their homes
annually ever since the start of the Great Recession.

 

Lack of Sellers: In the face of massive home appreciation and excellent conditions that have favored sellers for years now, fewer homeowners are opting to sell.

In 2009, the midst of the Great Recession, a trend emerged. Fewer sellers were coming on the market. It made sense back then; homeowners watched their home equity evaporate overnight, so why would homeowners trip over themselves to sell in the middle of a tumultuous, deep buyer’s market? As a result, from 2009 through 2011, 22% fewer homes came on the market each year compared to 2000 through 2008.

In 2012, the housing market turned around, tipping in favor of sellers for the first time since 2006. Even though it was a seller’s market, the trend of fewer homeowners opting to place their homes on the market not only continued, it deepened. For the past six years, from 2012 through 2017, the number of homeowners coming on the market annually dropped from 22% fewer to an average of 31% fewer. To put it all in proper perspective, there were 1,500 more homes coming on the market every single month from 2000 through 2008. That is an additional 18,000 homes per year.

Today’s buyers would love to see more inventory. It is frustrating to be a buyer. With a lack of inventory and backed up demand, properly priced homes generate a parade of showings, open houses with buyers bumping into each other, and multiple offers (and in some cases, almost too many to count).

The lack of inventory is no longer a trend. After 9 years, it is a norm, a way of life in the trenches of real estate. A lack of inventory is not just a standard in Orange County; it is the new standard across Southern California, the entire state of California, and across the United States. People are no longer selling and moving like they did before.

Based upon 2017 closed sales, the turnover rate for the Orange County housing stock is once every 20 years. That is an improvement over 2016’s once every 21 years, 2015’s once every 23 years, and 2014’s once every 24 years. Although it may be slightly improving, once every 20 years is a long time to hold onto a home before opting to sell.

In 2017, the markets with the best rates were mainly newer areas, but there were a few exceptions. Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, Newport Coast, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Talega are all newer areas. More homeowners move between two to eight years of homeownership than any other number of years lived in a home. In newer areas, more homeowners fall within this parameter than in older, more established areas. Laguna Woods has enjoyed a higher turnover for years now and has been an exception on this list. Corona del Mar and Dove Canyon are two areas that are new to the list. Why they are at the top of the list is anybody’s guess. The top turnover rate in Orange County can be found in Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo, once every 11 years.

The lowest turnover rates can be found in more established, older cities: Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Seal Beach, Westminster, and La Palma. The lowest rate in Orange County was in La Palma where homeowners are moving once every 30 years.

Through surveys and in-depth studies, experts and statisticians have figured out many of the reasons there are not enough homes for sale. The biggest contributing factor is that baby boomers are staying put. They are not moving like many had originally anticipated. They have been slower than prior generations to sell the family home. Perhaps it is because baby boomers are living longer and are living a healthier lifestyle. The need to sell the family home is not as daunting right now, so they are happy to just age in place.

During the Great Recession and the recovery, millions of investors have converted family homes into rentals. With rising home values coupled with rising rents, holding onto these homes has proved to be a wise long-term investment. There is no incentive for them to sell anytime soon.

In addition, homeowners have cashed in on lower mortgage rates through purchase and refinance loans. Many are locked into 30-year fixed rates well below 4%. As interest rates rise, homeowners will elect to stay put and continue to enjoy their lower interest rates.

Finally, new homebuilders are ignoring the entry-level buyer. Builders used to cater to the entry-level buyer and the luxury end was the exception. Today, it is the other way around. Seemingly, everything is now tilting towards the luxury buyer. Without new affordable housing, the residential resale entry level has been squeezed. As a result, the lower end resale market has been on fire for years now and has appreciated dramatically, propping up the rest of the market.

Buyers in today’s market need to understand that the lack of supply is not a trend; it is the new norm. To be successful, buyers must realistically approach the market with a solid game plan, a game plan that includes patience, a very sharp pencil, and the ability to proceed quickly.

Active Inventory: The active inventory continues to climb.

In spite of massive, unbridled demand, the active inventory continues to rise, climbing an additional 5%, 197 homes, in the past two weeks, and now sits at 4,178. At this point, it appears as if the active inventory is trending towards surpassing last year’s incredibly low annual height of 6,000 homes. It has actually been increasing at a faster clip to start 2018 compared to last year.

Last year at this time, there were 4,460 homes on the market, 7% more than today. The year over year difference has slowly been diminishing.

Demand:  Demand increased by 7% in the past two weeks.

Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, has increased by 155 pending sales over the past couple of weeks and now totals 2,441, its highest level since September of last year. Demand will continue to rapidly increase from now through April and will peak sometime between April and May.

Last year at this time, demand was at 2,651 pending sales, 210 more than today, or 9%. The number of pending sales has dropped this year because of a serious lack of inventory of homes priced below $750,000. Fewer opportunities in the lower ranges have seriously undermined potential demand. Hopefully, this phenomenon will diminish as more homes enter the fray during the Spring Market.

The expected market time, the amount of time it would take for a home that comes onto the market today to be placed into escrow, decreased from 52 to 51 days in the past two weeks, a hot, seller’s market.

Luxury End:  Both luxury demand and the luxury inventory increased by 5% in the past couple of weeks. 

In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1.25 million increased from 336 to 354 pending sales, up 5%. The luxury home inventory increased from 1,540 homes to 1,629, up 5% as well. Expect both demand and the inventory to rise throughout the Spring Market. The current expected market time for all homes priced above $1.25 million remained at 138 days over the past two-weeks.

For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time decreased from 81 to 79 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 122 to 115 days. For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 163 days to 167. In addition, for homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased substantially from 349 to 515 days. At 515 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home into escrow around the end of July 2019.

 

Orange County Housing Market Summary:

  • The active listing inventory increased by 197 homes in the past two weeks, up 5%, and now totals 4,178. Expect the inventory to increase from now through mid-Summer. Last year, there were 4,460 homes on the market, 282 more than today.
  • There are 26% fewer homes on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year at this time and demand is down by 12%. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly disappearing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased in the past two-weeks by 155 pending sells, up 7%. The average pending price is $876,310.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $1.8 million over the past two weeks. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 31 days. This range represents 35% of the active inventory and 58% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 43 days, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). This range represents 17% of the active inventory and 21% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 63 days, a slight seller’s market (between 60 and 90 days).
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time dropped from 81 days to 79. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 122 to 115 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 163 days to 167 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time dramatically increased from 349 to 515 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 39% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County dropped from 52 days to 51 in the past two weeks, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). From here, we can expect the market time to drop a little bit more by the end of the month.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 1% of all listings and 2% of demand. There are only 18 foreclosures and 22 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 40 total distressed homes on the active market, rising by only one in the past two weeks. That’s right after reaching its lowest level since the very beginning of the Great Recession. Last year there were 85 total distressed sales, 113% more than today.
  • There were 1,800 closed residential resales in January, down by 9% from January 2017’s 1,904 closed sales. January marked a 21% drop from December 2017. The sales to list price ratio was 97.6% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 1.1% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 0.8%. That means that 98.1% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange County Housing Report February 13th, 2018

Orange County Housing Report:
“The Spring Market Has Arrived”

Orange County Housing Report February 13th, 2018

With demand exploding onto the scene, it is officially the
best season to sell a home.

 

Spring Market: The activity below $1 million is nothing short of CRAZY!!

In Southern California, it is hard to tell the seasons apart. You have to look up at the trees to see if there are leaves or not. The time of the sunset is another dead giveaway. Are there flowers yet?

Similarly, there are signs that the housing market has officially changed. There is a steady stream of buyers at open houses for all homes priced below $1.25 million. Sellers are entertaining multiple offers within days of coming on the market. Buyers are writing offers before even seeing the home. That’s right; the crazy Spring Market has arrived.

Many are scratching their heads knowing that the first day of spring is not until March 20th. That is when the days are longer, the flowers are blooming, and trees are sprouting their new leaves. However, the Spring Market in Southern California actually starts in February and runs all the way through the end of May. The expected market time, the amount of time it would take to place a home onto the market and then into escrow dips to its lowest level of the year. Orange County housing is already moving at a feverish pitch.

This year will be similar to 2017 when the expected market time dipped below 60-days, considered a hot, seller’s market, throughout the entire Spring Market. Spring 2018 is going to be hot. Buyers will be faced with tremendous competition to buy, and sellers will be running the table.

The market is very hot for attached homes, currently running at 41 days. It is a hot, seller’s market for all attached homes priced below $1 million. The hottest range is condominiums priced between $250,000 and $750,000. That range represents 82% of all attached home demand.

Take a look at the velocity of the market already. For detached homes, the expected market time dipped below 60-days for the first time since the start of April 2017. It is less than a month, 29-days, for homes priced below $500,000. For homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000, it is a 31-day market. It is a hot market for homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million with a 39-day expected market time. From $1 million to $1.25 million, it too is below the 60-day threshold at 51-days. From $1.25 million to $1.5 million, it is still considered a seller’s market, just not a mad rush like the lower ranges.

For detached homes priced above $1.5 million and attached homes priced above $1 million, the market does not lean in the seller’s favor. As prices rise, sellers are faced with a much slower market. They represent 31% of the inventory and only 9% of demand.

For the rest of the market, we are back to bidding wars. When a home procures 15 offers, there is only one winner. The other 14 buyers need to go back to the drawing board and start the process all over again. It is extremely frustrating being a buyer in today’s market. After losing out on one or two homes, most buyers sharpen their pencils and are prepared to write very strong offers in their attempt to secure a home, maybe even stretch the offered price a bit. That is how buyers have been approaching the hot Spring Market selling season since 2012.

Warning to Buyers: regardless of rising interest rates and the volatility of Wall Street, the market is not going to change anytime soon and tilt in the buyer’s favor. The trends are lined up in favor of sellers with tremendous demand and a very low supply of homes to purchase.

Warning to Sellers: pricing very close to the most recent comparable pending and closed sales is fundamental in order to find success. The active inventory has already started to increase despite red-hot demand. This is due primarily to the fact that many sellers cannot help themselves. They ignore the comparable data and reach for the moon, overpricing their homes and sitting on the market without success.

 

Active Inventory: The active inventory increased by 5% in the past couple of weeks.

The active listing inventory added an additional 207 homes in the past two-weeks, a 5% increase, and now sits at 3,981. The inventory will cross the 4,000 home threshold this week and will continue its climb through the summer. The inventory is actually increasing at a faster clip than last year at this time. Moreover, it is occurring at a time when demand is hot. It is too early to tell if this trend will continue, enabling the inventory to surpass last year’s heights.

Last year at this time, there were 4,448 homes on the market, 12% more than today. The year over year difference has slowly been diminishing.

 

Demand:  Demand increased by 58% in the past month.

Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, has exploded onto the scene and increased by 839 pending sales over the past 4-weeks and now totals 2,286, its highest level since November. Demand will continue to rapidly increase from now through April and will peak sometime between April and May.

Last year at this time, demand was at 2,430 pending sales, 117 more than today, or 5%. This is primarily due to fewer homes on the active listing market since the start of the year. As more homes come enter the fray during the Spring Market, demand will achieve similar levels compared to 2017.

The expected market time, the amount of time it would take for a home that comes onto the market today to be placed into escrow, decreased from 64 to 52 days in the past two weeks, a hot, seller’s market.

Luxury End:  Luxury demand dramatically increased in the past two weeks. 

In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1.25 million increased from 241 to 336 pending sales, up an incredible 39%. The luxury home inventory increased from 1,429 homes to 1,540, an 8% rise in the past two-weeks. Expect both demand and the inventory to rise throughout the Spring Market. The current expected market time for all homes priced above $1.25 million plunged from 178 days to 138. The luxury range is heating up, but nothing like the lower ranges with an expected market time of just 36 days for homes below $1 million.

For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time dropped from 112 to 81 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 145 to 122 days. For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 221 days to 163. In addition, for homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time dipped from 355 to 349 days. At 349 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home into escrow around the end of January 2019.

 

 Orange County Housing Market Summary:

  • The active listing inventory increased by 207 homes in the past two weeks, up 5%, and now totals 3,981. Expect the inventory to increase from now through mid-Summer. Last year, there were 4,448 homes on the market, 467 more than today.
  • There are 29% fewer homes on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year at this time and demand is down by 20%. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly disappearing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, skyrocketed in the past two weeks by adding an additional 522 pending sells, up 30%. The average pending price is $909,074.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $1.8 million over the past two weeks. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 33 days. This range represents 36% of the active inventory and 57% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 43 days, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). This range represents 17% of the active inventory and 21% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 54 days, a hot seller’s market.
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time dropped from 112 days to 81. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 145 to 122 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 221 days to 163 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time fell from 355 to 349 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 39% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County dropped from 64 days to 52 in the past two weeks, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). From here, we can expect the market time to drop a little bit more by the end of the month.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 1% of all listings and 2.3% of demand. There are only 16 foreclosures and 23 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 39 total distressed homes on the active market, dropping by 8 in the past two weeks and reaching its lowest level since the very beginning of the Great Recession. Last year there were 103 total distressed sales, 164% more than today.
  • There were 1,799 closed residential resales in January, down by 9% from January 2017’s 1,904 closed sales. January marked a 21% drop from December 2017. The sales to list price ratio was 97.6% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 1.1% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 0.8%. That means that 98.1% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange County Housing Report January 31st, 2018

Orange County Housing Report:
“On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!!!”

Orange County Housing Report January 31st, 2018

With the holidays behind us, the 2018 Orange County housing market is beginning to rev its engine.

 

Heating Up Fast: With a low housing supply and fierce demand, the housing market is accelerating fast.

In the blink of an eye, Starbucks holiday cups are gone, all of the ornaments are tucked away, and most of those good intentioned New Year’s resolutions have fallen victim to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Emerging from the fog of all of the holiday distractions are buyers eager and ready to purchase their next home.

In just two weeks, demand has increased 22% while supply has only increased 2%. To understand why the market is changing so rapidly, let’s dust off that old Econ 101 book that details supply and demand. When there is a lot of supply and very little demand, prices fall, which favors buyers. When there is very little supply and tremendous demand, prices rise, which favors sellers. Since 2012, the supply of homes on the market has been severely constrained and demand, propped up by historically low-interest rates, has been through the roof.

When the supply of homes is low and demand to buy a piece of the “American Dream” is high, the expected market time falls. That is precisely what is occurring right now. During the Holiday Market, the supply of homes was low and so was demand. Buyers were distracted by the holidays and diverted their attention away from housing. Now that the holidays are in the rearview mirror, the supply of homes has remained at chronically low levels, while demand is rapidly rising. As a result, the expected market time, the amount of time it would take from placing a home on the market to opening escrow, is falling like a rock.

 

 

In just two weeks, the expected market time for all price ranges combined dropped from 77 days to 64, knocking on the door of an extremely hot seller’s market. For homes priced below $1 million, the market is already hot and will only grow hotter. The higher price ranges will also heat up, but will not sizzle like the lower ranges. Above $1.5 million, the market will improve but will be a lot more sluggish.

The housing market is forging its way to the absolute best time to sell, from about mid-February through mid-May. That is when the expected market time drops to its lowest levels of the year. Homes will fly off the market at the fastest annual rate. From mid-May through June, a deluge of sellers enter the fray, exceeding the number of pending sales, and the expected market time actually rises. Going back to “supply and demand,” demand remains steady and strong while the supply of homes on the market increases. As a result, the expected market time rises. It is still a great time to sell, just not as hot as earlier in the year. From July through the remainder of 2018, the expected market time will remain elevated.

It is extremely important to note that placing a home on the market during the hottest time of the year does not guarantee success. It is still all about price. When sellers price their homes too aggressively, they sit on the market and do not entertain offers to purchase. A stunning 25% of all homes that have been placed into escrow so far this year had to reduce their asking price at least once. When the market is hot, carefully pricing a home close to its Fair Market Value is the absolute best way to approach the market. This can be accomplished by diligently analyzing recent comparable pending and closed sales and not giving too much weight to active listings. A realistic price will attract multiple offers to purchase and, often times, will allow a seller to fetch a sales price at or higher than the active listing price.

The market is not titling in favor of buyers and will not anytime soon. Buyers should approach the market with a ton of patience and the mindset that they will eventually persevere. It may take writing offers on 10 different homes, but in the end will be worth it. Interest rates are still at historically low rates, but this gift will not last forever. Waiting is not the answer.

 

Active Inventory: The active inventory increased by only 67 homes in the past couple of weeks.

The active listing inventory added an additional 67 homes in the past two-weeks, a 2% increase, and now sits at 3,774. The biggest issue for Orange County housing this year has been a real lack of inventory. Thus far in 2018, there have been 6% fewer homes placed on the market. This issue has prevented additional closed sales and has been undermining the true potential for housing. If there were more homes for sale, there would be more pending and closed sales.

We can expect the inventory to continue to rise from now through mid-summer until it reaches a peak somewhere between mid-July and mid-August. The velocity of homes coming on the market will pick up steam in mid-March as the active inventory climbs at is highest rate of the year.

Last year at this time, there were 4,320 homes on the market, 14% more than today.

 

Demand:  Demand increased by 22% in the past couple of weeks.

Buyers are extremely eager to purchase, yet are faced with a very anemic inventory. Buyers are gobbling up inventory nearly as fast as homes are placed onto the market. As a result, in the past two weeks, demand, the number of new escrows over the prior month, increased by 317 pending sales, or 22%, and now totals 1,764. That’s the largest gain since the start of February of last year. The housing market is only revving the engine at this point. Expect demand to continue to accelerate from here until it peaks sometime in May.

 

 

Last year at this time, demand was at 1,930 pending sales, 166 more than today, or 9%. This is primarily due to fewer homes coming on the market. There simply are not enough choices.

The expected market time, the amount of time it would take for a home that comes onto the market today to be placed into escrow, decreased from 77 to 64 days in the past two weeks, a seller’s market with mild appreciation.

 

Luxury End:  Luxury demand has thawed and dramatically improved in just two weeks. 

In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1.25 million increased from 170 to 241 pending sales, up a staggering 42%. The luxury home inventory increased from 1,376 homes to 1,429, a 4% rise in the past two-weeks. Expect both demand and the inventory to rise from now through the Spring Market. The current expected market time for all homes priced above $1.25 million plunged from 243 days to 178.

For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time dropped from 157 to 112 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 188 to 145 days. For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 285 days to 221 days. In addition, for homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time dipped from 695 to 355 days. At 355 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home into escrow around January 2019.

 

 

Orange County Housing Market Summary:

  • The active listing inventory increased by 67 homes in the past two weeks and now totals 3,774. Expect the inventory to increase from now through mid-Summer. Last year, there were 4,320 homes on the market, 546 more than today.
  • There are 25% fewer homes on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year at this time and demand is down by 28%. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly disappearing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, skyrocketed in the past two weeks by adding an additional 317 pending sells, up 22%. The average pending price is $902,385.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $1.8 million over the past two weeks. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 40 days. This range represents 37% of the active inventory and 59% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 55 days, a hot seller’s market (fewer than 60 days). This range represents 17% of the active inventory and 20% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 68 days, a slight seller’s market (between 60 and 90 days).
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time dropped from 157 days to 112. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 188 to 145 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 285 days to 221 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time fell from 695 to 355 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 37% of the inventory and only 13% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County dropped from 77 days to 64 in the past two weeks, a slight seller’s market (60 to 90 days). From here, we can expect the market time to drop dramatically through mid-February.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 1.2% of all listings and 2.2% of demand. There are only 15 foreclosures and 32 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 47 total distressed homes on the active market, dropping by 3 in the past two weeks and reaching its lowest level since the very beginning of the Great Recession. Last year there were 91 total distressed sales, 74% more than today.
  • There were 2,269 closed residential resales in December, down by 9% from December 2016’s 2,484 closed sales. December marked a 6.5% drop from November 2017. The sales to list price ratio was 97.3% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.8% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 0.9%. That means that 98.3% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange County Housing Report January 31st, 2018

Orange County Housing Report September 13th, 2017

Orange County Housing Report: Home Supply Slicing Into Sales

The lack of homes for sale in Orange County has hit pending sales activity.

Orange County Housing Report September 13th, 2017

Supply Cuts Pending Sales: The number of pending sales over the past month dropped by 7% due to a supply of homes that are now dropping as well.
Homeowners have been behaving differently ever since the Great Recession began a decade ago. A trend evolved and it has not changed since 2008. That trend is a drought of homeowners opting to sell their homes. In fact, this year it has been even more pronounced.

The number of homes placed on the market this year is the second lowest level this century behind 2012. The lack of homes FOR SALE back then was understandable as home values were only starting to rise and many homeowners were upside down in their homes, owing more than their homes were worth. Flash forward five years later to today and home values have appreciated substantially (the median value of a resale home has increased by more than 60%). Even with the extra equity, homeowners are opting to stay put and are not moving. The trend continues.

This year, there have been 7% fewer homes that have come on the market compared to last year, 2,055 fewer to be exact. For perspective, there have been 18,000 fewer FOR SALE signs this year compared to 2004. This lack of inventory has hurt the true potential for closed sales. With interest rates below 4%, buyers have been chomping at the bit to purchase; yet, they face stiff competition due to a lack of supply.

Today there are 20% fewer choices on the market compared to last year, 5,639 versus 7,040. As a result, the number of pending sales over the prior month (how Reports On Housing gauges demand), dropped in the past couple of weeks by 7%, with 201 fewer pending sales, now totaling 2,624. Today’s demand is 3% off of last year’s 2,719. The lack of supply is truly cutting into the number of pending sales and has undercut demand.

 



True demand, buyers ready, willing and able to buy today, is much higher than the pending sales count is showing simply because of not enough choices. There are insufficient homes FOR SALE in the lower ranges, homes priced below $750,000. This range accounts for 39% of the inventory and 60% of demand. If there were more homes available within this range, the number of pending sales, and ultimately closed sales would skyrocket. This price range is underserved as fewer and fewer homeowners are electing to sell. There are 41% fewer active listings available today below $500,000 compared to last year, and the expected market time (the amount of time it will take a home placed on the market today to open escrow) is a blistering hot 36 days. There are 22% fewer homes available between $500,000 and $750,000, and the expected market time is a hot 46 days. These hot markets are a direct result of a skimpy supply all year long.

There are 25% fewer homes on the market between $750,000 to $1 million, yet the expected market time is at 56 days, not as hot as the lower price ranges. Even though there are fewer choices for buyers, sellers better are priced on the money or they won’t be successful. For homes priced above $1 million, there may be slightly fewer homes on the market compared to last year; however, the expected market time runs from 93 days ($1 million to $1.25 million) to 460 days ($4 million and up). These sellers not only need to be priced precisely on target, they must pack their patience as well.

The bottom line: the Orange County housing market could use more homes on the market, especially in the lower ranges. This lack of inventory has diminished the number of pending and closed sales and has prevented local housing from reaching its full potential.

Active Inventory: The active inventory dropped by 4% over the past couple of weeks.
The active listing inventory shed 223 homes in the past two weeks and now sits at 5,639. It is the lowest level for this time of the year since 2012. The active inventory is falling as expected now that the Autumn Market is here. It will continue to trend down through the remainder of the year, picking up steam after Thanksgiving, the start of the Holiday/Winter Market.

Last year at this time, there were 7,040 homes on the market, 1,401 additional homes or 25% more than today.

Demand:  Demand decreased by 7% in the past couple of weeks.
Demand, the number of homes placed into escrow within the prior month, decreased by 201 pending sales, or 7%, in the past two-weeks and now totals 2,624. The drop is primarily due to a lack of available choices in the lower ranges below $750,000. For homes priced above $750,000, with the only exception being homes between $1.5 million to $2 million, demand is actually up year over year. There have also been slightly more homes placed on the market year over year for these higher price ranges.

Last year at this time, demand was at 2,719 pending sales, 95 more than today.

Luxury End:  Luxury demand plunged by 7% in the past couple of weeks and the inventory dropped by 1%.
In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1.25 million decreased from 385 to 358 pending sales, a 7% drop. The luxury home inventory decreased from 2,002 homes to 1,979, a 1% drop. As a result, the expected market time for all homes priced above $1.25 million increased from 156 days to 166 days. The luxury inventory and demand will continue to drop through the end of the year

For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time decreased from 98 to 90 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time increased from 134 to 171 days. For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 185 days to 198 days. In addition, for homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 462 to 460 days. At 460 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home into escrow around the mid-December 2018.

Orange County Housing Market Summary:

  • The active listing inventory decreased by 223 homes in the past couple of weeks and now totals 5,639. The trend is down for the remainder of the year. Last year, there were 7,040 homes on the market, 1,401 more than today.
  • There are 41% fewer homes on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year at this time and demand is down by 21%. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly disappearing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 201 homes in the past couple of weeks, down 7%, and now totals 2,624. The average pending price is $860,101.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County increased from $1.6 million to $1.7 million. This number is high due to the mix of homes in the luxury ranges that sit on the market and do not move as quickly as the lower end.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 42 days. This range represents 39% of the active inventory and 60% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 56 days, a hot seller’s market (less than 60 days). This range represents 18% of the active inventory and 20% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 93 days, a balanced market that does not favor a buyer or seller.
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time decreased from 98 days to 93. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time increased substantially from 134 to 171 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 185 days to 198 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 462 to 460 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 34% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County increased in the past couple of weeks from 61 days to 62 days, a tepid seller’s market (60 to 90 days). From here, we can expect the market time to slowly rise as housing makes its way through the Autumn Market.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 1.5% of all listings and 2.4% of demand. There are only 33 foreclosures and 54 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 87 total distressed homes on the active market, increasing by 5 in the past two weeks. Last year there were 125 total distressed sales, 44% more than today.
  • There were 3,110 closed sales in August, a 12% increase over July 2017 and a 1.3% increase over August 2016. The sales to list price ratio was 98.1% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.8% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 0.7%. That means that 98.5% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned equity sellers.