Saturday, March 2, 2019

Are OC Homeowners staying put?

Lack of Sellers continues to affect home buyers in Orange County, is the the effects of the Great Recession 10 years later? Fewer homeowners are opting to sell in spite of homes appreciating to record levels. 

Millions flock to the Hawaiian Islands to escape the grind of everyday life and bask in the tropical sun and warm waters. After relaxing for hours on the sand and swimming in the aqua blue surf, so many vacationers forget to reapply sunscreen. Upon returning to the hotel room, the inevitable has occurred. Looking in the mirror they confirm they have a lobster red sunburn from head to toe. Nearly everybody has experienced the pain of a deep sunburn. It is hard to sleep, hard to take showers, and hard to go back out in the sunshine again. The pain is a reminder to never forget to reapply sunscreen again. 

Similarly, homeowners across the nation watched the housing market take a pounding during the Great Recession as their equity vanished in a blink. Many lost their homes to short sales or foreclosures. Everybody either personally got stung by the correction or knew of somebody who did. As a result, a new trend emerged to avoid a lobster red burn in the future: homeowners stay in their homes a lot longer. There are far fewer homeowners who opt to sell every year. Even with record home values, the trend continues.  

Below is a summary of the Orange County Real Estate Market for March 2019:

The active listing inventory increased by 194 homes in the past two weeks, up 3%, and now totals 6,294. Last year, there were 4,178 homes on the market, 2,116 fewer than today. There are 51% more homes than last year.
In January, 2% fewer homes came on the market below $500,000 compared to 2018, and there were 19% fewer closed sales. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is continuing to vanish.
Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, continued its rapidly rise in the past two-weeks, climbing by 297 pending sales, up 17%, and now totals 2,088, its lowest level for this time of the year since 2008. Last year, there were 2,441 pending sales, 17% more than today.
The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County decreased from 102 days two weeks ago to 90 days today, a Balanced Market (between 90 to 120 days) and the highest level for this time of the year since 2011. It was at 51 days last year.
For homes priced below $750,000, the market is a slight Seller’s Market (between 60 and 90 days) with an expected market time of 72 days. This range represents 44% of the active inventory and 55% of demand.


For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 67 days, a slight Seller’s Market. This range represents 17% of the active inventory and 24% of demand.
For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 96 days, a Balanced Market.
For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, in the past two weeks, the expected market time decreased from 144 to 132 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 209 to 173 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 241 to 234 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 582 to 573 days. 
The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 31% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.


Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.9% of all listings and 1.3% of demand. There are only 21 foreclosures and 37 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 58 total distressed homes on the active market, down one from two-weeks ago. Last year there were 40 total distressed homes on the market, slightly less than today.
There were 1,461 closed residential resales in January, 19% fewer than January 2018’s 1,800 closed sales. January marked an 18% drop from December 2018. The sales to list price ratio was 96.7% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.8% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.6%. That means that 98.6% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

To read the entire OC market report, Click Here!

For our business 2019 has started off very busy when the first of the year is generally a bit quiet.  South Orange County, is in high demand with 2018, the markets with the best turnover rates were in South Orange County and along the coast. From the south, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo top the list once again with a turnover rate of once every 11 years.  Laguna Woods, Coto de Caza, San Juan Capistrano and Dove Canyon, all from the south, are all turning over faster than the rest of the county. Newport Coast and Corona del Mar, two of the most expensive zip codes in the county, also made the top eight list. 

If you are thinking of making a move in 2019, now is the time to capture the market before inventory increases.  It is a very short window to capture the best time to sell.  As the rule of supply goes, less supply and high demand equal a sellers market.   As demand will increase the closer we get to summer and most like tap out mid-july, now is the time list and get your home sold!  Don't hesitate to contact me direct for a quick review of the market in your neighborhood.

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