Thursday, October 3, 2019

Opportunity is Knocking for Buyers of Luxury!


When you read headlines like "Luxury is slow?" Does that get you excited?  If you are a selling a luxury home probably not, but if you are looking to move up to that dream home it should! 





Looking at the overall luxury market in the OC, we find an Expected Market Time for all homes above $1.25 million of 213 days, what this tells us is luxury is simply sluggish.  There is no line at the deli counter. You walk in to your favorite restaurant and get seated right away. At the grocery store, all the check stands are open yet not a soul is checking out. It is sunny with no rain in the forecast, but when you pull up to get the car washed there is no wait. That just about sums up the luxury housing market, there are simply not enough buyers compared to the number of sellers; demand is low. There is no line of buyers waiting for yet another luxury home to come on the market. 

Yahoo Finance exclaims how the “Housing market bounces back.” CNBC touts how “Existing home sales at their fastest pace since March 2018.” The Los Angeles Times reports that “Southern California home sales and prices perked up in July.” It is understandable how luxury homeowners who list their homes have high expectations. The trouble is that none of these headlines applies to the luxury market. 

The headlines can be confusing. They seem to paint a strong housing market. They are NOT reporting on the luxury market; headlines describe the overall market. For homes priced below $1 million, Orange County real estate is much hotter and quite the contradiction compared to the upper end. 

Luxury housing is sluggish. Weekend open houses are not flooded with potential buyers. Multiple offers are extremely rare. It is not uncommon to go a week, or even weeks, without a single buyer touring a luxury home. There is very little buyer competition.

This means there is a HUGE opportunity for Buyers who are looking to step up into the Luxury Market right now!   

Search Orange County Luxury Homes


Overall inventory of homes in Orange County is down from the same time period of last year, providing the move up seller the opportunity to sell in a slight sellers market and buy in the luxury buyers market.   

Below is a snapshot of the overall market.. 

The active listing inventory decreased by 137 homes in the past two-weeks, down 2%, and now totals 6,860. Last year, there were 7,207 homes on the market, 347 more than today. 
Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, downshifted considerably in the past two-weeks and decreased by 127 pending sales, down 5%, and now totals 2,401. Last year, there were 2,167 pending sales, 10% fewer than today. 
The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County remained increased from 83 to 86 days, a slight Seller’s Market (between 60 to 90 days). It was at 100 days last year, a much slower market.
For homes priced below $750,000, the market is a hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days) with an expected market time of 57 days. This range represents 38% of the active inventory and 56% of demand.
For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 72 days, a slight Seller’s Market. This range represents 19% of the active inventory and 22% of demand.
For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 108 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 146 to 136 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 147 to 155 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 220 to 278 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 527 to 555 days. 
The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 34% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.8% of all listings and 1.5% of demand. There are only 24 foreclosures and 29 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 53 total distressed homes on the active market, up three in the past two-weeks. Last year there were 68 total distressed homes on the market, slightly more than today.
There were 2,823 closed residential resales in August, 0.6% more than August 2018’s 2,806 closed sales. August marked a 2% drop compared to July 2019. The sales to list price ratio was 97.2% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.2% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.3%. That means that 99.5% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

What's the Value of your Home


If you have always wanted to purchase that Luxury home maybe down at the Beach, or on Golf Course, we should chat.  Let's put a strategy together that will get your home sold at top dollar and provide you the opportunity to make that move up you always wanted to!! 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

It's getting hot out there!



With the end of summer distractions will their be a jump in OC real estate market this fall?


Check out our End of Summer Real Estate Recap!





Many buyers and sellers are holding out for a major shift in the market favoring their point of view, but housing is not changing anytime soon. 

There is an old saying, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." No matter how hard you wish it was something else, it is still a duck at the end of the day. 

Today’s housing market is a slight Seller’s Market. That is when homes are not appreciating much at all, but sellers get to call more of the shots during the negotiating process. For buyers and sellers, wishing that the market was different is a complete waste of time. 

Many buyers and sellers are holding out and hoping for a change in the market., but missing out on opportunities. Buyers want to see housing slow to a crawl like it did in the last four months of 2018 where, for a moment, they were in the driver’s seat. They would love to see prices come down, after all, aren’t values too high? 

Sellers expect the housing market to behave like it did from 2012 through 2017. Boy those were HOT years!! They should once again be able to stretch their housing price and get $15 or $20,000 more than the last sale with multiple offers within the first couple of weeks, right? 

This kind of thinking is stinking thinking. Neither are correct. What you see in the market today is ultimately what you are going to see for the rest of the year. More simply, it is what it is; what you see is what you get. Values are not going to grow much. The overall pace of housing is not going to change. Housing is going to move along at the same clip. Buyers think that the end of the year is the BEST time of the year to buy. Nope! What you see is what you get. Sellers think that the market is going to suddenly heat up.  Nope! What you see is what you get. 

OC Real Estate Snapshot:


The active listing inventory decreased by 181 homes in the past two-weeks, down 2%, and now totals 7,307. The inventory reached a peak for the year of 7,601 four-weeks ago. Last year, there were 7,001 homes on the market, 306 fewer than today, 4% less. Two years ago, there were 20% fewer homes on the market.
Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 81 pending sales in the past two-weeks, down 2%, and now totals 2,548. Last year, there were 2,350 pending sales, 8% fewer than today. Two years ago, demand was 11% stronger than today.
The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County remained unchanged at 86 days, a slight Seller’s Market (between 60 to 90 days). It was at 89 days last year.
For homes priced below $750,000, the market is a hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days) with an expected market time of 57 days. This range represents 38% of the active inventory and 57% of demand.

Find Available Laguna Niguel Homes under $750,000


For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 74 days, a slight Seller’s Market. This range represents 19% of the active inventory and 22% of demand.
For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 117 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 increased from 130 to 149 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 244 to 162 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 280 to 249 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 404 to 509 days. 
The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 34% of the inventory and only 13% of demand.
Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.7% of all listings and 1.4% of demand. There are only 20 foreclosures and 32 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 52 total distressed homes on the active market, down five in the past two-weeks. Last year there were 58 total distressed homes on the market, slightly more than today.
There were 2,871 closed residential resales in July, 5% more than July 2018’s 2,734 closed sales. July marked a 6% increase compared to June 2019. The sales to list price ratio was 98.3% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.5% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.24%. That means that 99.3% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

To read the entire OC Market Report - Click Here

What's the Value of your Laguna Niguel Home?


What do you think is happening in the OC real estate market?  Are you waiting but not sure if you should?  We are certain you have many questions.  The answers are completely different depending on your needs.   Example, homes priced under $750,000 are in high demand.  If your home is valued in this range and you are thinking about a move up, with the high demand and low interest rates this is an exceptional time to list your home.  Don't hesitate to give me a call to review the market in your neighborhood along with your goals.  We promise to provide you an objective point of view on what is happening in the market and if it matches your goals.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Can't make heads or tails of the OC Real Estate Market?

Have you heard there is a slowdown in the real estate market?  We bet you have! Have you also heard how busy the market is? We bet you have as well. Can you make heads or tails of what is really going on with the OC real estate market? 





Frankly, it is pretty simple; Buyer demand may not be as hot as prior years, but the Housing market is not collapsing either. There are no surprises on the housing front anytime soon. Reports from the housing trenches are that many buyers expect the market to drop like a rock and that is when they will finally be able to purchase. That simply is not on the horizon. Sitting back and waiting on the sidelines will prove to be a waste of time and depending on the price point you are looking at could prove to cost you money!

Below is a summary of the overall OC Real Estate Market:

The active listing inventory decreased by 113 homes in the past two-weeks, down 1%, and now totals 7,488. The inventory most likely reached a peak for the year of 7,601 two weeks ago. Last year, there were 6,893 homes on the market, 595 fewer than today. There are 9% more homes than last year.
Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased by 101 pending sales in the past two-weeks, up 4%, and now totals 2,606. Last year, there were 2,394 pending sales, 9% fewer than today.
The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County decreased from 91 days two weeks ago to 86 days today, a slight Seller’s Market (between 60 to 90 days). It was at 86 days last year.
For homes priced below $750,000, the market is a hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days) with an expected market time of 58 days. This range represents 38% of the active inventory and 56% of demand.

Search OC Homes under $750,000


For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 70 days, a slight Seller’s Market. This range represents 19% of the active inventory and 24% of demand.
For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 109 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 147 to 130 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 240 to 244 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 288 to 280 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 500 to 404 days. 
The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 34% of the inventory and only 13% of demand.
Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.8% of all listings and 1.4% of demand. There are only 20 foreclosures and 37 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 57 total distressed homes on the active market, up one in the past two-weeks. Last year there were 88 total distressed homes on the market, slightly more than today.
There were 2,871 closed residential resales in July, 5% more than July 2018’s 2,734 closed sales. July marked a 6% increase compared to June 2019. The sales to list price ratio was 98.3% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.5% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.24%. That means that 99.3% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

For a full copy of this report, click here!

If you are wondering if now is the time to buy, move up and/or sale, it really depends on what is happening in your life.  The message really should be that the OC real estate market is very stable, right now.  There has been an increase in homes and along with reduction in interest rates, this truly may be the best market to make a move we have had in years!  Don't hesitate to give me a call to review your goals and I am happy to review with you a hyper-local strategy that will ensure your goals are met.




Wednesday, July 17, 2019

OC Summary Real Estate Snaphot



Is the OC real estate market Hot or Not this July?







There are some mountain roads that are extremely steep. In trying to ascend it behind the wheel of a car, often the pedal is all the way to the floorboard. The engine revs loudly and the car sluggishly makes its way to the top. You want your car to zoom up the mountain, but it’s out of your control. It takes time.

Similarly, the housing market has been moving along sluggishly since the spring of last year. After hearing how slow the market had become in 2018, many homeowners eagerly waited for 2019’s Spring Market. Yet, muted demand was not just a blip on the housing radar screen in 2018. Instead, sluggish demand had been a trend that continued to this day.

There are many experts and plenty of media reports that are beginning to talk about a robust second half to 2019. They point to the tremendous drop in interest rates as a catalyst to a sharp increase in buyer demand. Their thinking is that rates have dropped more than a full percentage point since last November, which has improved affordability dramatically. They are correct; affordability has improved considerably. The payment for a $650,000 mortgage has dropped from $3,489 per month at 5% back in November, to $3,103 per month at 4% today. That’s a savings of $386 per month or $4,632 per year.

The underlying issue is that mortgage rates have been much lower than last year, after dropping considerably in March, but they have not changed the number of pending deals at all. 

The moral to the real estate trend story is that despite the incredible improvement in affordability due to low mortgage rates, buyer demand remains muted. Lower rates are not igniting a run-up in demand. Instead, there is an underlying theme that nobody is talking about. Homes appreciated handsomely from 2012 through the first couple of months of 2018, rising over 70%. That rise has brought housing to a point where many can no longer afford to purchase, and are sitting on the sidelines. 

Homes sell everyday in Orange County, but the homes that are selling are the ones that are priced correctly on the front end. With the a balanced market, pricing  is absolutely crucial in order to find success, when you list your home! It is also the perfect move up market... 


Below is a summary of the OC real estate market!

The active listing inventory decreased by 39 homes in the past two weeks, down 1%, and now totals 7,561. In the month of June, 12% fewer homes came on the market compared to June 2018. Last year, there were 6,579 homes on the market, 982 fewer than today. There are 15% more homes than last year.
Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 87 pending sales in the past two-weeks, down 3%, and now totals 2,461. Last year, there were 2,454 pending sales, similar to today.
The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County increased from 89 days two weeks ago to 92 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 80 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 64 days. This range represents 39% of the active inventory and 55% of demand.
For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 79 days, a slight Seller’s Market. This range represents 19% of the active inventory and 22% of demand.
For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 98 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 increased from 137 to 143 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 192 to 189 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 250 to 262 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 667 to 518 days. 
The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 35% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.7% of all listings and 1.5% of demand. There are only 20 foreclosures and 35 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 55 total distressed homes on the active market, identical to the number two-weeks. Last year there were 64 total distressed homes on the market, slightly more than today.
There were 2,715 closed residential resales in June, 6% fewer than June 2018’s 2,879 closed sales. June marked a 7% drop from May 2019. 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 0.4%. That means that 99.1% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

For a complete copy of this report click here!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Summer Pricing Strategies That Will Get Your Home Sold


Accurately pricing a home initially to avoid price reductions is the most lucrative strategy and a Golden Opportunity!









Sellers who price their homes accurately and avoid price reductions sell their homes for more. This rule of them is true all year long, but during the summer months, it is almost critical.

When a home initially comes on the market, the price will determine whether or not a seller will be raising their arms in the air with delight as they successfully close escrow. Buyers today do not want to pay much more than the most recent closed sale. Prices are a lot stickier. The days of rapid appreciation are now in the rearview mirror. Overpriced homes sit without success. Throwing a price out there just to test the market is not a wise strategy. Instead, carefully and methodically pricing a home is vital to cashing in on the Golden Opportunity, the first few weeks after coming on the market.

It is very telling to look at the sales price to last list price ratio. This refers to the final list price prior to opening escrow. In Orange County, 68% of all closed sales in June did not reduce the asking price at all. The sales price to last list price ratio for these homes was 98.9%, meaning, on average, a home sold within 1.1% of the asking price. A home listed at $600,000 sold for $593,400. In addition, 20% of all closed sales reduced their asking prices between 1% and 4%. The sales to list price ratio for these homes was 97.8%. A home listed at $600,000 sold for $586,800. For homes that reduced their asking prices by 5% or more, 12% of closed sales in June, the sales to list price ratio was 96.6%. A home listed at $600,000 sold for $579,600. Everybody would agree that closing for $593,400 is a lot better than $579,600.

The data is staggering in looking at the sales price to original list price. This is the price when a home initially comes on the market prior to any price reductions. For homes that reduced the asking price between 1% to 4%, the sales to original list price ratio was 95.6%. A home that was listed originally for $614,000 had to reduce the asking price to $600,000 to find success. Homes that reduced the asking price by at least 5% had a sales to original list price ratio of 84.1%. A home that was originally listed at $659,000 had to reduce the asking price, often more than once, to $600,000 to find success.

Accurately pricing is critical in obtaining the highest and best sales price. Homes that do not have to reduce ultimately sell for more. The amount of market time increases substantially for those that must reduce. And, there are a lot of price reductions occurring every week right now. An eye-opening 11% of all active listings reduced their asking prices last week. 

What is so important about the initial few weeks after coming on the market that helps drive success? There are many buyers who have not yet isolated their home and they are literally waiting on the sidelines for something to come on the market that meets their criteria. Every time a home is fresh to the market, there is a flood of initial activity as potential buyers clamor to be one of the first to take a look. There is more activity in the initial two weeks in entering the fray than any other time when a home is marketed. With the Internet, this period is even more important. Most buyers subscribe to a service that allows them to search homes that are on the market. When a home is newly listed, buyers receive email notifications and they are at the top of the list of homes available that match the buyer’s criteria.

With all of the fanfare, it is not a coincidence that the initial listing period is extremely important. Cashing in on the excitement makes a lot of sense; however, many sellers do not understand the significance and waste this GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY. Yes, a seller can always reduce the asking price down the road to be more in line with a home’s Fair Market Value, but the reduction will not be met with the same enthusiasm as the initial first few weeks. There is not as much excitement surrounding a price reduction. When something is brand new to the market, that is exciting. When something has been exposed to the market for a while, it becomes a bit “shop worn” and loses some of its marketing luster. 

The bottom line for sellers: spend more time carefully arriving at the asking price, taking into consideration all the pluses and minuses in the home: condition, upgrades, and location. Having the right price to begin with will not only reduce market time, it will result in more activity and a higher sales price. 

Orange County Real Estate Summary

The active listing inventory increased by 107 homes in the past two weeks, up 1%, and now totals 7,600, the highest level since September 2014. Last year, there were 6,362 homes on the market, 1,238 fewer than today. There are 19% more homes than last year.
Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 113 pending sales in the past two-weeks, down 4%, and now totals 2,548. Last year, there were 2,604 pending sales, 2% more than today.
The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County increased from 84 days two weeks ago to 89 days today, a slight Seller’s Market (between 60 to 90 days) and the highest level for this time of the year since 2011. It was at 73 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 64 days. This range represents 39% of the active inventory and 55% of demand.
For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 74 days, a slight Seller’s Market. 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 86 days, a slight Seller’s Market.
For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, in the past two weeks, the Expected Market Time increased from 118 to 137 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 149 to 192 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 254 to 250 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 441 to 667 days.  Opportunities for Buyers at this level.

Search Orange County Luxury Homes


The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 34% of the inventory and only 14% of demand.
Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.7% of all listings and 1.4% of demand. There are only 22 foreclosures and 33 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 55 total distressed homes on the active market, up two the last two-weeks. Last year there were 58 total distressed homes on the market, nearly identical to today.
There were 2,929 closed residential resales in May, 2% more than May 2018’s 2,870 closed sales. April marked a 15% increase from April 2019. The sales to list price ratio was 97.6% 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.

For a full copy of this report, click here!

Are you thinking of a move and not sure how to look at the market in your neighborhood? Don't hesitate to give me a call direct to review.  When we look at the market and determine the best pricing strategy for your home, we are looking at it hyper locally.  As well if you are looking to buy, we take the same strategy to ensure the price you are purchasing the home at is not over valued. 



Monday, July 1, 2019

Orange County Events in July

Can you believe it, today is July 1st.  We are halfway through 2019.   As they say, time flies when you are having fun and July is set to have many fun activities around the county.  

Of course, each city does a wonderful job celebrating the 4th of July, but make sure to check out all the other events scheduled this month!


What are some of your favorite events in the county during summer?  Send us a message and we are happy to share with our readers.  

Search Orange County Homes


If you are thinking of selling your home this summer and not sure how you can fit in some fun and get your house ready, don't hesitate to give me a call direct. The Orange County real estate market is very strong and the perfect market to make a move up. With increase inventory and reduction of rates, now truly is the perfect time to make a move.

Monday, June 24, 2019

4th of July Events in Orange County



Ready to celebrate Freedom! There are amazing celebrations planned around Orange County. Take a peek below..


Orange County 4th of July Events by Realtor Chuck Harper


Don't worry, while you are out enjoying the holiday, we have your real estate needs covered!   The American Dream is alive and well in Orange County and a true aspect of why I love helping clients find their perfect home! Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have about the current real estate market.

If you would like this list sent directly to you, click here!