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!