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Orange County Housing Market Summary August 2019

by Ashlie DuCros
  • The active listing inventory increased by 40 homes in the past two-weeks, up 0.5%, and now totals 7,601, the highest level for 2019. In the month of June, 11% fewer homes came on the market compared to June 2018. And, so far in July, it is down by 6%. Last year, there were 6,759 homes on the market, 842 fewer than today. There are 12% more homes than last year.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased by 44 pending sales in the past two-weeks, up 2%, and now totals 2,505. Last year, there were 2,393 pending sales, 4% fewer than today.
  • The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County decreased from 92 days two weeks ago to 91 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 85 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 62 days. This range represents 39% of the active inventory and 56% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 73 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 116 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 143 to 147 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 189 to 240 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 262 to 288 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 518 to 500 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 22 foreclosures and 34 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 56 total distressed homes on the active market, up one in the past two-weeks. Last year there were 59 total distressed homes on the market, nearly the same as 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.

Top 5 Trends in Housing Trends

by Ashlie DuCros

Top 5 Housing Trends: With five months of the year in the rearview mirror, there are crystal clear trends in 2019.

Everybody seems to have an opinion about the direction of the housing market. “Up!” “Down!” “The housing run has peaked!” “I’m going to wait for values to come crashing down.” In the end, there is way too much noise that is not rooted in facts, ignoring the data. It is time to step aside from the commotion and look at the trends that have surfaced in 2019.

Here’s a breakdown of the “Top 5” current Orange County housing trends:

1.There are a lot more homes on the market. In fact, this is the highest active inventory level since 2011. There are 7,479 homes that are currently FOR SALE. That is 27% more than last year, an additional 1,605 homes. At the start of the year, the difference was 2,204, so this trend is beginning to diminish. The big rumor is that there are a lot more homeowners opting to sell and flooding the market. The reality is that there are nearly the same number of sellers coming on the market year after year. In 2017, from January through May, 18,264 homes were placed on the market. In 2018 there were 18,199. And, there were 18,180 this year. No flood. Instead, fewer and fewer listings have been converted to sales due to muted demand. With less success, the active inventory has grown.

 2. Demand is muted compared to 2012 through the 2017. This trend emerged last year. In 2018, through May, demand (the number of new pending sales in the prior 30-days) was down by 13% compared to 2012 through 2017, the housing recovery. In 2019, it is down 20% compared to those same years. The muted demand has made it more challenging to sell. Homes are not appreciating like they used to. With values reaching record levels, the rise in incomes coupled with inflation has not been able to keep up with home prices. Also, many believe that the current seven-year housing run is reaching a peak and running out of steam. These factors are softening demand. Year over year, current demand looks a lot similar, off by only 19 pending sales, but keep in mind it was muted last year at this time. The trend of muted demand will continue for the remainder of the year.

 3.Muted demand has put a damper on closed sales. The number of closed sales is down 9% compared to last year and off by 12% compared to 2017. When there are fewer pending sales, that translates to fewer successful closed sales. For the rest of the year, expect reports of year over year closed sales to be almost identical. Keep in mind, closed sales last year were muted compared to prior years as well. From May through December in 2018, closed sales were down by 12% compared to 2017.

4.Home appreciation is now flat, so careful pricing is crucial. With a higher active inventory, coupled with muted demand, the Expected Market Time has increased substantially. Currently, it is at 85 days, a slight Seller’s Market. Unlike 2012 through 2018, housing did not enjoy a HOT Seller’s Market. It only evolved to a slight Seller’s Market, one where sellers get to call more of the shots, but homes are not appreciating much at all. Expect this trend to continue through the remainder of the year. As demand remains flat through the summer, more homes will be placed on the market and housing will evolve to a Balanced Market, one that does not favor buyers or sellers. There will be fewer multiple offer situations and homes will take an even longer time to sell. 

5.Interest rates have dropped dramatically over the past 6 months, improving affordability substantially, but not fueling much of a bump in demand. After nearly reaching 5% back in November, mortgage rates have dropped to 4%. They have not been this low since January 2018, right before they began to spike. This has increased affordability greatly. For a $750,000 mortgage, the monthly payment difference between 4% and 5% is $445. That is an annual savings of $5,340, or $26,700 in five-years. The drop in mortgage rates saved housing from slipping into a deep funk like September through December of 2018, but is has not moved the needle much in terms of increased demand. Even with the return of historically low interest rates, demand remains muted. With the Spring Market in the past, there are only a couple of great months left in the meatiest time of the year to sell. Once the market rolls into August, housing will start to transition to the Autumn Market where demand falls along with the active inventory. ( Steve Thomas- Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences)

For more information, please contact us. 

Orange County Housing Market Summary Jan 2018

by Ashlie DuCros

Orange County Housing Market Summary:

 

  • The active listing inventory increased by 310 homes since the start of the New Year and now totals 3,707. Expect the inventory to increase from now through mid-Summer. Last year, there were 4,376 homes on the market, 669 more than today.
  • There are 31% 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, plunged by 158 in the past couple of weeks, down 10%, and now totals 1,447, most likely its lowest point of the year. The average pending price is $839,613.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County decreased to $1.8 million after reaching a record $1.9 million two weeks ago. 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 46 days. This range represents 38% of the active inventory and 62% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 67 days, a slight seller’s market (between 60 and 90 days). This range represents 17% of the active inventory and 19% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 101 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 increased from 123 days to 157. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 196 to 188 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 266 days to 285 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased from 667 to 695 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 36% of the inventory and only 12% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County increased from 67 days to 77 in the past two weeks, a tepid seller’s market (60 to 90 days). From here, we can expect the market time drop dramatically by the end of this month.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 1.3% of all listings and 2.7% of demand. There are only 17 foreclosures and 33 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 50 total distressed homes on the active market, dropping by 11 in the past two weeks and reaching its lowest level since the very beginning of the Great Recession. Last year there were 112 total distressed sales, 124% 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.

​​For more information, please contact us at 714-743-9778, or email ashlie@ashlieducros.com

Orange County Housing Market - Novemeber 2017

by Ashlie DuCros

Here is the Summary of Orange County Housing market

The active listing inventory decreased by 337 homes in the past couple of weeks, the largest drop of the year, and now totals 4,878. The trend is down for the remainder of the year. Last year, there were 5,955 homes on the market, 1,077 more than today.

  • There are 36% fewer homes on the market below $500,000 today compared to last year at this time and demand is down by 16%. 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 by 16 homes in the past couple of weeks, up 1%, and now totals 2,409. The average pending price is $879,146.
  • The average list price for all of Orange County remained at $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 40 days. This range represents 40% of the active inventory and 61% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 51 days, a hot seller’s market (less 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 85 days, an extremely slight seller’s market with very slow appreciation.
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time decreased from 111 days to 100. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 173 to 154 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time decreased from 218 days to 164 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased from 326 to 424 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 35% of the inventory and only 13% of demand.
  • The expected market time for all homes in Orange County decreased in the past couple of weeks from 65 days to 61 days, a tepid seller’s market (60 to 90 days). From here, we can expect the market time to remain relatively flat, rising slightly by year’s end.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, make up only 1.2% of all listings and 2.3% of demand. There are only 20 foreclosures and 38 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, that’s 58 total distressed homes on the active market, decreasing by 9 in the past two weeks. Last year there were 133 total distressed sales, 129% more than today.
  • There were 2,543 closed residential resales in October, down by 1% from October 2016’s 2,575 closed sales. October marked a 7% drop from September 2017, normal for the Autumn Market. The sales to list price ratio was 98.2% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.7% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 1.2%. That means that 98.1% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

​​For more information, please contact us at ashlie@ashlieducros.com or 714-743-9778

The Seller Drought Continues

by Ashlie DuCros

Fewer homeowners have opted to sell for years now in spite of massive appreciation and excellent conditions to sell. 

SO, what gives? Why aren’t homeowners moving like they did before? 

Some think it is because too many millennials are delaying the purchase of their first home and are shacking up with their parents. Others think it is because financing is too tight and that Dodd-Frank regulations are hurting housing. Both issues would have a negative effect on demand; however, housing does not have a problem with demand.

One of the key issues that has impacted the Orange County housing market has been the lack of affordable new housing. Today’s builders have been focusing on catering towards the higher end. The Orange County new home market used to create a lot more local real estate activity as many local homeowners bought new and had to sell their existing homes first. With the county running out of vacant land, this will be an ongoing issue.

Many homeowners are not moving because owning a home long term is now in vogue. The Great Recession rattled our collective psyche and people came out of it changed, looking at homeownership differently. Many are looking to hang onto their homes and dig in their roots, similar to the Midwest philosophy.

Still, the biggest factor preventing many would be sellers from placing their homes on the market is the fear that there will be nothing to buy after successfully selling their homes. This is one of the most prevalent, undermining market forces. Essentially, the low inventory is preventing homeowners from entering the fray. Collectively, they would significantly increase the inventory if they all gave it a shot and marketed their homes subject to finding a replacement property. A seller can accept an offer to purchase their home with the condition that they would be able to find a replacement property within a specific time period, 30-days being most common. If they are unable to find a replacement home within the given time period, then the contract is canceled or additional time may be negotiated.

Another way around this dilemma is the dreaded “double move” where a homeowner sells their home, moves into a monthly rental, and then takes their time to isolate the most ideal home for their family. There are plenty of moving companies that actually cater to this scenario and can crate and store whatever will not be used at the short term rental.

A lack of inventory coupled with a low housing turnover is a persistent trend that is not going to change in the near future. If you're a buyer, seller, or homeowner with any desire to make a move this year, call me to help you realistically approach the market and plan accordingly.

 

Orange County Housing Update :: November 2016

by Ashlie DuCros

Values Up, Affordability Down
 

Homeowners in Orange County have benefited significantly from a rise in values, pushing affordability considerably lower. 

It has been nearly five years since the Orange County housing market ignited at the beginning of 2012. The median sales price then was at $400,000. With such low prices and low interest rates, it made sense to purchase. In many cases, it was actually cheaper to own than to rent. As a result, home values appreciated rapidly in 2012 and 2013. The appreciation continued in 2014 and 2015, just not as rapidly.

2016 has been more of the same, slow, methodical appreciation.

This year, the median sales price reached record levels, eclipsing heights reached in 2007. The median in August was at $649,000, that’s up 62% since the start of 2012. The tremendous appreciation translates to fewer properties for sale within the affordable price range of less than $500,000. 

Detached homes below $500,000 almost do not exist. In the past year alone, the numbers have dropped an additional 33%. Even with a slower, more methodical appreciation, more homes are climbing above the half-million-dollar threshold. And, soon, there will be fewer than a thousand condominiums available within this affordable price range.  

 

Demand

As for demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 8% from 2,693 to 2,480 in the past two weeks, the largest drop so far this year. Demand was at 2,333 pending sales last year.

With a giant drop in demand and the active inventory slowing its descent, the expected market time increased from 72 days to 77 days, a slight seller’s market.

Just the Facts

  • The average list price for all of Orange County is $1.5 million. 
  • There are 21% fewer homes on the market below $500,000 compared to last year at this time and demand is down by 9%. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums can now be found priced below $500,000.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is HOT with an expected market time of just 52 days. This range represents 46% of the active inventory and 67% of demand.
  • For luxury homes priced between $1 million to $1.5 million, the expected market time is at 128 days, increased by 15 days in the past couple of weeks. For homes priced between $1.5 million to $2 million, the expected market time increased considerably from 165 days to 187 days. For luxury homes priced above $2 million, the expected market time increased from 245 days to 258 days. 

 

​​If you're thinking about making a move, call me today to discuss the value of your home. 

Real Estate Facts:A look at Spring 2014 Housing Market

by Ashlie DuCros

Real Estate Facts: A look at Spring 2014 Housing Market.

What do you think about this article?

 Written by Steve Cook on March 4, 2014 in Real Estate  |   No comments 

real estate factsLast year, housing prices increased more than they had in seven years, and buyers’ markets turned into sellers’ markets overnight. In many cities and towns across the country, this price jump was a result of inventory shortages that forced buyers to compete over the few homes that were available for sale.

Will the housing recovery continue at a rip-roaring pace this spring, or will it slow down to let real estate consumers catch up?

Real estate facts for spring 2014

Whether you’re buying a home or selling a home this year, you should be planning for the opening of the spring homebuying season. Spring is the time of the year when most new homes come onto the market and when most buyers are looking—especially families with school-age children who want to be settled in their new homes in time for school in the fall.

The spring season sets the pattern for the year in terms of sales and price. So even if snow is still on the ground where you live, it’s time to get an idea of what to expect when your housing market emerges from hibernation.

Prices will rise—slowly. After explosive gains in many markets, home prices retreated in the fall of 2013 and the recovery’s momentum slowed. While home prices are expected to continue to rise this year, the stage has been set for them to do so at a much slower pace than last year. Experts predict that prices will rise between 3 percent and 4 percent nationally—more in the hot markets of California and less in markets such as Ohio, New England, and the Southeast.

An upswing in prices is good news for sellers hoping to get good money for their homes. Yet prices remain below their historic highs, despite the rising prices, which is fortunate for buyers.

Inventory may be limited. On January 1, inventories on Realtor.com’s database of nearly 2 million listings had fallen to virtually the same levels as last year, erasing the year-over-year inventory growth. This raises questions about the possibility of a return to the market dynamics of last year, which saw inventory shortfalls drive prices upward.

Monitor inventories in your market to see if they grow as significantly as they should in February and March. If not, you might see a repeat of last year’s shortage-driven price bubbles.

Market times will be shorter. If you’re a buyer, be ready to move fast this spring. The average market time among the 52 markets surveyed by RE/MAX in November was only 68 days. These short market times indicate that other buyers are ready to move fast, and you should be too.

Of course, market time will vary by the price of the home. Lower priced entry-level homes will sell faster than luxury homes priced at $1 million or more. According to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, more expensive homes are selling in a median of 181 days.

There are more question marks than usual this spring season because of the dramatic price surge of 2013 and the unanticipated shortages of homes last year. Even so, the 2014 season should be much better for buyers and sellers, with prices on the rise (but still below historic peaks in most markets) and mortgages easier to get for borrowers with good jobs and good credit.

Steve Cook is managing editor of Real Estate Economy Watch, which was recognized as one of the two best real estate news sires of 2011 by the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Before he co-founded REEW in 2007, he was vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors. In 2006 and 2007, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in real estate. During his 30 years in public affairs, Cook has been a broadcast news correspondent, served two Members of Congress as press secretary and was a senior executive in the world’s largest independent public relations firm in Washington and Chicago.

Mortage applications drop as rates edge higher...

by Ashlie DuCros

Mortgage Applications Drop as Rates Edge Higher

For the second consecutive week, mortgage applications fell as higher interest rates continued to put the squeeze on refinancing activity, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. 

The MBA’s index on mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchases, dropped 4.6 percent for the week ending Aug. 16. 

The refinance index was attributed to that drop, falling 7.7 percent last week from the previous week -- its largest weekly drop since late June. The refinance index has fallen 62.1 percent since reaching its peak during the week ending May 3. 

Applications dropped as mortgage rates rose 12 basis points to 4.68 percent last week. That matches the year’s high for 30-year mortgage rates, which was first hit in July, according to the MBA. Mortgage rates continue to rise as concerns mount over the Fed tapering its bond-buying program, which had been keeping mortgage rates near its historical lows in recent months. 

However, mortgage rates still remain low by historical standards and are still attracting home buyers. The MBA’s index showed that loan demand for home purchases, viewed as a gauge for future home sales, rose 1.2 percent last week. That climb comes after a 5.4 percent drop the previous week, the MBA reports. 

Source: “U.S. Mortgage Applications Fall as Rates Push Higher,” Reuters (Aug. 21, 2013

More Sellers Jump Into Favorable Market

by The Wall Street Journal

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, June 10, 2013

 
 

Inventories of for-sale homes are increasing as more owners see rising home prices and faster sales as a reason to try to sell now, according to industry reports.

In April, the number of listings was higher than the level of homes that were under contract in that month, according to a study by the real estate brokerage ZipRealty, which measured listings in 24 major metro markets.

“It’s less of an indication of buyer momentum flagging and more of seller momentum picking up, finally,” says Lanny Baker, the company’s chief executive.

The reports find that homes are selling faster—on average, within 32 days of being listed. In April 2012, that average stood at 48 days for homes to sell.

“A market in which the sale prices are happening very close to the list prices, a market in which the list prices seem to be moving sequentially higher, and a market in which any of those houses are selling speedily is one that is bringing sellers back,” Baker says. “That makes it feel to a seller that this isn’t going to be a long passive despair that I tried three years ago.”

Source: “Why More Sellers Could Test the Market,” The Wall Street Journal (June 10, 2013)

 

 

 

The Home Bidding Wars Are Back!

by Ashlie DuCros

By Les Christie @CNNMoney 

The competition has been most intense in California, where 9 out of 10 homes sold in San Francisco, Sacramento and cities in Southern California have been drawing competing bids.

The bidding wars are back. Seemingly overnight, many of the nation's major housing markets have gone from stagnant to sizzling, with for-sale listings drawing offers from a large number of house hunters.

In March, 75% of agents with broker Redfin said their clients' offers were countered by rival bids, up from 56% who said so in late 2011.


"The only question is not whether a new listing will get multiple bids but how many it will get," said Kris Vogt, who manages 14 Coldwell Banker offices in the Sacramento area. One home in an Elk Grove, Calif., subdivision recently received 62 separate bids. The final sale price was for more than $150,000, well above its $129,000 asking price. The competition has been most intense in California, where 9 out of 10 homes sold in San Francisco, Sacramento and cities in Southern California drew competing bids during the month. And at least two-third of listings in Boston, Washington D.C., Seattle and New York generated bidding wars. In Cambridge, Mass., two condos that could be combined into one large home hit the market two weeks ago for $800,000 each, according to Pat Villani, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England.

"The brokers stopped taking names after the number of bidders reached 250," she said. The winning bidder offered $2 million for both units.

Five best markets to buy a home

Homebuyers eager to purchase before home prices and mortgage rates rise are finding few homes for sale as sellers hold out for better deals, said Glenn Kelman, Redfin's CEO.

Many homeowners are still underwater, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, and they want to wait until selling becomes profitable again. By doing so, they can avoid short sales, which carry big hits on credit scores, 85 to 160 points, according to FICO.

"Many people have been holding on for a profit and they're just now getting their heads above water," said Kelman.

Those who want to sell and buy a new home are encountering a market where it's difficult to find a new place of their own, said Vogt.

Five best markets to sell a home

Over the past few months, Jackie and Cliff Kaufman have bid on four different homes in St. Petersburg, Fla., including one short sale and a foreclosure.

The pair, who have two adult children and run an online jewelry business, said they bid $5,000 more than the $495,000 asking price on the first home they had their eye on and never heard back from the seller's agent. They were later told the house sold for nearly $550,000.

Next, they bid on a short sale listed for $600,000. This time, they came in $10,000 above the asking price and again, they were beaten out. The house was only on the market for two days.

The third attempt to make an offer on a bank-owned property was also met with silence.

Related: Buy or rent? 10 major cities

"It was very frustrating," said Jackie Kaufman. "We felt we were always on the outside of the loop and that people who won the homes had the inside track."

By the fourth try, the couple successfully bid through a listing agent, who they believe pushed their bid harder in order to earn a double commission since she was representing both the buyer and seller in the deal. And they managed to get the place for $30,000 less than the asking price.

They were lucky. Inventories of homes for sale continue to shrink. In February, the National Association of Realtors reported a 19.2% decline in inventory year-over-year. While the number of homes for sale should rise with the onset of the spring selling season, housing inventory is expected to remain low, pushing prices higher.

 Fastest growing boomtowns

And new home construction, especially in markets hit hard by the housing bust, is still moving forward at a snail's pace, since the cost to build the homes is often more than what the property ends up selling for, said Jeff Culbertson, president of Coldwell Banker's Southern California operations.

Even though home prices are on the rise, the balance between buyers and sellers has been thrown off balance, said Kelman.

"With buyers out in force and sellers cautious, the market is in an awkward 'tweener' phase," he said. 

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Ashlie DuCros & Associates
Coldwell Banker Previews Global Luxury
21580 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda CA 92887
714-743-9778
Fax: 714-849-5489