by Barbara • Barbara's Blog on April 9, 2015
For single family residences in 92807, the Spring buying season got off to a good start this year but lack of inventory is once again playing a large role in our market.
We saw days on the market down almost 30% from 94 last year to 66 this year. The number of new listings was also down 20% from 40 this year compared to 50 last March. Pended sales were up to 39 over last year’s 27. Closed sales were also up by 50%! In March of 2014 there were only 28 closed sales as opposed to 42 closed sales for the same time this year. Median sales price is up to $642,500 against last year’s $580,000 for an increase of over 10% with the average sales price down almost 15% to $665,715. The percent of original list price received ran neck and neck from last year’s 97.3% to this year’s 98%. Inventory of homes for sale is down over 39% from 107 last year to 65 this March and month’s supply of inventory is currently only 2.2 , down 40% from last year.
What does this mean to you? If you are selling your home, accurate pricing is more crucial than ever. Try to resist the temptation of overpricing. Don’t allow your home to languish on the market and miss the Spring buying season. If you are buying a home, make sure you have been prequalified by a direct lender and are ready to go when the perfect property presents itself as it may not be available too long.
by Barbara • Barbara's Blog on February 23, 2015
For single family homes in January we saw a slight increase in inventory with 44 homes listed for sale as opposed to last year at 38. Pending sales also rose to 30, which was up over 36% from January, 2014. Closed sales were down 14.3%. The most notable difference however were the days on the market which was up over 54% from 61 last year to 94 this year which could be due in large part to a slower than normal fourth quarter for home sales in the area. The median sales price was down slightly to $631,000 and the average sales price was also down over 20% to $617,389. There was a virtual dead heat in the percent of original list price received with 95.7% last year vs. 95.3% this year. Lastly, the all so important inventory of homes for sale was down this year by 12% as was the months supply of inventory which was down 3.3% to 2.9 months of inventory.
As anyone who is currently buying or selling can attest to, the market is definitely heating up. Interestingly, while there has been increased activity, we are not seeing a large surge in prices. It will be interesting to see where the numbers come in for February.
by Barbara • Barbara's Blog on February 1, 2015
I have invited the President and CEO of Seven Gables, Michael P. Hickman, to share with you his outlook for our real estate market in Orange County for 2015. Whether you are thinking of selling, buying your first home or investing in a rental property, I think you will find Mike’s perspective helpful.
“Before I note the factors that I believe will accelerate the real estate market in Orange County during 2015, let’s look in the rear view mirror at 2014. In a year of transition, several interesting trends arose. The first quarter of 2014 left homeowners and brokerages wondering what happened with a marked slowdown. With rising list prices, buyers began to ‘push back’ on list prices during the summer months, which resulted in an overall market slow down. Conversely, the luxury market (homes in excess of one million) was nearly non-existent in the first quarter of the year, and then suddenly gained momentum, which carried through the remainder of the year. More homes sold in excess of one million during the last three quarters of 2014 than the previous five quarters.
The economic laws of supply and demand were certainly present in 2014 and will play a large role in determining the success of the 2015 real estate market. Active listings in the market began 2014 at 5,084 and ended the year at 5,190, with a peak in July of 8,028. Homes that went under contract during 2014 peaked in April at 2,770, but started and ended the year with an average of 2,100. 2014 saw the average price rise from $656,000 to $716,000 across Orange County while the median price of a home increased from $526,000 to $$553,000. Perhaps one of the most significant indicators was the average price per square foot in Orange County, which increased from $355 to $385.
Overall, the Orange County housing market turned flat in 2014 retreating to a more balanced market of supply and demand. While the months of supply of homes at 2.5 months suggest that the market is still a seller’s market, buyer push back on prices indicates otherwise.
2015 looks like the ‘perfect storm’ for buyers and sellers. With unemployment rates in Orange County at 5.0% and select cities in our primary markets as low as 3.8%, the local and regional economy certainly supports growth. The collision of low interest rates, level prices and an increase in home inventories suggest that 2015 will reflect the market of 2005. Fast paced, high velocity and low down payment programs available should propel the 2015 housing market to new levels of sales. We expect the average monthly home sales to approach 3,000 per month, the months of inventory to decrease later in the year to less than 2 months. We expect values to rise by 5% by the end of the year. “
Michael P. Hickman
by Barbara • Barbara's Blog on January 21, 2015
For single family homes in 92807, many areas remain much the same as last year that this time. In December, there were only 17 new listings compared to 22 the previous year. However, pending sales were up 35% while closed sales were down 32%. There was almost a dead heat for the median sales price. In the previous year the median sales price was $622.450 compared with this December’s $625,000. Again, what to me is interesting is the discrepancy in the average sales price. Last year the average sales price in December was $628.466 and this year it was $753.526 which shows us there is a bit more activity in the mid to upper price range. Much as expected for December, inventory was down to 69 homes from last year’s 88 and the months supply of inventory remained relatively the same with 2.8 months for 2013 to 2.5 months for 2014.
Traditionally, Super Bowl Weekend is the unofficial start to our Orange County’s spring buying market. In view of the recently reduced FHA insurance premiums, I believe we should a lot of activity for those homes and condos priced below $500,000.