When a record low number of available homes is matched with fierce pent-up demand, it results in an auction where homes sell immediately and for more than their asking price.
Selling Above the Asking Price: It is common for homes that are just placed onto the market to receive dozens of offers to purchase, pushing up home values at a rapid pace.
It is no longer low mortgage rates that are stoking the fires of demand; instead, it is the severe inventory shortage. The inventory has plunged to record lows, starting off the year at 954 homes. Today, it has risen slightly to 1,426 homes, but that is still far from normal. There are simply not enough homes available to match demand.
The auction-like atmosphere will continue if inventory remains at ultra-low levels. Higher rates are not yet deterring buyers from purchasing, but if they continue to rise, it will be a totally different story down the road.
A WARNING TO SELLERS: Carefully pricing a home is crucial to obtaining the best outcome regarding price and terms.
Orange County Housing Market Summary:
- The active listing inventory increased by 190 homes, up 18%, and now totals 1,270 homes, its lowest level for this time of the year since tracking began 18 years ago. In January, there were 20% fewer homes that came on the market compared to the 3-year average prior to COVID (2017 to 2019), 617 fewer. Last year, there were 2,493 homes on the market, 1,223 additional homes, or 96% more.
- Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, surged by 257 pending sales in the past two weeks, up 18%, and now totals 1,683. Last year, there were 2,590 pending sales, 54% more than today due to the impact of COVID on housing. The 3-year average prior to COVID (2017 to 2019) was 2,160, or 28% more.
- With supply and demand increasing at the same rate, the Expected Market Time, the number of days to sell all Orange County listings at the current buying pace, remained unchanged at 23 days in the past couple of weeks, an insanely Hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days). It was at 29 days last year, similar to today.
- For homes priced below $750,000, the market is a Hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days) with an Expected Market Time of 18 days. This range represents 25% of the active inventory and 31% of demand.
- For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the Expected Market Time is 16 days, a Hot Seller’s Market. This range represents 19% of the active inventory and 26% of demand.
- For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the Expected Market Time is 17 days, a Hot Seller’s Market. This range represents 9% of the active inventory and 12% of demand.
- For homes priced between $1.25 million to $1.5 million, the Expected Market Time is 21 days, a Hot Seller’s Market. This range represents 9% of the active inventory and 9% of demand.
- For homes priced between $1.5 million to $2 million, the Expected Market Time is 22 days, a Hot Seller’s Market. This range represents 8% of the active inventory and 9% of demand.
- For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market remained unchanged at 34 days. For homes priced between $4 million and $8 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 74 to 79 days. For homes priced above $8 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 172 to 219 days.
- The luxury end, all homes above $2 million, accounts for 31% of the inventory and 13% of demand.
- Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.2% of all listings and 0.2% of demand. There are only 3 foreclosure and no short sale available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 3 total distressed homes on the active market, up 1 from two weeks ago. Last year there were 4 total distressed homes on the market, similar to today.
- There were 2,486 closed residential resales in December, 20% less than December 2020’s 3,091 closed sales. For the year, through December, there have been 35,180 closed sales, 16% higher than 2020 and the most sales since 2005. December marked a 3% drop compared to November 2021. The sales to list price ratio was 101.1% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.2% of all closed sales, and there were no closed short sales. That means that 99.8% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.
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