There are two opposing economic forces impacting the housing market right now, rising mortgage rates and a record low supply of homes available to purchase.
There simply are not enough homes available for buyers and rising rates have not yet had an impact on the insanely hot housing market.
Housing feels like it too is suffering from the supply chain problem with seemingly nothing available to purchase. Last year the inventory in Orange County started the year at an all-time low with 2,633 available homes. It hit 2,214 on June 10th, rose and peaked in June, and then continued to plunge until only 954 homes were on the market on January 1st of this year, just a few weeks ago. Today, there are only 1,080 homes, adding only 126 during the first few weeks of the year. The difference between this year and last year’s record low is striking. There are 1,547 fewer homes today, 59% less. Every price range has been similarly impacted.
Why has the rise in rates not yet affected the housing market?
The answer is simple: rates have not climbed high enough to materially slow demand. Mortgage rates climbed considerably in both 2013 and 2018, which caused a shift in the market. Demand cooled, the inventory increased, market times grew, and the market slowed from a Hot Seller’s Market to a much more balanced market. If they continue to climb, then the market could cool. But, for now, Wall Street and investors have digested future Federal Reserve moves and they most likely will not rise much more from here. Rates would need to climb to 4% or higher to slow housing.
The recent four week rise in mortgage rates had no real impact on the current pace of housing. It will be important to watch how mortgage rates unfold in the weeks and months to come. Until rates rise substantially from here, it is business as usual, an insanely hot housing market in Orange County.
Orange County Housing Market Summary:
- The active listing inventory shed 20 homes, down 2%, and now totals 1,080 homes, its lowest level for this time of the year since tracking began 18 years ago. In December, there were 2% fewer homes that came on the market compared to the 3-year average prior to COVID (2017 to 2019), 26 fewer. Last year, there were 2,627 homes on the market, 1,547 additional homes, or 143% more.
- Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, surged by 131 pending sales in the past two weeks, up 10%, and now totals 1,426. Last year, there were 2,055 pending sales, 44% more than today due to the impact of COVID on housing.
- With demand surging and supply slightly dropping, the Expected Market Time, the number of days to sell all Orange County listings at the current buying pace, decreased from 25 to 23 days in the past couple of weeks, an insanely Hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days). It was at 38 days last year, slower than 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 19 days. This range represents 28% of the active inventory and 33% 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 18% of the active inventory and 26% of demand.
- For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the Expected Market Time is 14 days, a Hot Seller’s Market. This range represents 7% of the active inventory and 12% of demand.
- For homes priced between $1.25 million to $1.5 million, the Expected Market Time is 20 days, a Hot Seller’s Market. This range represents 8% of the active inventory and 8% of demand.
- For homes priced between $1.5 million to $2 million, the Expected Market Time is 25 days, a Hot Seller’s Market. This range represents 8% of the active inventory and 8% of demand.
- For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market decreased from 55 to 34 days. For homes priced between $4 million and $8 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 159 to 74 days. For homes priced above $8 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 210 to 172 days.
- The luxury end, all homes above $2 million, accounts for 31% of the inventory and 14% of demand.
- Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.2% of all listings and 0.6% of demand. There is only 1 foreclosure and 1 short sale available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 2 total distressed homes on the active market, down 1 from two weeks ago. Last year there were 8 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.
To view the complete Report and Charts, join our free Housing Report email list: https://bit.ly/housingreportsignup