Strong Fundamentals: With a low supply, fierce demand, low mortgage rates, and a strong demographic of first-time buyers, the housing market is on strong footing.
As for Orange County housing, the Autumn Market typically starts at the end of August when the kids head back to school. With the Spring and Summer Markets in the rearview mirror, many families back off their pursuit in purchasing a home. Similarly, fewer homeowners enter the fray and many unsuccessful sellers pull their homes off the market. With the kids back in school, the timing just is not the best for families. Moving can be disruptive while the kids are focusing on their education.
Yet, 2020 has been nothing close to ordinary or typical. What should have been the Spring Market, March through May, turned into one of the slowest springs in memory. The “Stay at Home” order and initial shock and anxiety of the Coronavirus kept buyers from buying and homeowners from selling. As the real estate industry adapted becoming an essential service, and the shock of the virus that included social distancing, sanitizing, and dawning a mask waned, housing surged. The Summer Market became the Spring Market in 2020. It appears as if the Autumn Market is going to be the Summer Market in 2020, not quite as hot as June, July, and August, but still quite busy with homes flying off the market and generating multiple offers. All signs point to an extraordinary September, October, and first half of November.
Orange County Housing Market Summary:
- The active listing inventory decreased by 129 homes in the past two-weeks, down 3%, and now totals 4,320, its lowest level for August since tracking began in 2004. COVID-19 is not suppressing the inventory, but from March through June, 27% fewer homes were placed on the market compared to 2019, or 4,318 missing FOR-SALE signs. Last year, there were 7,307 homes on the market, 2,987 additional homes, or 69% more.
- Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased by 42 pending sales in the past two-weeks, up 1%, and now totals 3,323, its highest level since September 2012. COVID-19 currently has no effect on demand. Last year, there were 2,548 pending sales, 23% fewer than today.
- The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County decreased from 41 days to 39, a Hot Seller’s Market (less than 60 days). It was at 86 days last year, much 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 28 days. This range represents 34% of the active inventory and 47% of demand.
- For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 28 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 40 days, a hot Seller’s Market.
- For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, in the past two weeks, the Expected Market Time increased from 49 to 52 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 68 to 62 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 115 to 107 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 262 to 193 days.
- The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 38% of the inventory and only 18% of demand.
- Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 0.3% of all listings and 0.4% of demand. There are only 6 foreclosures and 9 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 15 total distressed homes on the active market, down 3 from two-weeks ago. Last year there were 52 total distressed homes on the market, more than today.
- There were 3,010 closed residential resales in July, 5% more than July 2019’s 2,871 closed sales. June marked a 39% increase compared to June 2019. The sales to list price ratio was 98.0% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.3% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.2%. That means that 99.5% of all sales were good ol’
fashioned sellers with equity.
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