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Orange County Housing Report | A Housing Cold Front

A Cold December: With an Expected Market Time of 127 days for all of Orange County, this is the coolest December since 2010.

Brrrr!!! For Southern Californians, when temps drop down to the 40’s at night, it is freezing!! The tap water is cold. Initially, the car is cold for the morning commute. A simple sweatshirt will not do. It feels as if winter has already arrived. That is precisely how the Orange County housing market feels this year.

Notoriously, December is the slowest month of the year in terms of new pending sales. Yet, for years, there simply have not been enough homes on the market. Since 2012, it was still a slight seller’s market in December despite holiday distractions. Demand drops to its lowest point of the year by the end of the month, but so does the active inventory. The muted demand is offset by a drop in supply.

ORANGE COUNTY HOUSING MARKET SUMMARY:

  • The active listing inventory decreased by 425 homes in the past two weeks, its largest drop of the year, and now totals 6,395. Last year, there were 4,023 homes on the market, 2,372 fewer than today.
  • So far this year, 13% fewer homes have come on the market below $500,000 compared to last year, and there have been 26% fewer closed sales. Fewer and fewer homes and condominiums are now priced below $500,000. This price range is slowly vanishing.
  • Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased in the past two-weeks by 146 pending sales, and now totals 1,508. Last year, there were 1,864 pending sales, 24% more than today.
  • The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County increased from 124 days to weeks ago to 127 days today, a slight Buyer’s Market (120 to 150 days) and the highest level since January 2011. It was at 65 days last year.
  • For homes priced below $750,000, the market is a Balanced Market (between 90 and 120 days) with an expected market time of 91 days. This range represents 44% of the active inventory and 61% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 114 days, a Balanced Market. This range represents 18% of the active inventory and 20% of demand.
  • For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 155 days, a Buyer’s Market (over 150 days).
  • In the past two weeks, for luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the expected market time increased from 182 to 219 days.
  • For luxury homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market time decreased from 222 to 207 days.
  • For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected market time increased from 397 to 429 days.
  • For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time increased from 716 to 732 days.
  • The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 30% of the inventory and only 12% of demand.
  • Distressed homes, both short sales, and foreclosures combined, made up only 1.0% of all listings and 1.9% of demand. There are only 24 foreclosures and 40 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County, 64 total distressed homes on the active market, down one from two-weeks ago. Last year there were 60 total distressed homes on the market, slightly less than today.
  • There were 2,025 closed residential resales in November, 17% fewer than November 2017’s 2,427. November marked a 13% drop from October 2018. The sales to list price ratio was 97.3% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.5% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.6%. That means that 98.9% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.

To request to read/download the full report and charts, please email info(at)echelberger(dotted)com.

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