OC Housing Report July, 2017
Active Inventory Peak: the active inventory has been low for years, but this year it has been exceptionally low.
The Orange County housing market has been frustrating buyers for years now and 2017 has proved to be especially frustrating. With 7% fewer FOR SALE signs this year compared to last year, there just have not been enough homes to satiate the voracious appetite of buyers.
As a result of low inventory and off-the-chart demand, Orange County homes have appreciated non-stop since 2012. In the past year alone (July '17 over July '16), the median sales price has risen by 5.5%, and since 2012 has risen by 80%. Even with a rising median sales price, the historically low interest rate environment is keeping homes affordable. And, interest rates are projected to remain low for the rest of the year and into 2018 as well.
An anemic inventory is only going to fuel future appreciation. Buyers will continue to compete with limited choices and multiple offers will persist, especially in the lower ranges, homes priced below $750,000. The inventory will remain low for quite some time because the active listing inventory peaked about a month ago, not quite reaching the 6,000 home mark. For perspective, the active inventory needs to remain above 8,000 homes for quite some time in order for the housing market to move from a seller’s market to a balanced market, one that does not favor a buyer or seller.
Demand: Demand increased by 2% in the past couple of weeks.
Demand, the number of homes placed into escrow within the prior month, increased by 55 pending sales, or 2%, in the past two-weeks and now totals 2,890. Demand is either near the same or considerably higher in every price range except for properties priced below $500,000. With 41% fewer homes available below $500,000 compared to this time last year, it is no wonder that demand is off by 20% year over year in this range.
Last year at this time, demand was at 2,935 pending sales, 45 more than today. The expected market time was at 75 days. The current expected market time dropped from 63 days two weeks ago to 61 today. At 61 days, the market is not quite a HOT seller’s market, but a tepid seller’s market with muted appreciation (60 to 90 days).
Luxury End: Luxury demand dropped by 1% in the past couple of weeks and the inventory increased by only 7 homes.
There were 2,766 closed sales in July, a 14% drop over June 2017 and a 1.9% decrease over July 2016. The sales to list price ratio was 98.2% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for just 0.8% of all closed sales and short sales accounted for 0.8%. That means that 98.4% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned equity sellers.
Reports on Housing July 2017