Orange County Housing Report: Just Waiting

lindseym August 27, 2018

Steven Thomas, August 26, 2018

Sellers are not used to waiting, but it is a trend that has evolved this year and is here to stay.

Sitting on the Market: A surprising 37% of the active listing inventory has been on the market for more than two months.

For years, sellers have been in control of the housing market. Multiple offers were generated almost instantaneously after hammering in the FOR SALE sign. Homes flew off the market in the blink of an eye. Frustrated buyers had to cut back their expectations after writing offer after offer with no success. It felt like housing was unstoppable and would continue its relentless climb. That is until the spring of 2018.

This year has been all about the evolution of housing from a brisk paced, hot, Seller’s Market to a much more normal, Balanced Market. The trouble is nobody really remembers a “normal” market. It is where homes must be priced well, or they will sit.

Today, housing is much more balanced, a market that does not favor sellers or buyers. Overprice and sit. Sellers that pad the price to leave room for negotiations will sit. Sellers who ignore their professional REALTOR® and arbitrarily pick a price, will sit. Ignore real estate fundamentals like location, condition, and upgrades, and sellers will be stuck without success.

Of course, everyone expects Sellers in the luxury ranges to play the waiting game; however, many sellers in the most affordable price ranges are sitting on the market and waiting as well.

For the rest of the year, the percentages will just grow in every price range. That is because housing is now transitioning into the Autumn Market. This season of real estate begins with the kids going back to school. It is no longer the most advantageous time for families to move, so many would be buyers stop their search for the time being. On average, demand drops by 11% from the end of August to the start of October.

With both the Spring and Summer Markets in the rearview mirror, many sellers realize that the best time of the year to sell is now in the past. For the remainder of the year, carefully pricing is absolutely crucial.

Sellers have a choice: price their homes according to the Fair Market Value or throw in the towel and pull their homes off of the market.

Buyers need to be aware that while it is no longer a hot seller’s market, it is not a buyer’s market either. Looking for a “deal” is a waste of time. They too need to look at offering to purchase at a home’s Fair Market Value.

Active Inventory: The active inventory grew by 2% in the past two-weeks.

Demand:  Demand dropped by 2% in the past couple of weeks.

Luxury End:  Luxury demand increased over the past two-weeks.

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