Today we had the pleasure of attending a lunch & learn by The Real Estate Focus Group and Steven Thomas, one of Orange County’s best real estate forecasters. Steven’s reports have been published in Forbes, USA today, NY Times, and especially the OC Register because he’s constantly pulling tons of valuable data about what’s going on with the OC housing market.
2013 Real Estate Review
In 2013, short sale volume dropped by 61%, (holla:) we experienced a hot hot hot market with 18% appreciation and then the unrealistic sellers entered the market after June. We saw many more move up sellers, which is a great sign. There was a significant lack of inventory at the beginning of the year, followed by a spike and overpriced inventory in the fall. We also had a refinance bonanza, so hopefully you took advantage of that! Interest rates are still historically low, but tapering is looming, so 2014 is a year to get your financing while financing is still good.
2014 Real Estate Ramp Up
We currently have 5000 homes on the Orange County market, and we have a 49% increase in inventory since this time last year. Our market is healthy because interest rates are still low (but expected to go up), and we are currently at 90% equity (standard) sales.
Only 5% of the mortgaged homes in Orange County are currently underwater. That means 95% of you are back to even or have (gasp!) equity – FABULOUS NEWS – and this makes the perfect formula for a continued move up market. If you’d like to get the house with the yard or the pool, this year is opportunity time for you.
First time buyers who have been squeezed out of the market the last 12 months will come back, even though their rates are a little higher and FHA guidelines have changed. In addition, more luxury buyers are expected to enter the market this year.
Sellers, our expected time for a properly priced home on the market in Orange County is 93 days. Our median sales price is 610K, and buyers, your monthly payment for a 4.5% loan at this price is approximately $2500. Still affordable. Unless you like paying off your landlord’s mortgage instead.
New home construction is going up: Rancho Mission Viejo, Great Park Irvine, and Baker’s Ranch in Foothill Ranch are all big developments underway. Remember it’s still a good idea to have a Realtor represent you even in a new build situation, so be sure to call us if you would like to check out any of the inventory out there.
Some concerns for 2014….. uncertainty, lack of fair market value homes, interest rates, and the circus in Washington DC.
Some expectations for 2014…… buyers will insist on fair market value vs. paying over appraisal, active inventory will continue to rise, interest rates will continue to rise, and we should have a mild appreciation of 0-5%.
If you are interested in MORE geeky data, we have it at our fingertips! Just email email@example.com, tweet @angieweeks or @weeksteam, or call 877-230-3211 to request a copy of this month’s Orange County housing report.
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