The Holiday Chill is Here!
- 11 December, 2018
- By Admin: Debbie West
- Comments: 00
This is the time of the year where the country gets pummeled by blizzards, freezing temperatures, and undrivable roads.School days are cancelled to the delight of so many children. It is no wonder that the housing market cools to its slowest season of the year; who wants to look for a home when the weather is not cooperating. And, there are not as many sellers
willing to allow buyers to trapes through their homes, dragging the snow with them.
It is easy to understand precisely why housing slows for the rest of the country, but why does it occur here in sunny Southern California? Yes, it is a bit cooler than the rest of the year, but the temperature bounces around in the 60’s. There
is no snow, just a little bit of rain. Regardless of the weather, housing begins to slow during the Autumn Market, after the kids go back to school. It slows further when the distractions of the holidays set in. The holidays are here and with it come
weekly parties, plenty of shopping, family gatherings, eggnog, spirits, and nonstop festive music.
It just is not the time to hunker down and tiresomely search for a home. It is also not a time when a wave of homeowners place their homes on the market. Most everybody is laser focused on enjoying the holidays and all of the hubbub. Since Thanksgiving, 150 sellers placed their homes on “Hold Do Not Show” so that they could enjoy the season. The
Holiday/Winter Market is the time of the year when typically, both supply, the active inventory, and demand, new pending sales over the prior month, drops like a rock until after we ring in a New Year.
Orange County Housing Market Summary:
The active listing inventory decreased by 398 homes in the past two weeks, its largest drop of the year, and now
totals 6,820. Last year, there were 4,323 homes on the market, 2,497 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 122 pending
sales, its largest drop of the year, and now totals 1,654. Last year, there were 2,082 pending sales, 26% more
• The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County increased from 122 days to weeks ago to 124 days today, a
slight Buyer’s Market (120 to 150 days) and the highest level since January 2011. It was at 62 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 43% of the active inventory and 59% of demand.
• For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 111 days, a Balanced Market.
This range represents 19% of the active inventory and 21% of demand.
• For homes priced between $1 million to $1.25 million, the expected market time is 138 days, a slight Buyer’s
• For luxury homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, in the past two weeks, the expected market time
remained unchanged at 182 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the expected market
time decreased from 235 to 222 days. For luxury homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the expected
market time increased from 340 to 397 days. For luxury homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time
increased from 484 to 716 days.
• The luxury end, all homes above $1.25 million, accounts for 30% of the inventory and only 13% of demand.
• Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, made up only 1.0% of all listings and 1.7% of
demand. There are only 24 foreclosures and 41 short sales available to purchase today in all of Orange County,
65 total distressed homes on the active market, down 13 from two-weeks ago. Last year there were 64 total
distressed homes on the market, slightly less than today.
• There were 2,328 closed residential resales in October, 9% fewer than October 2017’s 2,553. October marked an
11% increase over September 2018. The sales to list price ratio was 96.9% for all of Orange County.
Foreclosures accounted for just 0.4% of all closed sales, and short sales accounted for 0.6%. That means that
99% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.