The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country and especially in Orange County Housing. This results in relatively quick sales and low supply. Demand definitely remained strong this month.
The Orange County Housing Report shows a year over year new listings were down 15.8% for single family homes and 19.9% for townhouse-condo properties. Pending sales decreased 46.3% for single family homes and 42.9% for townhouse-condo properties.
The median sales price for Orange County Housing was up 5.9% to $630,000 for single family homes and 3.4% to $410,500 for townhouse-condo properties. The supply of inventory decreased 7.4% for single family units and 13% for townhouse-condo units.
Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic about finding quality employment. Subsequently job growth and higher paychecks fuel home purchases. However, potential buyers will be negatively affected if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market. The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of homes to choose from when they become buyers.
Source: Pacific West Association of Realtors