South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

Orange County Housing Report: 21% Fewer Distressed Homes on the Market

Posted in Real estate by southorangecounty on March 25, 2009

I’ve just read the latest Orange County Market Report, by my friend Steven Thomas, the President of Altera Real Estate Services.  Steven has a degree in quantum economics and for the past couple of years his bi-weekly report has been the most comprehensive compilation of real estate activity and data for our area – regularly cited by all the major news media in Southern California, as a source for excellent, up to the minute real estate information.  Here is a link to his latest report:


Orange County Housing Report: 21% Fewer Distressed Homes on the Market


My conclusions upon reading it pretty much validate what I have been seeing first hand, in open house activity, and in conversations with prospective buyers and sellers.  There is a burgeoning realization that real estate interest is coming back to the forefront, fueled by the prices of distressed properties, and the availability of incredible interest rates, in virtually all price ranges.


This combination of ingredients, coupled further with pent-up demand, is producing an attractive opportunity for prospective buyers, in all but the lowest price ranges – those under $450,000.. In South Orange County, which I serve, due to a furious scramble in that lower price range, with multiple offers being the norm, and sales prices averaging 101% of list price, this lower range is actually an extreme seller’s market, as banks hurry to liquidate their inventory, to hungry first time buyers and investors clamoring for the best buys.


In the higher ranges, those over $500,000., there are still exceptional opportunities in virtually every price range up to over $2,000,000.!  These are not attracting multiple offers, and for the most part, are providing potential buyers with a bit of time to contemplate their options, and to secure financing.  The biggest issue buyers in the higher ranges are experiencing is whether they can buy such a house without a contingency – such as a need to sell their present house.  If that is a concern, then there is a problem, unless they are open to this scenario.  They have to sell low, in order to buy low.  There is no such thing in today’s market, as selling high, and buying low.


The best alternative – IF they have plenty of cash reserves or plenty of equity, is to make their present house a rental for a few years until the market for selling it becomes more attractive – which it eventually will, again.  I am well schooled in crunching the numbers to weigh various options and would be pleased to talk to you about your real estate plans or dreams.  I’ve been doing so in this community for well over 32 years.  Give me a call, at 949-643-2100 and lets talk about real estate.

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