South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

Best April for Orange County homebuying in 3 years

Posted in home affordability, Real estate by southorangecounty on May 18, 2010

DataQuick’s homebuying stats for April are out, and they show a real estate market still on the mend with sales of all residences of 2,669 — that’s up 11.60% in a year and the best April in 3 years. Median selling price was $430,000 — up 13.2% in a year. Also …

Slice Price Yr. ago Sales Yr. ago
Houses $505,000 +17.4% 1,704 +9.7%
Condos $299,000 +16.6% 877 +18.7%
New $629,500 +32.8% 88 -11.1%
All O.C. $430,000 +13.2% 2,669 +11.6%
  • $430,000 median selling price that is still 33% below June 2007’s peak of $645,000.
  • The most recent median is 16% above the cyclical low hit in January 2009 at $370,000 — a current bottom that was -43% below the peak.
  • Prices fell on a year-over-year basis from Sept. 2007 through August. (Worst at -31.5% in August 2008.)
  • Single-family homes resell for 31% less than their peak pricing (June ‘07) while condos sell 36% below their peak in March 2006. Builder prices for new homes are 27% below their February ‘05 top.
  • Single-family homes were 69% more expensive than condos in this period vs. 68% a year ago. From 1990-2008, the average house/condo gap was 57%.
  • 2,669 residencessold in April vs. 1997-2006 monthly sales average of 4,304 per month.
  • Builder’s new homes sales were 3% of all residences sold in the period vs. 4% a year ago. From 1990-2008, builders did 15% of the selling.

May 18th, 2010,  by Jon Lansner of the Orange County Register

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Orange County homebuyers are paying as much as 16% more

Posted in home affordability, Real estate by southorangecounty on May 14, 2010

For the 22 business days ending April 27 – DataQuick’s latest homebuying report — Orange County saw …

For the 22 business days ending April 27
Slice Price Yr. ago Sales Yr. ago
Houses $504,000 +18.6% 1,638 +4.0%
Condos $298,000 +19.2% 812 +8.0%
New $610,000 +25.3% 114 +16.3%
All O.C. $435,000 +16.0% 2,564 +5.7%
  • $435,000 median selling price that is +16% vs. a year ago … yet -33% below June 2007’s peak of $645,000.
  • The most recent median is 18% above the cyclical low hit in January 2009 at $370,000 — a current bottom that was 43% below the peak.
  • Prices have risen on a year-over-year basis since September after falling from Sept. 2007 through August 2009.
  • Single-family homes resell for 31% less than their peak pricing (June ‘07) while condos sell 37% below their peak in March 2006. Builder prices for new homes are 29% below their February ‘05 top.
  • Single-family homes were 69% more expensive than condos in this period vs. 70% a year ago. From 1990-2008, the average house/condo gap was 57%.
  • In this most recent period, O.C. shoppers bought 2,564 residences — that is +5.7% vs. year-ago buying activity. (From 1997-2006, monthly sales averaged 4,304 per month.)
  • Builder’s new homes sales were 4% of all residences sold in the period vs. 4% a year ago. From 1990-2008, builders did 15% of the selling.

May 14th, 2010,  by Jon Lansner of the Orange County Register

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The O. C. Market Report – This Market is Taxing!

Posted in Foreclosures, Real estate, short sales by southorangecounty on April 20, 2010

Below is the latest Orange County Market Report from my friend Steven Thomas, the President of Altera Real Estate. Steven’s reports are cited and discussed in most of Southern California’s media, as an authoritative source of local real estate information. I have slightly altered his report to make it a bit easier to read, but the context and content remains true to Steven’s report.

“The Orange County Market Report – This Market is Taxing!

Talk to an Orange County buyer, especially a first time home buyer, and you will quickly find that the real estate market is simply crazy. 

Let’s first establish that there are two different markets – below $1 million, HOT, and above $1 million, COLD. The below $1 million market accounts for 77% of the total active inventory, and 94% of demand. The lower the range, the hotter the market.  Most buyers new to the market have already formed an incorrect idea of the real estate market. They think that the market is plagued with desperate sellers waiting for a buyer to finally write an offer to purchase at a major discount and an incredible “deal” for the buyer. Instead, new, fresh inventory is scarce and buyers find that they are competing for anything half way decent that hits the market. Properties that are priced well and in good condition, garner tremendous attention and procure multiple offers.

Writing a purchase offer at the list price only to lose to three other buyers that brought in offers above the list price is common. Sales prices above list prices are common. First time home buyers losing out on properties to investors with larger down payments is common. The reality is that if a buyer is looking to bargain and negotiate, they are better off attending the local weekend swap meet. Remember, values of homes have already dropped significantly, 35% or more. Some economists have argued that values have dropped below where they should be today, which is often the case in real estate downturns. So, homes are already heavily discounted from where they were a few years ago.

Home affordability has returned to the Orange County real estate market. Interest rates are still at historical lows. Throw in buyer income tax credits and we have all of the ingredients for a major seller’s market. Buyers entering the fray in today’s market get a real quick dose of reality and, if they really want to buy, sharpen their pencils real fast. In the lower ranges and in hotter areas, homes are starting to sell for more than the last comparable sale. The only thing that is keeping values from taking off like they did before is the distressed inventory.

Housing Demand: Demand has not seen these levels since the beginning of August 2005.
Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, increased by 126 homes over the prior two weeks and now totals 3,748, a 3% increase and the height thus far in 2010. Last year’s height in demand was reached in June at 3,652 pending sales. Demand is 195 pending sales stronger than last year at this time and 1,374 stronger than two years ago. It seems as if demand is beginning to hit a plateau, so we will have to watch and see if that trend continues over the coming weeks.

Developing Trends: The active listing inventory has continued to gradually increase after bottoming at the beginning of the year. Over the past two weeks, the inventory has increased by 266 homes to 9,177. We started the year at 7,165 listings and so, have added 2,012 homes to the active inventory thus far. Last year, the inventory continued to drop from mid-March to the New Year. Towards the end of last year, the drop was probably more in line with the cyclical drop in the inventory that starts in September until the end of the year.

Customarily, during the beginning of the year and into the Spring market, more and more homeowners place their homes on the market in anticipation of the strongest time of the year to sell. In the Spring market in 2006 and 2007, homeowners often tested the market and attempted to obtain values above the current fair market value. There were a ton of overpriced listings that remained on the market and which were not successful in selling – EVER.

Instead, they just clogged the inventory and it methodically grew, reaching a height in August 2007 of just shy of 18,000 listings. In 2008 and 2009, homeowners no longer tested the market and the discretionary ( “equity”.) seller disappeared. During the second half of 2009, the Orange County active listing inventory continued to shed homes and not as many new, fresh homes were placed on the market. REALTORS® in the trenches were complaining of a lack of inventory and nothing “fresh” to show their buyers.

We still hear that there is a lack of inventory, but behind the scenes, the active inventory is slowly but surely nudging upward, in every price range. It remains to be seen if the trend in an increase in the active inventory continues. Will the equity homeowner return or will more and more homeowners place their toe in the water, testing the market? We will have to wait and see. There are currently 1,384 fewer homes on the market today than just one year ago and 6,379 fewer than two years ago.


Expected Market Time: The lower the range, the lower the expected market time.
The expected market time for all of Orange County is currently at 2.45 months, a slight drop from 2.46 months two weeks ago. For homes priced below $500,000, the expected market time is 1.63 months, a deep seller’s market. For homes priced between $500,000 and $1 million, the expected market time is 2.84 months, still a seller’s market. For homes priced above $1 million, the expected market time is 9.44 months, the higher the range, the slower the market. For homes priced above $4 million, the expected market time is 38.44 months, or over 3 years.

Distressed Inventory: Again, not much has changed in the distressed inventory.
The number of active distressed homes on the market,  short sales and foreclosures combined, decreased by 33 homes to 2,781 and represent 30.3% of the active inventory. Last year at this time, there were 4,006 distressed homes on the market, representing 37.9% of the active inventory.  The number of foreclosures within the active listing inventory decreased by two homes in the past two weeks from 418 to 416. Yes, that is correct. With all of the talk of foreclosures there are only 416 on the market in all of Orange County. The expected market time for foreclosures is 1.01 months.

Short sales are a different story; there are plenty of short sales in Orange County. Short sales are where a homeowner attempts to sell a home for less than the total outstanding loans against the home, which requires the lender (or lenders in many cases) to approve the short sale, indicating their willingness to take less than the full payoff of a loan. Most short sales are not as  fast as their name would suggest, and, on average, take months to close. The number of short sales within the active listing inventory decreased by 31 and now total 2,365. The expected market time for short sales is 1.61 months, also a HOT seller’s market. Everybody’s looking for a deal, so foreclosures and short sales tend to fly off of the market.

The Most Absurd Tax Credit EVER? 

I am still scratching my head trying to understand why California approved $100 million towards a first time homebuyer tax credit. These are for transactions that close escrow on or after May 1, 2010. The $10,000 credit is spread out over three years. So, when will the $100 million run out? For every buyer, the state is counting $5,700 against the $100 million. That equates to 17,543 first time home buyers. Based upon the current wave of first time home buyer activity, the credit is forecasted to last less than two weeks. And, if there are buyers who are supposed to close at the end of this month – to take advantage of the $8000 Federal Tax Credit – and are looking to delay closing until after May 1st, the credit may end even sooner. ( End of Steven’s report.)

Like the former “Cash for Clunkers” program for automobiles, there will likely be a mad scramble for those credits – and a lot of disappointed buyers.

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Housing Starts Data Hints That Housing Will Expand Even After The Tax Credit Expires

Posted in home affordability, Real estate by southorangecounty on April 20, 2010

Housing Starts Apr 2008-Mar 2010After a strong March showing and a surprise upward-revision for February, Housing Starts are, once again, trending better.

It’s yet another signal that the housing market nationwide is stabilized.

A Housing Start is a new home on which construction has started and, over the last 6 months, home builders are averaging one half-million starts per month.

This marks the highest 6-month average since 2008 and a reading one-fifth percent better from 12 months ago.  Revisions to prior data have all been higher, too.

Even more interesting, though, is that the number of newly-issued building permits is exploding. Permits were up more than 5 percent last month and have climbed back to the levels of late-2008.

Housing permits are an important data point in housing because permits are precursors to actual housing starts.  According to the Census Bureau, 82% of homes start construction within 60 days of permit-issuance.

Therefore, because March’s housing permits increased, we should expect Housing Starts to continue to rise into the early months of summer.

This, too, reflects well on housing because the federal home buyer tax credit won’t be in existence this summer. The simple fact the homes are being built now shows that housing is likely to expand even after the tax credit expires.

Non-military members must be under contract by April 30, 2010 and closed by June 30, 2010 in order to claim up to $8,000 in federal tax credits. Of course, we Californians have a new $10,000 tax credit which begins on May 1st – until the alloted funds run out, anyway.

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The March Fed Minutes Explains Why Home Sales Weren’t Worse This Winter

Posted in home affordability, mortgage rates, Real estate by southorangecounty on April 7, 2010

 

FOMC March 2010 MinutesMortgage markets improved yesterday after the Federal Reserve released its March 16, 2010 meeting minutes. It’s good news for home buyers and rate shoppers — rates could have just as easily gone the other way.

The Fed Minutes is a detailed recap of the debate and discussion that shapes the nation’s monetary policy. The notes are dense; it takes 3 weeks to compile them for publication.

As compared to the more well-known, post-meeting press release, the Fed Minutes are extremely lengthy. For example:

If the press release is the executive summary, the Fed Minutes are the novel.

The extra words matter.The minutes recount what the Fed did, how the Fed did it, and what the Fed plans to do next. And, in the minutes, Wall Street looks for clues. 

This is why the report is important to every rate shopper in the country.

When the Federal Reserve publishes the minutes from its meetings, it leave clues about the groups next policy-making steps.  For example, in March’s Fed Minutes, it’s clear that the Fed’s concern about inflation is hugely diminished and that’s a major plus for the mortgage bond market.

Inflation causes mortgage rates to rise. The absence of inflation, therefore, helps them to fall.  This improves home affordability, among other things.

Similarly, the Fed Minutes note that real estate sales may have been worse throughout the winter months if not for low mortgage rates and the sense among Americans that home prices were troughing. We may infer, therefore, that rising rates may suppress home sales later this year.

Markets are always looking for clues from inside the Fed and the last meeting’s minute signal that the economy is on its way up.  If you’re looking for a bargain in the housing market, your window to act may be closing.

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Pending Home Sales Soar In February, As Expected. Buyers Are Everywhere.

Posted in home affordability, Real estate by southorangecounty on April 7, 2010

 

Pending Home Sales (August 2008-Fed 2010)As expected, the Pending Home Sales shot higher in February, boosted by the federal home buyer tax credit’s April 30 deadline.

Versus the month prior, February’s index rose 8 percent but remains well off the highs set last October.

For today’s home buyers and seller, the Pending Home Sales Index is an important measurement. This is because a “pending home” is a property that is under contract to sell, but not yet closed.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 80% of homes under contract close within 60 days, historically. Therefore, a higher Pending Sales figure in February projects that April’s Existing Home Sales will be higher, too.

If you’re a home buyer today, no doubt you’ve noticed the extra market activity.

On right-priced homes, multiple offer situations are more common; sales prices are settling closer to listing price; Days on market is falling. These are the signs of a buyer-heavy market.  It drives home supplies down and home prices up.

It’s a good time to be a seller, in other words.  Especially as buyer activity looks poised to peak.

When the home buyer credit faced its last expiration in November 2009, we saw a pattern of buyers rushing to beat the deadline.  There’s no reason to expect that won’t happen again. And as it does, Pending Home Sales should continue to climb. Average home sale prices should rise.

Home buyers may find it smart to go under contract sooner rather than later. Pending Home Sales is a warning shot.  Higher home sales figures are ahead.

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Florida’s Home Price Outlook Not So Sunny, California Fares Better

Posted in Real estate by southorangecounty on April 2, 2010

In its 12-month home price forecast issued Wednesday, Veros Real Estate Solutions said it had “continued bad news for Florida.” Markets in the Sunshine State claimed the top five spots on the collateral valuation company’s list of areas where prices are expected to drop the most over the next year.

The Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach market has the farthest to fall when it comes to price depreciation. There, Veros projects prices will plunge another 10 percent between now and March 2011.

In Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, the forecast is a decline of 8.9 percent. Naples-Marco Island will likely see prices drop another 8.8 percent, Veros says. The company expects Orlando-Kissimmee to suffer price depreciations of 8.7 percent over the next year. And Port St. Lucie-Fort Pierce is projected to see a decline of 8.6 percent.

Eric Fox, Veros’ VP of statistical and economic modeling, said, “Florida remains ground zero for the weakest home price forecasts in the U.S. although extreme declines of 20 or 25 percent are no longer expected since strong price corrections have already occurred.”

One of the other big bust states – California – shows more promise, according to Veros’ analysis. The Golden State is home to three of the five markets the company expects to post the strongest price gains over the next 12 months.

Veros projects home prices in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos market to increase by 3.4 percent between now and March 2011. In Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, the company forecasts a rise of 3.1 percent, and San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont is expected to see price gains of 3.0 percent.

“More of California’s coastal areas are showing modest signs of appreciation,” Fox said, noting that Los Angeles and San Francisco were not among the top five for price gains in the company’s study last quarter, but have edged their way up the ranks over the past three months.

Two Texas metro areas also made the “strongest markets” list, with prices in Houston-Sugarland-Baytown expected to see gains of 3.0 percent over the next year, and prices in Amarillo forecast to increase 2.7 percent.

“The Great Plains region including Texas remains steady,” Fox said.

Addressing the overall picture, Fox added, “Although there are no overwhelmingly strong appreciating forecasts among the larger metropolitan areas, the depreciating forecasts are noticeably milder than a year ago.”

Veros says it anticipates “gradual improvement” of property value trends in key markets over the next 12 months.

The company’s predictions are based on its analysis of more than 900 counties, nearly 300 metro areas, and almost 14,000 zip codes, encompassing such critical factors as interest, unemployment, and inflation rates; housing inventory levels; and economic and geographic trends.

From DSNews.com,  April 1, 2010,  by Carrie Bay

Note from Bob Phillips: Meanwhile, in Orange County, California, the median price has climbed by more than 10% over the past 14 months. With currently low inventory of available houses, continued historically low interest rates, an $8,000 Federal tax credit still available, AND a new $10,000 California tax credit, there is NO reason to expect that 2010 won’t be just like 2009.  This is probably the most affordable houses in Orange County, California have been in the past decade.

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Case-Shiller Index – The California Version

Posted in Real estate by southorangecounty on March 31, 2010

Case-Shiller Monthly Change Dec 2009 - Jan 2010

A surprisingly strong rebound in California’s real estate market helped lift a key home price index for the eighth month in a row.

That’s good news for people who plan to sell their homes this spring. Prices are now up almost 4 percent from the bottom in May 2009, but still almost 30 percent below the May 2006 peak.

Prices rose 0.3 percent from December to January on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday. Prices increased in 12 cities in the index.

The biggest monthly gain was in Los Angeles, where prices rose 1.8 percent from December. And real estate agents say there’s a distinct sense the worst of the downturn is over.

Buyers are “seeing that prices are creeping up,” said Tony Middleton, a real estate agent with ZIP Realty who concentrates on the San Fernando Valley. “They’re losing bids on homes and they have to bid again.”

Prices in San Diego, meanwhile, rose by almost 0.9 percent. Phoenix had the third-largest gain at 0.8 percent.

Compared with the same month last year, the 20-city index was off just 0.7 percent from last year at a reading of 146.32. That was the smallest decline in almost three years and in line with analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters.

Rising home prices also could boost consumer optimism. For most Americans, their home is their largest asset, so as values climb from the depths of the housing bust, homeowners feel wealthier and more comfortable spending. And, for homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, rising prices rebuild equity.

Consumer confidence rebounded in March after a February plunge, according to a survey released Tuesday. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 52.5 in March, recovering about half of the nearly 11 points it lost in February.

Still, shoppers remain cautious and there are signs that last year’s housing rebound won’t last. Home sales sank during the winter, and government incentives that have propped up the market are ending.

Another reason for the positive news is simply that the Case-Shiller index measures a three-month average of home prices. So January’s report included November’s strong home sales.

However, bargain-hunting homebuyers continue to pack open houses in California, often facing off with investors for foreclosed homes.

“We’re seeing multiple offers in most of the markets here in the San Francisco Bay area,” said David Kerr, an agent with ZipRealty in Oakland, Calif. “People are getting off the fence.”

In February, bank-owned properties made up 44 percent of all resales in the state, according to MDA DataQuick. In Southern California, they accounted for more than half of resales.

With such high demand, supply is dwindling, driving prices higher.

Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate has flat-lined of late, and that’s made buyers more comfortable about purchasing a home than they were just six months ago, said Richard Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California.

California home sales will likely get a boost in coming months thanks to a new serving of government stimulus.

Last week, state lawmakers enacted a tax credit of up to $10,000 for homebuyers that kicks in May 1. The state allotted $100 million for first-time buyers and another $100 million to anyone who buys a newly built home. California had a round of tax credits last year that proved to be popular; that program ended in July.

The latest incentive picks up where a federal first-time homebuyer tax credit of up to $8,000 is scheduled to leave off when it expires at the end of April. Should the Obama administration extend the federal tax break, that could give homebuyers in California even more reasons to buy.

Still, there remain pockets of weakness. Sales of homes priced above $500,000 are sluggish. And despite rising prices, more than one-third of all homeowners with a mortgage still owe more on their loans than their homes are worth, according to First American CoreLogic.

Among the cities showing monthly price declines in January, the biggest drop was in Portland, Ore., where prices fell 1.8 percent from December. Chicago and Seattle saw declines of 1.7 percent, while prices in Atlanta fell 1.5 percent.

LOS ANGELES — Courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com, 3-30-2010 – ALAN ZIBEL AND ALEX VEIGA

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Case-Shiller Shows Home Price Improvement In A Majority Of Cities Nationwide

Posted in Real estate by southorangecounty on March 31, 2010

Case-Shiller Monthly Change Dec 2009 - Jan 2010

Standard & Poors released its Case-Shiller Index Wednesday. The report shows that, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, between December and January, home prices rose in more than half of the index’s tracked markets.

The strength of this month’s Case-Shiller report, however, should be put in context.

For one, the report is on a 2-month delay; it’s showing data from January, before the start of the Spring Buying Season and before the rush to beat the tax credit. Anecdotally, buyer interest has been strong since, leading to the types of multiple offer situations that drive home prices northward.

In other words, home values may be even higher than what’s reflected in the January Case-Shiller data above.

Furthermore, the Case-Shiller Index measures home values in just 20 cities nationwide and they’re not even the 20 biggest cities. Houston, Philadelphia, San Antonio and San Jose are specifically excluded from the report and each ranks among the country’s 10 most populous areas.

Despite its flaws, though, the Case-Shiller Index remains important. Much like the government’s Home Price Index, the private-sector report helps to finger broad housing trends and housing is still considered a keystone in the U.S. economic recovery.

Even if it IS two months slow.

I’ll have the Orange County version of this report in a few minutes…..please stay tuned.

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Orange County Market Report – Demand Springs Forward.

Posted in Real estate by southorangecounty on March 24, 2010

Orange County Market Report – Demand Springs Forward.

Here is the latest market report from my friend Steven Thomas, of Altera Real Estate:

Orange County is taking “Spring Forward” to a whole new level with an increase in demand for the first time in six weeks.

Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, increased by 216 homes over the prior two weeks and now totals 3,270, the highest level thus far in 2010. Demand is 600 pending sales stronger than last year at this time and 1,187 stronger than two years ago. After looking at developing trends, I had been wondering whether or not demand was going to surge or if it would ignore cyclical market fundamentals. It would not have been the first time that this downturn ignored the conventional Southern California housing cycle.

Call it a coincidence, but now that the cool temperatures, clouds and rain have subsided, the Orange County housing market is revving its engine. There are a ton of buyers in the marketplace right now according to REALTORS® in the trenches.

The current problem is surprisingly a LACK OF INVENTORY. The expected market time for all homes priced below $1 million is 2.23 months, a deep seller’s market with a very low inventory. These homes represent 78% of the active inventory and 94% of demand. But, for homes priced above $1 million, there is NOT a lack of inventory. Collectively, this range represents 22% of the active inventory but only 6% of demand. The expected market time is 8.99 months, a buyer’s market.

The inventory has dropped significantly in every range. With the exception of homes priced below $250,000, demand is much stronger in every range. There just are not enough homes on the market in the lower ranges where demand is so incredibly hot. For the lowest range, less than $250,000, the inventory is down 43%, but demand is only off by 10%. It is no wonder that there are multiple offers and homes selling for above their asking prices in the lower ranges. More inventory would actually be welcomed with open arms by both buyers and their REALTORS®.

The “jumbo” market between $750,000 and $4 million has actually improved tremendously. Their expected market time has dropped significantly as well. For example, homes priced between $1 million and $1.5 million dropped from an expected market time last year of 16.21 months to 6.55 months today. 6.55 months may be a buyer’s market, but it is not frozen. Anytime the expected market time is above 10 months, double digits, there is just too much inventory and very little demand.

Currently, only homes above $2 million have expected market times that are double digits. They represent 10% of the current active inventory, but only 2% of demand. The current market is much different than just one year ago. Just ask all of the buyers who are having trouble purchasing because of a lack in inventory.

How do the rest of the numbers look? The active inventory increased over the past two weeks by 330 homes, or 4%, to 8,776. The active inventory last year was at 11,606, 2,830 additional homes compared to today. Two years ago it was at 15,617, 6,841 additional homes. The overall expected market time for all of Orange County dropped from 2.77 two weeks ago to 2.68 months today. The total pending count, which includes homes that have been pending for months, increased from 6,869 two weeks ago to 7,049 today. That is the highest level since I started tracking total pending sales back in September of 2006.

This is primarily due to the mind-boggling number of short sales that are waiting for lender approval (short sales are homes where the outstanding loans exceed the market value of the home and are subject to the lender[s] agreeing to take less in order to close the sale). 4,250 of the 7,049 total pending sales are short sales, 60%. Yet, only 40% of current demand is made up of short sales. On average, short sales just do not close as fast. Instead, they clog the system and buyers are left on the edge of their seats wondering when they will ever be able to move into their new home.

The number of active distressed homes on the market, all short sales and foreclosures combined, increased by 26 homes to 2,795 and now represent 31.8% of the inventory. Last year at this time, there were 4,673 distressed homes on the market, representing 40.3% of the active inventory.

The number of foreclosures within the active listing inventory dropped by two homes in the past two weeks, from 396 to 394. The expected market time for foreclosures is an astonishing 1.05 months, a deep seller’s market. Foreclosures are flying off of the market. The number of short sales within the active listing inventory increased by 28, and now total 2,401. The expected market time for short sales is 1.86 months, also a deep seller’s market.

With the return of Southern California sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s, Orange County demand is back on the rise.

End of Steven’s report.

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