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Orange County Housing Report: A Balanced Market

Good morning!

Orange County housing is moving away from a Seller’s Market to a

Balanced Market.

A Balanced Market: With demand continuing to drop to levels not seen in over a decade, housing is rapidly evolving into a Balanced Market.

The housing market has favored sellers for years now. That good old-fashioned metal balance scale has been leaning heavily in favor of the sellers with very few homes on the market and tremendous demand. Yet, with more homes coming on the market and falling demand, that metal balance scale has slowly but surely been moving away from that hot seller’s market to a balanced market, one that does not favor sellers or buyers.

Everybody has been talking about not enough homes on the market, dating back to 2012. That lack of supply has fueled the frenzied real estate market; that is, until 2018. The supply problem has evolved into a demand problem. While the supply of homes has increased quite a bit this year, it still remains below the long term average of 8,000 homes. The real issue is not that there are way too many homes on the market, as in prior slowdowns; instead, it is the fact that housing demand has dropped precipitously.

Demand, a snapshot of the last month of pending sales, has been off all year, especially from mid-April through today. Surprisingly, that is the meat of the housing market, the Spring and Summer Markets. In taking a closer look at demand at the end of July, the numbers are staggering. Demand was 18% higher last year. The last time demand was this low dates all the way back to 2007 when the housing market completely fell apart. It is interesting to take a look at the differences in context to the mortgage interest rate at the time. Today’s national average interest rate is 4.6%, the highest rate since 2011.

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