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Orange County Housing Report
Active Inventory: In the past couple of weeks, the active
inventory increased by 3%.
In the past two weeks, the active listing inventory
increased by 194 homes, up 3%, and now totals 6,294. It is not rising that
rapidly because demand has increased tremendously in recent weeks while the
number of homeowners opting to sell is a bit subdued. So far this year, 5%
fewer homeowners have opted to sell compared to 2018.
From here, expect the inventory to slowly rise until it
starts picking up momentum at the end of March. It will then increase at a
higher rate with many more homeowners deciding to sell as the market rolls
through the spring.
Last year at this time there were 4,178 homes on the market.
That means that there are 51% more homes available today. This is the highest
level of homes on the market for this time of the year since 2012.
Demand: In the past couple of weeks, demand increased by
Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior
month, continued its rapid climb. In the past couple of weeks, demand increased
by 297 pending sales, or 17%, from 1,791 to 2,088. Demand typically ramps up
through the month of February as it prepares for the best time of the year, in
terms of pending sales activity, springtime. So far this year, demand has
increased by 79%, even stronger than last year’s 69% rise. Part of demands
resurgence is due to interest rates falling from 4.5% at the start of the year
to 4.35% last week. Back in November, rates almost reached 5%. The retreat has
helped demand considerably.
Even with the strong increase in demand, it is important to
note that the current demand reading is the lowest for this time of the year
since 2008. It will continue to be muted compared to recent years unless
interest rates drop to 4% or below.
Last year at this time, there were 353 additional pending
sales, 17% more than today.