This is Jeb Smith with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Huntington Beach back with your September 2018 Orange County Real Estate Market Update. Now that school is back in session and stores have started to advertise Christmas, means that we have started the transition in our Fall Market. With the fall market, generally comes less homes on the market coupled with less buyer demand. Will this year be any different?
Over the past few weeks we have continued to see new homes coming to the market where normally we would have seen a peak in our active inventory in late August. In fact there are around 1,700 more homes on the market right now than this same time last year. I know the inventory is a big topic and has been for some time but I personally believe a lot of the reason our inventory is so much higher isn’t necessarily because the market is slowing down but because there are a lot of over-priced homes on the market sitting as Sellers stretch the price. When inventory was much lower these homes might have sold due to the lack of available options but now that Buyers have options, these homes are taking a backseat to the homes that are priced according to fair market value. With that being said, we will likely continue to see new homes coming on the market for the next few weeks as Sellers rush to get their homes on the market and into escrow before the peak of the Holiday season just before Thanksgiving.
During this same period where we’ve been adding inventory, we have also seen our buyer demand drop by nearly 15% from this same time last year. This means there are around 350 less pending sales than this same time last year. I don’t believe this is because there are necessarily less buyers looking but more the seasonal effect of kids going back to school along with summer vacations and a little uptick in interest rates have buyers being a little more cautious in certain price points. As I”m out doing open houses, there are still a ton of buyers coming through looking for the right home. That along with multiple offers on homes tells me that our market still has steam left in the tank.
When you take both the added inventory along with the decrease in buyer demand, you get homes sitting on the market longer than just a few months ago. While this is somewhat to be expected for this time of year, it’s also something to consider if you are looking to buy or sell into today’s real estate market.
As we edge closer to a balanced market, one where buyers and sellers are equal we have to be more mindful of the real estate landscape as things are changing a bit and you need to make sure that you are on the right side of the change especially when considering buying or selling. It is still a Seller’s market but only when the home is priced correctly so the days of overpricing by a large margin hoping to drive up the price is likely out of the equation.
If you are seriously considering selling or buying in this market, you should be working with a full time professional Realtor so they can help guide you through the process. As a seasoned professional, I’d love the opportunity to earn your business. If you would like more information about me, please go to my website jebsmith.net or check out my other videos on facebook and youtube. I appreciate you taking the time to watch and look forward to seeing you again next month.