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Brian Liberto

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OC MARKET UPDATE - Presented By Brian Liberto

After dropping nearly 22%, Orange County housing demand is now in a normal summer cyclical pattern. Housing Demand: Over the last 5 years the average drop in demand was 3.2%, this year it was only 2%. Whatever the reason, the end of school, graduation, the start of summer, demand cyclically drops at this time of year. The only difference this time around is that demand had already dropped 20% due to the end of the Federal first time home buyer tax credit. When demand reached 3,979 pending sales on April 29th, the height for 2010, and the highest threshold in almost five years, there was a rush to purchase by first time home buyers. That segment accounted for 25% of Orange County’s housing activity. With so many of them pushing to purchase by a deadline, it left a void in demand for the six weeks that followed the expiration. It wasn’t until the past two weeks when the normal housing pattern for Orange County reemerged. Earlier in the year, the market followed a normal pattern as well, until March and April. Demand grew by 30% in those two months, and then subsequently, dropped almost 22% in May and June. Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 60 in the past two weeks and now totals 3,107. For the second report in a row, demand is less than the prior year with 522 fewer pending sales compared to 2009. From here, demand typically falls in the next two weeks and then climbs at the end of July. With the distraction of the Fourth of July weekend coming up, that sounds fairly accurate. Active Listing Inventory: The inventory has continued to grow unabated since the beginning of the year. Last year the inventory dropped by 36%. This year, however, the Orange County housing inventory has grown by 3,034 homes, a 43% increase. In the past two weeks, the inventory has grown by 345 homes, a 3% increase, and now totals 10,469. This is also the second report in a row where the inventory is higher than last year. Last year the inventory was at 9,188 homes, 1,274 fewer than today. The drop in demand is partially to blame for the increase in the inventory, but keep in mind that it was still increasing unabated when demand was at its highest level in years. We have also heard that the market is really hot in lower price ranges, which is true, just ask any buyer. However, all ranges have experienced an increase in inventory, especially homes between $250,000 and $1 million. For homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000, the inventory has increased by 60%. The reason for the increase in inventory is because there are many homeowners who have held off on selling their home, pent up sellers, who have been waiting for the market to turn so that they could take advantage of the market and sell their home. Homeowners have heard about the hot market in the lower ranges with a lot of activity, multiple offers and homes selling for very close to their asking prices, and in many cases, above their asking prices. The problem is that many of these pent up homeowners are placing their homes on the market at unrealistic levels, thousands above the most recent comparable and pending sales. Buyers in today’s market have become “spreadsheet buyers,” pouring over the comparables and not wanting to pay much more than the last buyer. With demand hot, many are willing to pay a bit of a premium to purchase their dream home, but more along the lines of an extra $5,000, not $15,000 or more. As long as the overall economy’s health is in limbo and more distressed homes are hitting the market, buyers are unwilling to pay an extravagant premium to own a home. As a seller, it is imperative to carefully consider all recent comparable sales, taking into account location and amenities, and price accordingly. Then, listen carefully to how the market responds to your home and make any necessary adjustments. Foreclosures and Short Sales: since October 1, 2009, the distressed inventory has grown by 37%. The active distressed inventory has increased from 2,346 homes on October 1st and now totals 3,217, levels not seen since May of 2009. The distressed inventory now represents 31% of the current active inventory. Last year at this time, there were 2,919 distressed homes on the market, representing 32% of the active inventory. The number of foreclosures within the active listing inventory increased by 29 homes in the past two weeks from 530 to 559. The expected market time for foreclosures is 1.52 months, an exceptionally HOT seller’s market. Short sales, where a homeowner attempts to sell a home for less than the total outstanding loans against a home, requiring lender approval, increased by 108 homes over the past two weeks and now total 2,658. The expected market time for short sales is 2.28 months, still a HOT seller’s market. Interest Rates: Interest rates are at a 60 year low and will NOT last. Everybody is so focused on price and the current historically low interest rates have become an expected part of our real estate market. However, with all of the money that the Federal government has poured into our economy, there is a real threat of major inflation on the horizon. One of the only ways to counter the threat is to raise rates. Due to the lackluster economy, the Federal Reserve is currently stuck and unable to raise rates in the short run, but sooner or later they will be forced to make a change. Rates are predicted to increase to 6% over the course of the next year. As interest rates rise, buyers can afford less of a home. This is best illustrated in an example. For a buyer with an income of $100,000 and putting 20% down, a rise in interest rates from 5% to 6% equates in a drop in home affordability from $590,000 to $540,000, a $50,000 drop. Buyers waiting for that “good buy” may find it next year, but at a price, with higher rates and a larger monthly payment.

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Brian Liberto said:

Newport Heights Homes $2,250,000 :: 442 Redlands Avenue, Newport Beach CA, 92663 8/10/2010 2:08 AM 4

August 10, 2010 1:22 PM

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About Brian Liberto

Brian Liberto represents the coast’s finest properties with an exceptional skill for innovative technology..He has a clear understanding of the mindset of luxury home buyers and sellers and undoubtedly meets their expectations. For sellers, today’s technology allows us to reach millions of qualified prospective buyers and sellers world-wide in real time. Nearly 87% of home buyers initiate their home search on the internet. We utlize technology via Facebook, Twitter, Zillow, Realtytrac, and Utube to sell your home today. We turn Browers into Buyers ! Our commitment: provide our clientele with the best in real estate representation & marketing services. Whether buying or selling, we strive to make the entire experience rewarding by exceeding your expectations & providing an extraordinary result