Photo courtesy of Pat Cunningham
By now, unless you have been living under a rock, you probably have read or heard that the Orange County housing market has heated up. All the major news media are prominently displaying the recovery in their respective headlines or on the television and web.
Today in the Business section of the Orange County Register, the headline read “November O.C. Home Sales Hit 7-Year High.”
Housing analyst, Stephen Thomas, reported that Orange County had 3,482 homes for sale as of December 6, 2012–the “lowest number in records dating back to mid-2004.”The number of Orange County home sales soared over 25% over last year’s housing prices. Home prices rose 12 .5 % over home values for 2011. Resales of foreclosed/distressed properties fell to their lowest levels for the first time since May 2007 and are down a whopping 81% since the height of the housing recession in August of 2008.
Historically low interest rates, extremely low housing inventory, and a record number of buyers, have created multiple offers and are pushing prices higher in nearly all of the Irvine zip codes as well as in price ranges across the board. Buyers who are seeking financing have to compete with all cash investors which can create a great deal of frustration among home seekers. One agent, representing a buyer on one of my own listings, said that she had lost out on a number of properties to an unending stream of all cash buyers.
These days, buyers are urged to “put a human face” on their offers by writing a personal note to the seller and offer closer to or above the asking price in order to compensate for the fact that there are buyers out there with larger down payments and better credit scores.
Many still question whether this is just a temporary upsurge. Others feel that they need to get into the housing market before housing prices rise even further, imperiling their chance to own a little piece of the American dream.
It’s simple–the tide has turned.