If your an entry level Orange County home buyer and you have been waiting for the deal of the century to come along and if you have been worried about falling home prices, your wait is over. At least for now, it appears that we have bottomed out.
Recent Orange county real estate statistics show the following.
1. Inventory is at its lowest levels in 3 years. Take a look at this report by Lasner on Inventory of OC Homes at a 3 year low! This means there are many more buyers for every home on the market. Generally I like it when there is 6 months inventory on hand. It makes for a level playing field between Orange County home buyes and home sellers with a better selection of homes to choose from. Right now entry level condos are at less than 2 months supply. And many of them are not even FHA approved. Which means the homes that are approved by FHA are in super high demand.
2. Median Orange County home prices are on the rise. This report by the LA Times on Southern California Median Home prices surge in June clearly shows a rise in median home price. I attribute this to 2 reasons. 1. More expensive homes are starting to sell. 2. The low inventory is causing the price of entry level condos to be bid up and prices are rising as a result.
So what does this mean to you as a home buyer? It means the deals will not get any better for now. In fact, you will probably have to pay more. Yes, there will be more distressed REO and short sale homes for sale coming to the market. And there will also be more home buyers that want them and will pay more than asking price for them. Buyers are motivated by the low interest rates and the first time home buyer tax credit. Home buyers know that these prices will not stay low for ever. The long and the short of it is that if you hope to buy an Orange County home at the bottom of the market, you might want to stop waiting and get real on what you can afford. When prices are on the rise, it pays to pick the best home you can find and tie it up quickly. Waiting for the holy grail of homes usually results in loss of opportunity and paying more for less. This might be your best chance to get in to an Orange County home.