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Actual Numbers for Orange County Home Sales (Nov 2017)

At press time, we have numbers only through November 22 , sales were at 3,320 and the median price rose 6.2% to $699,000 with increases in 61 of the 83 zip codes in OC.  

There were 60 distressed listings, either short sales or foreclosures, up from the prior 2 weeks.  

We are still seeing very minor percentages of buyers using an ARM loan product, versus a fixed rate, just 17.2% down from the previous 2 months, but up from a year ago (11.8%), which is reflective of the several rate increases, modest though they were, that we did have.
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4 Reasons to Own Your Own Home

As promised, let's take a look at why?  Owning your home offers stability to start and raise your family.  It gives you control on location, schools and other amenities important to you.  No place like home.  There is a feeling of permanence that a rental can never give.  Never knowing when your landlord may decide to sell or terminate your lease. There is more space.   Maybe this isn't true with a starter home, although usually that first move from an apartment to a condo still is a little bigger, but definitely with a move up home, possible through equity building, you will feel the benefit of a bigger home.  Control over renovations, updates, and style.  Why rent a home that is Southwestern , when you like modern?  What is the kitchen is dated after 5 years and you want it updated?  A landlord is not likely to agree, or to renovate to your specifications.  It is wonderful to decorate and do paint, floors and bathrooms to your tastes.

Should Retiring Baby Boomers Buy or Rent After Selling Their Family Home?

Obviously this is an individual choice, but let this column add one component -- Proposition 60/90.  This allows someone over 55 to sell their home and carry their low tax base (family home held for 20 years), to their next property.  

The caveat?  You only have 2 years to exercise this option before it expires.  So retiring boomers should talk to their tax advisors and trust attorneys as to what is best for them.

Top 4 Reasons to Buy a Home

This would seem nonsensical to even discuss in Southern California where we are blessed with appreciation, compared to many places in the country, but here goes...


Prices will go up 4% to 8% this year, and historically they are pretty great decade over decade.  Interest rates - this sounds like a never stopping beating drum, but they really won't stay low forever.You pay for where you live no matter what...unless you own your home free and clear, and then just have property taxes.Nice?You bet.As mentioned before, start wealth building through equity building and appreciation.

Homes Selling Faster Than a Year Ago . . . What Does 2018 Hold for Us All?

Houses may be selling at a faster pace, but it is not a reflection on improving market conditions...there is still a massive shortage in inventory, resulting in fewer sales, escrows, and listings.  According to the latest  "Reports On Housing", as of December 14th, there are 4,023 listings in OC, down 766 or 16% from the same period of 2016, and inventory was considered tight even then.  New escrows were 1,984, down 120 or 6%.Days on market, the average time it takes a home to sell dipped 12 days to 75 from 87 a year ago.

AND WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE TAX CHANGES??  It is too early to tell what the long term impact will be regarding interest rate deductions and property tax deduction limits; it's probably safe to say it could have some impact, but should it?This author believes that for most homebuyers, those deductions are not the most compelling reasons to buy a home, and probably haven't been for some time.The statistical differences between the net worth of individuals…

Orange County Median Home Price Breaks $700,000 Barrier, Setting Record...Don't Panic, It's Not What You Think

What the heck is happening to So Cal living conditions, i.e., housing costs?  Before full blown panic sets in, know this: the median price had a steep rise because of more new home sales, (whose median price is always highest), coupled with fewer condo sales this past month.  Equals?  A seemingly drastic rise.  
Don't misunderstand, So Cal has the highest income percentage for housing costs of any major metro area in the US except New York and San Francisco.  But, before you go blasting greedy sellers and over-anxious buyers, too willing to buy anything, place some of that blame on soaring rents.  Yes.  Rent.  Rent versus buying has some disturbing statistics.  The national average of income for housing for buyers is 25.8% and for renters it is 29.2%.  Now So Cal numbers are a bit different, but with rising rents and more executive and luxury apartment complexes hitting central and south orange county, single-family rentals, really anywhere, but especially at the coast, the numb…

What Were The Actual Numbers for September Housing in Orange County?

For the month of September, the latest complete month available, the total number of sales was 3,338.  This was up 4.6% from September of 2016.  
There were 1,979 single-family resale transactions, ever reminding us that the resale home always dominates the market.  Condos came in with 859, which was off by 7.5% from a year ago.  
New homes were especially strong, driving up that median overall price, with 500 total sales, up a staggering 37.7% from a year ago.  This also reflects the new housing product finally catching up with demand, just a little bit.  As would be expected, the house payment rose to $3,240, up from $2,873 the previous September.  The largest rise in pricing was actually condos with an 11% year over year increase.