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Could We be Seeing the Beginning of Price Decline Across the Southland?

by Stacey Sloan
Don't get too excited--the southland median price did rise 5.8% year over year from July 2017 to July 2018, but prices did dip from June's median price rise the previous month.  It could be an anomaly or a coming trend, obviously one month is not enough to tell.  Realtors did see an inventory rise of approximately 14%, but hardly enough to tilt the scales to a buyer's market, or even a neutral market.  We are, though in fact, at a 6 year high in inventory.   

However, that being said, many buyers today are backing away from rising prices, refusing to pay over market.  Appraisals also are coming in on current escrows with a bit more conservative logic than in previous months.  All pointing toward a slow down?  With still just a 3 month supply of housing, and even a bit shorter on that for entry level buyers, most economists expect 2019 to still bring strong sales, possibly even stronger than 2018, according to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers …
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What Were the Housing Numbers for July 2018?

by Stacey Sloan
July had a total number of 3,289 sales, a very slight increase of 0.4% over July of 2017 after a did in year over year sales in June.  There were 2,079 single-family resale homes, 881 condo sales, and 329 new home sales. The overall median price for Orange County was $735,750, a rise of 6.6%.  However, much of that increase is from the median price of new homes skewing the data with a median price of $1,014,500.  Resale condo median price gained 8.5%, new homes rose 20.8% and resale home increase was 5.3%.  Sales showed an increase only because new home sales rose 10%.  Resale houses declined 0.7% and condos 0.2%.

Three Myths to the Current Housing Market

by Stacey Sloan
We are headed for a bubble.  Homes have risen in prices for 76 straight months.  However, this next recession will be considered a "normal" recession after years of economic growth and employment.  Webster defines a recession as, "a period of temporary decline during which trade and industrial activity is reduced and a fall in the Gross Domestic Product for 2 consecutive quarters or more."  All economists read for this report do not see housing as the cause of the next recession unlike the bubble where lending and housing was the only cause.  REALITY TO THE MYTH: At the height of the crash, we had a ten month supply of homes; currently we are at 3 months.Rumored recession will lead to the crash - REALITY TO THE MYTH: Housing is expected to be a bright spot, the last part in and the first segment out of the recessional.  There is an affordability crisis: There is some truth to this for some southland buyers, and sellers will have to come to terms with…

The Value of Living Among Schools with Good Test Scores

by Stacey Sloan
Even if you don't have children, when selling your home, it pays to be in a good school district.  If you have a multi-bedroom home, i.e., everyone (nearly), it has been studied that families will give up "must haves" for a home, and a sacrifice features for great schools.  

According to Keeping Current Matters real estate blog, 86% of families with kids, shopping for a home, will check out test scores and a school's reputation.  Some food for thought.

Median Home Price Hits Record in Southland, While Slump in Sales Points to Slow Down

So Cal prices jumped 8.2% in May, hitting an all-time high of $530,000 overall.  June, (the latest complete month available),  saw it climb even higher to $536,250.  Specifically, Orange County was the highest at $739,000.  LA came in at $615,000, Riverside at $380,000 and San Bernardino at $334,000.  Short supply and low interest rates, which has been the buyer's mantra this past spring buying season, may be coming to a close, as well as Sellers' fantasies as to pricing their home.  Sluggish sales indicates a waning housing season, but also slightly climbing interest rates, (at press time they were approximately 4.6%, a new high, but of course these rates can change moment by moment and this rate is anecdotal only).  

The truth may be that buyers who have more discretionary income and could tolerate bidding wars, and mandatory appraisal removal contingencies, have all bought and moved.  The buyers who remain have no such luxury and sellers may do best for themselves by believi…

Orange County Housing Stats for June 2018

The total number of sales for Orange County was 3,482, which reflected a decrease in sales of 8.5%.  The median price was $739,000, an increase of 6%.  There was a total of 872 condos sold and 413 new homes.  Those new homes, by the way, have a lot to do with the increase of the median price in OC, with a median of $927,250.  The average monthly house payment continues to increase about the same as the price increase rising from $3,245 this time last year, to $3,508 this year.

Foreign Home Buying Rises in State but Not the Rest of the Country

Foreigners, primarily, but not exclusively Chinese, continue to find California housing an attractive place to park their cash.  As foreign sales slumped nation wide, California's share of foreign purchases, according to Jonathan Lasner of the OC Register, rose from 12% to 14%.  This could definitely be seen as a vote of confidence worldwide in the resilience of the So Cal and No Cal real estate markets compared to the rest of the country, including such markets as New York and Boston.  Only Florida had more foreign investment.