According to the ‘Orange County Housing Report’, published January 14, our area has experienced a 9% increase in active listings. Historically and consistently low interest rates paired with low inventory have created an unrelenting seller’s market for the past 5 years. There has been a huge demand for housing and very few homeowners willing to let go of their piece of the pie. This year, interest rates are expected to rise and the inventory is trending at a higher rate of increase than has been seen over the past 5 years.
The low inventory at the beginning of this year was similar to 2013. This has been a concern for industry insiders because 2013 was a challenging market year. Homes listed for sale at a price point under $1 million had stiff competition…many selling at or above asking price and frustrating buyers.

The 9% increase in inventory during the first 14 days of 2018 is encouraging for buyers! It appears the increase will continue as the year progresses.

So, will this year be a buyer’s market? Not quite! Even with the inventory increase, demand to buy is high. In 2013, the average home was on the market about 45 days. By the end of 2017, the average time on market was 84 days. To date, in 2018, the average is at 77 days and expected to decrease sharply by the end of January. We are expected to stay in a seller’s market, but the buyer has become more savvy than in 2013. Home prices are much higher than 5 years ago and buyers have become unwilling to compete for property by overpaying.

What should the smart seller do in order to insure a timely sale? It is important for sellers to set the right price when they list their home. Buyers (and their banks) are simply unwilling to pay much more than Fair Market Value. Listen to your Realtor. Price your home to sell based on the most recent activity in your area. At the end of 2017, 59% of all closed sales had decreased their asking price at least once. Avoid this trend and time on the market by pricing it right from the start!

2018 is going to be a wonderful year to sell your home…Do it right and list with us at the right price!