First Quarter Market Activity – Orange County

Prepare to be shocked. The Q1 results for the Orange County Real Estate Market are in and it’s quite interesting to see what’s happening out there, particularly in a few of our markets. Let’s take a look.

In Orange County, home sales reached 4,264 – the largest number of home sales (going under contract in one month) since June 2003. Comparing homes pended during March 2011, homes pended were up an astonishing 74.5%, while closings were up 10.5% and inventories dropped by 52.5%. In terms of time on the market, the inventory of homes for sale dropped to 1.5 months based on pended sales.

In Anaheim Hills, comparing March 2011 to March 2012, pended sales were up 73.2%. Inventory is down by 59.3% and here’s one worth noting, there were 60 new listings taken in March 2012 and 97 homes pended! Looking at North Santa Ana, pended sales increased over March 2011 by 96.1%, while inventory was down by 60.3% and the new listings tallied 84 while pended sales rose to 100! In North Tustin, we see the same trend. Pended sales are up by 70.6%, inventory is down by 46.2%, while 26 new listings were taken and 29 homes went pended. Lastly, we take a look at Orange where pended sales are up 93.9%, inventory is down 61.6% and the number of new listings taken is 145, while pended sales reached 190.  

Reviewing the information this month has produced several concerns. First and foremost is the absolute lack of inventory available to buyers in Orange County. At a time when it still makes more sense to buy than rent, we find our inventory of homes to be scarce. Let’s put this in perspective.  

Nearly 2,000 more homes sold in March 2012 than March 2011, the months of inventory went from 5.7 months on pended sales to 1.5, while the square foot price for homes in Orange County remained flat. So with nearly 65% of the homes available being sold, there is a need of listings on the market!

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