There has been a very dramatic drop of homes available for sale in Orange County. Over the past 12 months, the inventory has been almost cut in HALF. Inventory is STILL dropping, even now in the beginning of March when historically it has already begun to rise. I know two big reasons for this.
First is the fact that buyers have begun gobbling up the inventory for the past several months. Pending sales have been rising steadily, and they have jumped an incredible 91% since February 2011. The increase of pending sales from January 2012 to February 2012 alone was a HUGE 34.4%. Pent-up demand has been a big factor for a few years, and now it is being unleashed. Low prices, low interest rates and an improving local economy have created the perfect storm for buyers to re-enter the real estate market.
Another reason is that sellers have been reluctant to sell. They fear the market is against them and do not want to compete against lower-priced bank-owned homes. Many have been trying to “time” the market. In addition, they have been concerned about the purchase of the replacement home. Can they find the right home? Can they get a loan? Thus, many equity sellers have simply stayed put.
So if you are a seller, now is truly an ideal time to list our home for sale. Buyers would swarm your new listing, and if it is priced right and in good shape, it should sell quickly. Even if you have to do a short sale, the right pricing and marketing will work wonders to get it sold.
If you are a buyer, patience and diligence are key. Also a hard-working realtor can network and hopefully dig up a property for you, make a good offer that gets accepted and sees you through a successful purchase.