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Monday, April 1, 2024   /   by Bob Cowan


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Tucked away in the center of Southern California, Orange County is well-known for its stunning beaches, varied neighborhoods, and strong economic growth. The Orange County home market is vital to the region's entire real estate scene, since it is one of the most sought-after locations for both locals and visitors.

For anyone wishing to get into the real estate market, it is imperative to ascertain whether Orange County is now experiencing a buyer's or seller's market.  The most recent month-over-month decline in sales can indicate a change in the market in favor of buyers, providing prospective homeowners more negotiation leverage. Nonetheless, the consistency of sales from year to year suggests that sellers are still in a dominant position in the market.

Orange County is a desirable area to live, work, and play because it offers a mix of charming coastal communities, suburban suburbs, and busy urban hubs. The county provides its citizens with a wide variety of facilities and activities, from the thriving arts scene in Santa Ana to the upmarket shopping in Newport Beach. Furthermore, Orange County's image as a top destination for families and professionals has been bolstered by its excellent employment market, first-rate schools, and pleasant climate.

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Housing Market Trends in Orange County through 2024

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) said in January that sales of existing single-family homes throughout the state had increased significantly. Using a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of sale of 256,160 properties, the figures provide a compelling narrative. This represents a 5.9 percent gain from January 2023 and a noteworthy 14.4 percent increase from the previous month, indicating a robust real estate market.

Comparing Orange County with California's Median Home Prices

When we focus on Orange County in particular, we find that in January 2024, the median sales price of existing single-family homes was $1,320,000. Even while this indicates a slight increase of 1.5 percent from month to month, it shows a significant increase of 10.5 percent from year to year. These numbers highlight Orange County's real estate market's tenacity and appeal.

When compared to the California state median home price of $788,940 in January, Orange County stands out as a premium market. The county saw a respectable 5.0 percent gain from January 2023 compared to December, despite a 3.8 percent decline from previous month. This indicates that the market is still appealing to both investors and homeowners.

Sales Analytics: Keeping Up with the Trends

Although the median price of homes in Orange County is rising, sales data paints a more complex picture. The sales change from month to month shows a 14.8 percent decline, suggesting that January may have been a slower month than December. But the county keeps things stable year over year, with a mere 1.0 percent decline.

In January, the median sale price of existing single-family homes in the greater Southern California area was $790,000. The region's ability to withstand market volatility is demonstrated by the notable 7.0 percent year-over-year gain in this statistic, which did not change from the previous month.

Does Orange County See a Decline in Home Prices?

The median home price in Orange County increased by 1.5% month over month, which may cause some to wonder about the general trend of property values. But it's crucial to consider this in the context of the market's overall resilience. Even if there could be sporadic variations, the significant 10.5 percent gain year over year indicates a strong long-term tendency. Orange County's home values have not decreased significantly thus far, highlighting the area's resilience in the face of shifting market conditions.

Will the Housing Market Collapse in Orange County?

Both purchasers and sellers are concerned about the possibility of a property market collapse. Based on a review of the available data, there isn't any solid indication that the Orange County real estate market is about to collapse. Rather than an impending crash, the month-to-month decline in sales may be due to seasonal reasons or transient swings. While it is imperative that interested parties remain cautious, Orange County's real estate market now seems robust and is not suffering from a serious downturn.

Is This the Right Time to Purchase an Orange County Home?

The answer to the issue of whether this is a good time to buy a house for Orange County residents considering homeownership depends on a number of things. Sensible purchasers may find possibilities given the modest month-to-month increase in median property prices and the decline in sales. On the other hand, the strong annual increase in housing prices implies that putting off a purchase could result in greater expenses down the road. As usual, in order to make judgments that are well-suited to their unique needs and objectives, potential purchasers should carefully evaluate their financial readiness and speak with real estate experts.

Will the Housing Market Collapse in Orange County?

Even while there aren't any obvious signs of a housing market collapse, continued expansion will be difficult given the historically high prices and falling sales volume. Long-term market dynamics, encompassing elements like interest rates, the state of the economy, and the availability of housing, will impact the stability of the market.

It's crucial to remember that a variety of factors affect real estate markets, and brief changes do not always portend a market collapse. A thorough understanding of the market's trajectory will require keeping an eye on economic conditions and keeping up with broader developments.

2024 Housing Market Forecast for Orange County

The home market in Orange County is expected to have an intriguing picture in the upcoming months. Even though there is a seller's market and rising home prices, there could be changes in the market dynamics that need to be taken into account. The Orange County housing market's future is still unknown due to the potential for shifting interest rates, the state of the economy, and the availability of homes.

A larger monthly mortgage payment results from a higher mortgage rate, which makes it more difficult for certain buyers to afford the properties they desire. This may lead to a decrease in the demand for real estate and possibly a drop in home values. Furthermore, buyers' ability to borrow less money increases with rising mortgage rates, which may restrict their purchasing power and lower the number of properties they can purchase.

But if demand and purchasing power are down, there might be less buyer competition, which might also result in reduced pricing. In addition, a few purchasers would postpone buying a property until mortgage rates decrease, which would further diminish demand and drive down prices.

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  bob cowan, san clemente, orange county, california, march 2024, april 2024

Platinum Living Realty
Bob Cowan
120 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92661
DRE# 01970237

Based on information from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. as of July 15, 2024. This information is for your personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties you may be interested in purchasing. Display of MLS data is usually deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed accurate by the MLS. Buyers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information and should investigate the data themselves or retain appropriate professionals. Information from sources other than the Listing Agent may have been included in the MLS data. Unless otherwise specified in writing, Broker/Agent has not and will not verify any information obtained from other sources. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.
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