Steven Thomas, President of Altera Real Estate recently released his latest Orange County Housing Report and it is definitely worth taking the time to review if you are curious about how the 2008 housing market finished and the possible outlook for 2009. It's a very comprehensive summary.
I would encourage you to review the charts for Active Listings and Pending Sales. I love the way that it visually lays out the '05, '06, '07, and '08 numbers for comparison.
One thing worth noting is that current inventory is way down - 11,842 homes off the March peak of 15,617. Homeowners have definitely taken to heart that selling will not be easy and pricing is critical. If they don't have to sell, they generally are opting not to.
The biggest facet of our current market is the distressed inventory. As I've continued to repeat here, one of the indicators that a recovery is on the horizon is declining numbers in the distressed sector of the market. Right now, Thomas states that 46% of all the current inventory are distressed sales; 76% of those are short sales and 24% are foreclosures.
So where is the demand? Believe it or not, it is a strong seller's market when it comes to foreclosures and they are selling at 101% of asking price.
Short sales continue to be a frustrating facet of the market because they continue to stay active on the market while a bank approves the offers they have pending. This creates negative and misleading numbers when one analyzes the active inventory. These offers can take weeks, even months, for the bank to approve. The sale to list price on short sales is running at 97%.
If you have questions about how these numbers impact your buying or selling plans, I'm happy to discuss it with you.