Realtors® and active buyers are always 30 to 60 days ahead of the media when it comes to real estate street smarts and the pulse of the market. So, I’m giving you advance notice: Things are a-changin’. What is happening in Laguna Niguel and south Orange County?
In Laguna Niguel, inventory is down and sales are up. In the second week of January 2011 there were 320 active homes on the market of all prices. In the second week of January 2012 there were 257 active homes on the market. As of March 30, 2012 there are 219 active listings. That is a 15% drop in inventory in two and a half months this year. It is also a 31% drop in inventory from Jan 2011. Our normal listing months are March, April, May and June
Sales are up. There are roughly 20% more sales first quarter this year as compared to the first quarter of 2011. The number of homes in backup and pending status is also up over last year. If you are a buyer looking in any price range you know the inventory is down. If you are an entry-level buyer you are probably very frustrated right now. I hope we see inventory increase in the second quarter.
Short sales may be on the way out as well. There are several things happening. First the HARP2 program is allowing some underwater homeowners to refinance at lower interest rates. As a result of the “Robo-Signing” scandal, the banks and the government have come to a complicated settlement that is going to result in some underwater homeowners being able to realize a principle reduction of $100,000. This obviously means that some underwater homeowners will be able to stay in their homes, which is a good thing.
Home buyers are still savvy and will not frivolously spend their hard-earned money – BUT – homes that are in good condition and well priced in Laguna Niguel will receive offers. and in lower price ranges they may receive multiple offers. Even high-end properties are moving. If this pressure continues at the low end we will see prices begin to move up. I believe we are there.
Let’s see when the media catches on.