Now that we are all comfortably rolling along in the summertime groove, it appears that the current real estate environment is also traveling the same tracks that have carried us through spring.
Interest rates continue to touch and hold new record lows, purchase business is steady and the expected boost of new inventory has yet to show.
What gives? Wasn't there supposed to be a wave of new inventory that would crush any hopes of a rebound? A flood that many on the sidelines had predicted and banked on, one that would have so much inventory hitting the market that we would see another 10- to 15-percent drop in prices across the board?
What happened? Many have stood by and watched as rates plunge and inventory continues to thin, hoping that now is finally the time.
Well, it has not quite worked out that way to the surprise of many. A quick look at the chart shows that we have indeed started to see a measurable recovery.
Huh? Recovery? Where is the double dip crash?
Now I use the term "measurable recovery" very carefully. It does not mean we will see home values start racing skyward as we did back when Alan Greenspan famously coined the term "irrational exuberance," but what we have seen is a shift towards a seller's market.
In fact, if you are currently in the market and seriously looking for a home, I would be willing to bet that many of you have made an offer on a home where you were one of several, if not many offers, on a home that you missed out on.
It is a fact of this new market, that after looking long and hard for the perfect home for you and your family, you will have some competition.
The year-over-year chart attached to this blog post measures sold real estate activity in the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point and Laguna Beach.
Each year, going back to 2002, measuring the total number of closed sales up to the mid-point of July.
You can see that in all three cities we are well off our lows of 2008. Sales continue to improve from one year to the next but without that feeding frenzy driving prices soaring towards unsustainable growth.
You can see in this next link, exactly what they are selling for and at what percentage in relation to the list price. This chart covers Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach, San Clemente and Laguna Beach: Market Report - San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach & Laguna Niguel
To get an idea of what interest rates are and what payments would be using mortgage calculators, check out this link: Interest Rate and Mortgage Calculators.
We first saw some indicators of the increase in sales volume in the industry trade magazines, web sites and industry blogs over the last six months. Now it is much more mainstream, many of those in the national press and regional media are claiming that we are finally and measurably, on the road to recovery.
The San Francisco Chronicle claims "After several years of false starts, the evidence is finally starting to point to signs of a real recovery."
Housing Wire magazine states that JP Morgan Chase economists are calling for real estate prices "to rise 12 percent by 2016."
Soon we will be seeing it consistently on all the major news channels, monthly, weekly, then daily, with all the talk of real estate being back. Finally.
Well, the truth is that it is back, and it has been for a little while now. The key is do you want your piece of the pie, now or later. Wait much more and there will be more offers to compete with and possibly, even higher prices. Smaller pieces of pie and more expensive. Don't wait, NOW is the time.
To view any property listed on the Orange County MLS, check out Buy South OC Homes.