Market Snapshot - The Real Estate Market in March

Real Estate

The Market is in Full Bloom

Spring is officially underway here in Orange County. Everything from the weather to the housing market is heating up as we head into the best part of the year. With many schools going on Spring Break, you may be preparing to enjoy some of the best parts of Orange County. While a vacation hub for the rest of the world, we’re fortunate to call this lovely place home. Take some time to enjoy all that Southern California has to offer in Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, San Diego, Carlsbad and Catalina.

The Interest Rate Increase

In other news, it appears interest rates have increased overnight. While rates have been hovering at a historic low of 4 percent for the past year, this latest 1 percent increase is predicted to influence the affordability of homes throughout Orange County. Specifically, the latest Steven Thomas Orange County Housing Report indicates that an increase in interest rates by 1 percent translates to an 11 percent drop in the home a buyer can afford. What does this mean for buyers? With rising interest rates, purchasing power considerably drops for buyers the longer they wait.

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Keep in mind, a 5.5 percent interest rate is still very low and with an improving economy, the new tax law, trade reform and a new infrastructure plan, rates will continue to rise. A note to buyers: Do not wait for rates to drop! Invest now and capitalize on your existing purchasing power to get the home you want. 

Supply and Demand

The real estate market is truly blooming with opportunity for buyers and sellers. Despite the sudden change in interest rates, I’m seeing positive signs for both buyers and sellers in Orange County. According to the Steven Thomas Orange County Housing Report, active inventory increased by 4 percent in the past two weeks, adding an additional 189 homes to the market. Predictions indicate that inventory will continue to climb as the market moves deeper into Spring, with a peak sometime between July and August.

Demand also saw another healthy jump over the past two weeks with a 5 percent increase. The number of new pending sales over the month increased by 121 adding to a 2,538 total for the year so far. The last time demand was above 2,500 was back in September of 2017. Another strong sign for the market moving further into Spring. Luxury inventory and demand also increased over the past couple weeks. Overall, this data point to a continual sellers market that shows no signs of cooling off!

The Best Time to Buy and Sell

Despite the market leaning towards benefiting sellers, buyers looking to enter the market should not wait much longer to invest. Now is the time to buy and sell in Orange County. Whether you're looking to sell your home and upgrade to a bigger house, or need help finding your future home, I can help. With more than 18 years of experience and more than $250 Million sold locally, I have the local knowledge and the network to ensure a seamless real estate process on both ends. Learn more about the buying and selling process, and work with a trustworthy local agent when you choose to work with Rosemary Hieber. Call me today at 949-285-3215 to get started. 

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