ORANGE COUNTY HOUSING REPORT: Prospective buyers and sellers constantly ask when is it the right time to buy or sell. It is now. With low interest rates and a surge in demand, it is a good time for both buyers and sellers to make a move.
Everybody is always trying to time life perfectly. When we go to the movies, which of the three lines is going to get us to the box office window the fastest? Is it better to wait to buy that first car as a teenager or wait until after college? Will it be too crowded to visit Disneyland now or is it better to wait until the fall? When is it the right time for a guy to pop the question and ask his girlfriend for her hand in marriage? When should a couple have a baby, right now or is it better to travel first? Life is all about “perfect timing,” and deciding to buy or sell is yet another instance where everybody wants to wait for the very best time to make that move.
When is “the” best time to make a move? For prospective buyers and sellers, the current housing conditions and trends point to NOW. How can it be both an excellent time to buy and sell at the very same time? For buyers, it is all about interest rates. For sellers, it is all about top dollar and cashing in on this year’s consistent, growing demand.
At the end of 2018, prognosticators, economic experts, and major financial institutions were all forecasting interest rates anywhere from 5.25% to 6% in 2019. That seemed more than reasonable given the fact that rates had climbed from 3.95% at the beginning of 2018 to nearly 5% by November. Yet, after an exceptionally rocky December for Wall Street and news of an economic slowdown in both China and Europe, interest rates retreated and dropped to 4%. Since then, they have risen slightly to about 4.2%, where they stand today. The bottom line, mortgage rates are back down to historical lows. It is a great time to be a buyer.
For sellers, lower rates have pushed the market from a slight Buyer’s Market at the end of 2018 and start to January of this year, to a Balanced Market in February, to a slight Seller’s Market today. The best time of the year for sellers, with the lowest Expected Market Time, is from February until mid-May. For sellers to properly take advantage of the most optimal time to sell, they need to be on the market now and priced right.
The bottom line: the best time of the year for buyers and sellers to make a move is right now.