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Unlike the last few years, housing is quite a bit cooler this December.
A Cold December: With an Expected Market Time of 127 days for all of Orange County, this is the coolest December since 2010.
Brrrr!!! For Southern Californians, when temps drop down to the 40’s at night, it is freezing!! The tap water is cold. Initially, the car is cold for the morning commute. A simple sweatshirt will not do. It feels as if winter has already arrived. That is precisely how the Orange County housing market feels this year. Notoriously, December is the slowest month of the year in terms of new pending sales. Yet, for years, there simply have not been enough homes on the market. Since 2012, it was still a slight seller’s market in December despite holiday distractions. Demand drops to its lowest point of the year by the end of the month, but so does the active inventory. The muted demand is offset by a drop in supply.
Last year at this time, the Expected Market Time for all of Orange County was at 65 days, a slight seller’s market. Today, it is at 127 days, nearly double, and a slight buyer’s market. It is important to note that both a “slight” seller’s market and “slight” buyer’s market means that homes are not appreciating or depreciating much at all; instead, it just indicates who has the opportunity to call more of the shots. Sellers have been calling the shots for years, it is now the buyer’s turn.
It is also extremely crucial to note that housing is local. It varies from city to city and can even vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Yet, the market has slowed considerably in Orange County compared to last year.
The bottom line: although housing is local and varies from city to city, a housing cold front has arrived and Orange County has cooled this month to levels not seen since 2010.