South Orange County Real Estate Market Update 8/6/15

Home sales topped $11 billion in Orange County in the first half of this year – the most in a decade. The median sale price hit $629,500 in June, the highest since the housing market peaked in June 2007. Rising employment and economic confidence, a tight supply of homes for sale and low mortgage interest rates have all fueled buyer demand. Foreign investors have played a role, too, real estate agents say, especially where the most dramatic leaps in prices and sales occurred, in the priciest third of the market. There, the median home sale price shot up nearly 22 percent. With equity rising, distressed sales are a distant memory, or, as housing analyst Steven Thomas notes, “nothing more than an asterisk.” In the first half of 2015, he says, equity sellers represented 95 percent of home sales. In the last few weeks the inventory of homes has increase a great deal in some Orange County cities. In Ladera Ranch for example the inventory has increased 45% in the last month.

So what’s going on with home loan rates? From Freddie Mac’s weekly survey: The 30-year fixed dropped below 4 percent for the first time in nearly two months, landing at 3.98 percent. That’s 6 basis points lower than last week’s 4.04 percent. Ditto for the 15-year, dropping 6 basis points to 3.17 percent from last week’s 3.23 percent. What’s the bottom line? Assuming a borrower gets the average 30-year conforming fixed rate on a $417,000 loan, last year’s rate of 4.12 percent and payment of $2,019 is $33 more than this week’s payment of $1,986.

 

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