Spring Buying Season Ends on a High Note

July managed to produce the best price appreciation and inventory increase in three years—as well as the highest existing sales for 2014.

While affordability levels are far from ideal thanks to the extreme price appreciation we witnessed in 2013, a healthy rise in home values continues to benefit the housing market. For instance, previously underwater homeowners have been able to regain positive equity. This has allowed for the distressed sales to reach their lowest level since 2007. It’s also helped this formerly upside-down group to list their properties on the market. This flood of homes resulted in a 2.3% year-over-year increase to existing inventory—the highest we’ve seen in 3 years. Home values have remained relatively steady, resulting in increased consumer confidence. In fact, the average home price in Orange County in July was $695,270 — down -0.2% from June. Even though sales are down year-over-year, July produced the highest increase of 2014. Not to mention, despite a jump in inventory, buyers are still snatching up homes quickly. For instance, Orange County properties spent only an average of 53 days on the market in July! Compare that against the U.S. median inventory age of 82 days, and you’ll see why California’s housing market is gaining momentum.

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