Fall is in full swing all over North America. The weather is cooler, and the meals are getting heartier. Bring on the soups and stews!
Normally, in other years, this time of year brings a rapid slow-down in residential real estate activity.
This year, on the other hand, with everything going on, rates continuing to be at all time lows, people spending more and more time at home, pondering everything including whether they really fit in that neighborhood or would they be happier somewhere else…. this year, our fall season has been surprisingly active.
This year, the spring buying season which normally goes into full swing in March was disrupted, so the spring buying season shifted into summer, with July and August being record setting months. Now in October, it isn’t quite as crazy and frenzied, but it is still brisk.
As a snapshot example for you, in the city of Long Beach, California, in the last 7 days, 80 homes went under contract (that’s an average of 11.4 homes per day!), while only 63 came on the market during this same period of time.
In the city of Long Beach, we continue to have a shortage of inventory as buyers chew up more homes faster than sellers are able to put on them on the market. Well priced homes in residential neighborhoods are still getting multiple offers and bidding wars.
How our neighbors are doing
In the city of Los Angeles, 212 homes went under contract, while 354 came on the market in the last 7 days. Not as tight inventory in Los Angeles compared to Long Beach, but still very solid buying activity.
In the county of Orange, 649 homes went under contract and 513 came on the market the last 7 days. Very strong sales in Orange County.
Other things going on in our market
One other thing to take note of is that our lenders continue to be busier than ever. With rates at historic lows, they are doing a ton of refinances. About 80% of the lenders’ workloads are now refinances. So with purchase loans being only about 20% of their business, we are often seeing lengthy delays. Patience is a virtue in this market, as we are seeing 30 day escrows turn easily into 45 day or longer escrows. If you are selling or buying a home in this market, be aware that delays can happen and are completely normal.
Did you try to buy or sell earlier this year, then get discouraged?
Because this has been such an unusual year all around for us, the summer was erratic and a bit crazy in some areas of the local real estate market.
If you tried to make a move this summer, but didn’t as things didn’t go quite as planned, you were not alone! Many people decided to wait till things calmed down a bit. A move is a big deal, so you should make that decision when you are ready.
Things are much calmer now at the end of October and into November in residential real estate. Yet the market is still very strong. Give me a call if you have questions about your specific neighborhood and what your options are for making a great move or investment.
And in the meantime, enjoy the lovely change in the seasons.