2011 Orange County Real Estate Market Update

    Orange County Real Estate Market Review for 2011


    This year’s Orange County Real Estate Market was filled with Foreclosure Sales, Investor Flips Sales, Standard Sales, Probate Sales, and I can go on and on! If I were to compare this year’s market to a Meat Deli, I would say that we had every sort of meat available for sale! Relax, don’t judge me on my comedy…remember I’m a Realtor!

    Now on to the facts, there were 26,214 properties that sold in 2011 which is 4.3% less than 2010 and 7.9% less than 2009. My initial reaction to these numbers was definitely negative, but then I stopped and said to myself, “Why would sales be down when there should be a huge demand for OC Real Estate?”

    Over the past 24 months we have heard almost every negative theory out there regarding the “Doom & Gloom” of our precious Orange County and National Real Estate Market. Which obviously creates hesitation with the majority of people thinking about buying a home? Then I thought about how the government and the banking industry have really tightened the guidelines on qualifying for a mortgage over the past 24 months. Don’t get me wrong, these stricter guide lines have become absolutely necessary to protect homeownership for the future. Since the MLS began tracking data via their database in 1997 the highest number of sales took place in 2003 with 44,610 properties sold. That’s over 70% more than what was sold this past year, are you kidding me?!


    Wait a minute, that’s when they allowed stated income, meaning that all a person had to do was to state what their income was on their application, and verify it by having there CPA type up a letter with that amount. There were other details involved, but NOTHING compared to what it takes to qualify for a loan in today’s market. No wonder there were so many properties sold before the market crashed and as a result of the loose guidelines in the early 2000’s we have had so many distressed homeowners over the past few years and will continue to for the next few years. So, these strict guidelines are in place for a reason and have limited the number of sales in our market.

    As a result of the negative theories, restrictions in qualifying for a mortgage, and other important factors, we have seen a consistent and demanding increase in the Orange County Rental Market. Here is breakdown of the privately owned condo’s and houses that have been leased over the last 10 years:


    2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
    15,203 14,562 14,836 12,756 9,934 8,132 6,809 5,877 5,141 4,789 3921




    Depending on what happens over the next few years, in regards to the overall economics in our Local & National Market, will determine if a lot of these tenants will buy a home? This is a subject that I will expand on in future blogs & videos.

    Back to the facts, here is the breakdown of the sales types for 2011:

    *17.2% (4,518) were Foreclosure Sales

    *25.1% (6,573) were Short Sales

    *57.7% (15,123) were Standard Sales



    Over half of the sales that took place were Standard Sales, not distressed sales, which tells me that there are still a lot of traditional Real Estate transactions taking place in our market.

    When I compared these numbers to 2010 here is what I found:

    *15.1% (4,139) were Foreclosure Sales

    *25.7% (7,009) were Short Sales

    *59.2% (16,178) were Standard Sales


    So in 2011 we had a slight increase in Foreclosures Sales, a slight decrease in Short Sales, and a slight increase in Standard Sales.

    Here is the number of sales for each month in 2011:


    Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
    1,769 1,707 2,323 2,269 2,371 2,559 2,253 2,492 2,307 2,119 2,025 2,020



    All in all 2011 was a very active year for Orange County Real Estate where we saw: laws being passed by the state to assist distressed homeowners, record low interest rates, a record number of privately owned condo’s & houses rented out, and so much more! Could it have been a lot worse…yes, am I glad it wasn’t…yes!

    I am extremely excited to see what the Orange County Real Estate Market has in store for us in 2012! We have the national elections, the fate of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, and so many more critical moments and decisions that will take place over the next 12 months.



    What do you predict will happen in 2012 with the Orange County Real Estate Market?  We would love to hear from you.


    The data used in this article is from the California Regional Multiple Listing Service. The accuracy of all information, regardless of source, including but not limited to square footages and lot sizes, is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be personally verified through personal inspection by and/or with the appropriate professionals.

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