First Time Home Buyers Struggle to Purchase Homes in Orange County, CA

The dream of home ownership is becoming less of a reality for first time home buyers in Orange County, CA.

Many have argued that student debt being a large contributing factor but I strongly disagree.  The fact is, it’s been tough for all buyers to purchase for a few years now.  It has been a sellers market for going on four years thus far.

The long term average inventory of homes available for sale in Orange County sits around 8600 homes.  Today we are still in a sellers market due to just about 5300 homes available for purchase.    The strong demand for homes in Orange County is still evident since 2012.  The last time it was a slight home buyers market was back in very early 2011.  It seemed that was the year where not much transpired in Orange County home appreciation and/or depreciation.

It is still a slight sellers market in Orange County and I’d expect it to remain this way through the end of this year.  The expected average home sale time today in Orange County, CA is at 2.50 months, or 76 days.



It you are a future home buyer this would mean to you that the seller is in the driver’s seat at the moment.  For homes priced below 775,000 you should expect to make multiple bids and pay a little more than fair market price for a home if it is desirable.  The residential properties in Orange County, CA that are priced between 500,000.00 and 750,000.00 are flying off the shelf with a home sale time of just 55 days.  This is due to smaller down payment options on affordable single family residences and a dwindling first time home buyer market as prices continue to increase. The three main options people go with would be 3% down for FHA loan, 10% down for a Fannie Freddie loan or 20%+ down for a conventional loan.  Those three main buyer brackets greatly dictate the home sales market in Orange County, CA.

The long term ratio average of first time home buyers in California has been about 38%.  Currently it sits at about 30% in California.  Contributing factors that have led to this change has been the increase in values and difficulty obtaining an appealable home.  The low inventory and raising prices does not help first time home buyers.  A more expensive home would mean a bigger down payment and qualification requirement.  We shall see how the Fed Rate increase will continue to affect the first time home buyer overall California sale ratio.

So many people still believe that enormous student debt is the main issue which prevents first time home buyer purchases in Orange County, CA.  There are thousands of first time home buyers sitting on the sidelines wanting to purchase however it just might not be as easy as it was before.  I as your real estate agent will sharpen my pencil and do whatever it takes to make your offer stand out to the selling agent.  First time home buyers will prosper and flood the Orange County real estate market again someday but there is no telling when.  The American Dream will somehow prosper and find its way.



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