Holiday Doldrums

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Southern California Housing Market Update. My name is Stephen Meade, I apologize for some background noise that you might be hearing, I'm actually recording this one from a hotel lobby, here in Burbank, California. So still within our zone, kind of some interesting things to talk about. Obviously, of course, don't forget to like, subscribe and hit that notification. Bell, if you're watching, and you like these videos to find out how you can learn more about the market. And of course I am with domicile, real estate, real estate for people who love houses. Let's go ahead and get started and talk about the holidays and what we can learn as buyers and sellers from the data in our market from this time of year. Get our screenshare set up here.

All right, here we go. So let's talk about our first thing, right is, you know, we're seeing what we normally see this time of year, which is the number of listings tends to go down. So is that Representative necessarily of an overall market trend, it's just a very seasonal item. We've really been looking at tight inventory, pretty much for the last couple of years. But I think again, you know, this has been a perennial refrain in these videos, is look at where we are the last year was a tight inventory video. But look at where we are. versus last year, right, it was already tight inventory at probably about 7000 units on our million dollars. And here we are 45. The story's a little different in that one to $2 million category, but it's still lower. Right, it's maybe not off by the same percentage, but it is still absolutely off.

You know, the one thing that I think is a little helpful is what we're not seeing is just this nosedive and trajectory, we are seeing decreases in inventory, but it's not quite the nosedive that we saw last year. So I have a little bit of hope that this is going to be a little bit gentler. And we might actually end up around a similar low point, a 4000. And it's under a million dollars. Just a reminder, this is in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. So if we looked at our last 14 days of new listings, I think this really kind of gives you the holiday motif here. And that is we've just taken an absolute nosedive and new things hitting the market. I mean, really sellers have decided their minds are somewhere else right now, that's not terribly uncommon.

But it seems especially acute this year. And especially when you look and you kind of look at where we were from the rest of the year. I mean, if you if you notice this, we are right at about the same levels of new listings as we were last year under a million dollars, maybe a little bit more for that one to 2 million category. The question is, when we do this update again, in two weeks, we're gonna see that this trajectory continued, or did it flatten out.

So this is a real interesting graph to me, because I think we're going to see it change quite a bit. And I'll explain why. We are not at a loan. In fact, we're not even seeing the same number of homes go into escrow as last year and under a million dollars, we are actually fewer homes going into escrow than last year. I think a lot of that's been a function of the interest rates. But we've really seen some drops in interest rates. And I think in the next couple of weeks, we're going to actually see this number bounce back a little bit. I have said it 1000 times before my absolute favorite, favorite time of the year for buyers, is that period between Thanksgiving and probably the second week in January, it is the best time all year long for buyers. Number one, all the sellers are actually motivated to sell and to face less competition.

We look at our absorption rate. I think this one is kind of interesting to me to just see how different the market reaction is in our under 1 million versus our over our one to 2 million category. And I think a lot of that is the interest rates, right? Seeing this absorption rate jumps up means what what is that saying? It's saying that buyers who've been sitting on the sidelines are going to actually jump back into the market. I know we've received inquiries that way, we've been telling people now's the time to jump back in. And I think that's why you're seeing that in that very interest rate sensitive under $1 million market. If we look at kind of our closed prices, this one's kind of interesting to me, the upper end, prices accelerated the median end of the market, which is between 750 and a million, pretty much as flat maybe slightly down and then that entry level market, I think you're gonna see that entry level market is going to end up popping here in the next two weeks.

I think when we run these numbers, again, you're gonna see that entry level market just really jump up especially when you start looking at and incorporating on single family homes. Obviously at this point, most of the homes in this 25th percentile are going to be condos. They're not going to be single family homes, you know in Orange County. Now, we are still active after 14 days and this one's kind of puzzling to And I think part of this is an artifact of us being in a holiday season. And that's seen this number kind of shoot up really close to where we were at last year for the same number.

And then as funny as soon as you saw last year, since we hit January, it really started taking a nosedive through the spring, when that market gets more competitive. I think that's what's going to happen this year. But we'll have to wait and see our list of close ratios honestly, holding pretty steady. We are right around 100%. And the one thing I like to talk about with this statistic is that this is really that measurement of our buyers and sellers expectations in a line. This is about 40 sellers think their home is worth and what are buyers willing to pay, and how close those things are together. You know, when you see this kind of head towards 100%, that usually indicates a price, stable market, right and a pretty stable market, meaning sellers are putting their homes up for about what they think they're worth. And buyers think that those are pretty accurate numbers. I am guessing that this might go back up above 100 101% as we go into the spring. So just a fair warning on that we'll have to wait and see. But that is my prediction.

Now if we leave days on market for new contracts, I think this one's kind of interesting. We've seen some steady growth here in that under 1 million, but look at what's happened with this one to $2 million. I think part of that is an artifact of just not a lot of sales happening in that price category. So that can see those numbers a little bit. As you can see, this is not unusual to see these numbers kind of go up towards the end of the year like this. But we are still well lower than we were at last year. So kind of bear that in mind. Finally, we're going to talk about sort of our three way chart. And this is a bit of some surprising news. I think a big part of this might be an unusual holiday proclivity of the rental market. And that is, during this holiday period, we just saw the market rents the rent index dropped quite a bit. I think this is because people really do not like to move between Thanksgiving and New Year's not when they're renters when they're buyers, they're willing to do it, when they're renters not so much that we do see that the interest rates coming down again, really ease some of that payment index for median priced home, and kind of brought it back out of the stratosphere here, down this number.

Obviously, I know most people would love to see where we were at in say, April of last year, we'll just have to wait and see if that happens. Finally, we've got our prevailing mortgage rates, no surprise here, they kind of peaked maybe about a month or so go month and a half ago. And they've been kind of dropping ever since really heading towards that 7% We are seeing jumbo adjustable as well into the mid sixes. So I mean, I think if you are a value shopper, that might be an option for you that you should look back into because you can especially $1 million, you're gonna see some pretty significant savings. Anyhow, that's all I've got for you this week.

Obviously, Stay happy, stay healthy. Once again, if you are a person looking to buy I mean really this this is your time, hopefully reach out to us. We'd love to work with you. And if you're a seller, really it's time to start thinking and preparing for next year. So don't forget to like subscribe and hit that notification bell questions and comments as always, we love them. We'd love to work with you. And have a great day everybody. We'll see you again real soon.

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