Orange County Housing Report: High demand will make this year’s holiday housing market unlike others in recent years

Dec 1, 2020, 10:12 AM by Nuvision 

The following article includes views from Reports on Housing by Steven Thomas, economics expert and experienced real estate executive, and is not a reflection of the opinions, views, or predictions of Nuvision and its representatives. 

Everything becomes slower during the holiday season. It’s a time marked by nights spent watching holiday movies, early sunsets, and time off work. Usually, the housing market follows suit in slowing down, but this year it is disrupting the trend with record-high demand and reduced inventory.

The November 2020 housing market is hotter than anticipated

Our current market is hotter than the spring markets from 2014-2019, which is a huge indicator that we’re in for a fast-paced market extending into the new year.

The current expected market time is only 41 days. For context, anything below 60 days is considered a Hot Seller’s Market. Last year, the expected market time was 71 days--a full month longer than it is now. There hasn’t been a November market this hot since Thanksgiving of 2012 when the housing recovery was just getting started.

We’re on pace for a strong start in 2021.

Having a hot market this late in the year is good news, as it typically means that we’ll ring in the new year with a strong beginning. That’s what happened in 2013. Since tracking began, 2013 was the only year that maintained a Hot Seller’s Market from January to July.

You can expect this season to parallel 2013: a low number of homes available for purchase, a rush of demand, and low interest rates. This kind of hot market provides an especially great opportunity for sellers, who often enjoy more showings, multiple offers, and have more sway in negotiations.

Buying and selling effectively in today’s market

Buyers and sellers alike need to be aware of what this market means for them, so they don’t jump in blindly expecting great results.

  • Buyers: Don’t expect the market to slow down for the holidays. While it's going to continue at incredible speed, that shouldn't be something that scares you away. Mortgage rates are at record lows, so it is definitely possible to score a great deal. That said, you will have to be paying close attention because buyer competition is very high.
  • Sellers: Fair pricing is crucial, even in a Hot Seller’s market. Limited inventory won’t induce buyers to start a bidding war on an overpriced home. To take advantage of the high demand, you have to consider your price in light of condition, upgrades, and location. Overpriced homes will lose in the long run due to lost market time and opportunities.