What follows are our 2024 real estate predictions for the Orange County housing market. Maybe you are curious about what your options will be to sell or buy a home (or both) next year?
As top OC Realtors and in-depth observers of the local market, we have a good sense for how things may play out next year. However, as always, take predictions with a BIG grain of salt! The winds could change at any moment. (Remember 2020?)
So, these are our best informed guesses, as of the end of 2023, to how our Orange County real estate market will look in 2024. We’ll cover mortgage rates, home sales, and home prices in Orange County. Let’s dive in.
In 2024, the US and Orange County's real estate market is expected to see a decrease in mortgage rates, offering relief to buyers facing affordability challenges. While OC home prices are some of the priciest in the country, the bigger challenge for many first-time homebuyers as well as sellers looking to move is the high cost of borrowing.
Key experts, including economists from the National Association of Realtors and First American Title, suggest a downward trend from recent peaks, fostering a more favorable market for homebuyers in 2024. This would be a welcome trend on both sides of the transaction for our clients buying and selling real estate in Orange County.
With easing mortgage rates, we anticipate a revival in market activity for Orange County real estate. New listings have been on the decline since 2022, when mortgage rates started their steep ascent. In 2022, there were roughly 25% fewer Orange County homes listed than in 2021, per data from the regional MLS, and there were over 40% fewer closed sales. These downward trends continued in 2023, until recently.
In recent weeks, on the heels of positive economic news and the Federal Reserve’s projected easing of interest rates in 2024, we have seen increased listing activity compared with last year. As rates continue to improve, this change is likely to encourage more sellers to list their homes, subsequently increasing the supply of available properties.
Implications for Buyers and Sellers
A growth in home listings can provide more options for buyers and create a more balanced market, beneficial for both buyers and sellers in Orange County. Most sellers need somewhere to go next, after all!
Keep in mind, though, that as buying becomes more appealing and more sellers list their homes, the pace of sales will also increase. While we may see more new listings, they may not be on the market for long; so the total supply could look just as tight next year, despite there being more “churn” and turnover happening in the market.
In our high-stakes and fast-paced Orange County real estate market, it’s crucial to work with a well-connected Realtor team who is deeply embedded into the market. At Brad Feldman Group, we keep clients on the cutting edge of the market to stay ahead of the competition.
While national forecasts predict modest home price growth, we expect Orange County to continue standing out with a faster pace of growth. The fourth quarter of 2024 has already seen a 5% year-over-year increase in home sale prices in the region. This trend is likely to continue, especially if mortgage rates keep falling.
Lower mortgage rates can expand buyers' budgets, leading to stronger purchasing power. This shift might result in higher offers and, consequently, higher sale prices in Orange County's real estate market. Overall, lower mortgage rates are a net benefit for both buyer and seller, with the seller getting more for their home and buyers getting a lower monthly payment.
In conclusion, while these predictions offer insights into the 2024 Orange County real estate market, remember that every real estate decision is deeply personal. The ideal time to make a move depends on what aligns with your family's needs, your budget, and your future aspirations.
Whether these forecasts materialize or unexpected twists arise, our team of experienced Orange County real estate specialists at the Brad Feldman Group is here to guide you. We invite you to contact us to discuss your real estate goals for 2024. Let’s navigate this journey together. Reach out today and let’s start the conversation!