Lorri Malloy, Realtor®

Luxury Collection, Fine Homes Specialist

My Blog

Hot Housing Market: Everything on the market below $1 million is selling like hotcakes, and below $750,000 is nothing short of nuts!


With a very limited inventory, the Orange County housing market is extremely hot and values are on the rise.  

The current Orange County housing market is scorching hot and has not been this good since July 2013. Once again, buyers are tripping over themselves to purchase. Homes that hit the market are fetching multiple offers within the first couple of days. Some buyers are writing offers on homes unseen. Others are waiving the appraisal contingency (still mandatory if they are getting a loan; so, if the appraisal comes in low, the buyer will have to bring in more money in order to close). When a home is priced at or close to its Fair Market Value, the purchase price is often higher than the asking price.

We are back to the bidding war days. When 10 offers to purchase are generated, there is only one victor. Nine buyers walk away and have to continue the pursuit of their dream home. This market can be extremely frustrating for a buyer. After a couple of failed attempts, many buyers sharpen their pencils and are willing to stretch in price even if it means paying more than the most recent comparable pending or closed sale. That is the nature of a housing market with very little inventory and very high demand. 

The expected market time (the amount of time it would take for a newly listed home today to be placed into escrow) for all of Orange County is now at 50 days. When the expected market time drops below 60 days, the market is considered a solid seller’s market with steady price appreciation. Last year, Orange County was only below the 60-day threshold for about eight weeks, from mid-March through mid-May and never dropped below 55 days. It appears as if 2017 is going to be much hotter than the last few years.

When the expected market time dips below 30 days, the market shifts to a sizzling hot seller’s market with rapid price appreciation. In the past decade, the overall housing market has never reached this level, but many price ranges have. That is the case today as well. Not all of Orange County is considered “hot;” however, condominiums and detached homes priced below $500,000 are sizzling. This range represents 15% of the active listing inventory and 29% of demand.

Sell Property Smart in 2017: Things that Could Turn off Potential Buyers


Selling a home is usually a touch-and-go affair – but it gets even more precarious if you’re set on marketing your property to young and home-hungry buyers. Unlike previous generations, young house hunters today know a real estate bargain when they see one, and they can spot a money pit as easily, too. For this reason, you should brace your real estate for the preliminary viewing if you want to sell it fast and for a fortune. But while an odd upgrade will help up your real estate’s value and marketability, it’s the small oversights that can wreck your odds of speedy sale. That’s why taking care of the issues that can turn off homebuyers is as important as choosing the right home upgrades. If you wan to max out your home’s sale figures and trim DOM time, check out the list of the biggest red flags that will make a potential homebuyer turn on their heel and walk out right there at the front door.

1. Outdated Windows

Nothing screams real estate murder louder than outdated windows. Even first-time homebuyers know that single-glazed windows leak heat like a sieve, and they won’t exactly be thrilled by the idea of losing a small fortune to exorbitant utility costs during the heating season.

If your budget allows for the update, it would be a smart move to have double- or triple-glazed windowsfitted in place of old ones. Also, be sure to check all the windows on your property for cracks and signs of peeling paint and lock defects and take the steps to repair visible damage that could turn off a potential homebuyer.

2. Defected Plumbing

Plumbing defects can be a real deal breaker, especially if your property has over a decade under its belt. Leaky faucets and broken or dented pipes are a byword for moisture and mold buildup, and young house hunters know that such issues can set them back a few thousand dollars if they take them lightly during preliminary home viewing. To stay on the safe side of the dotted line, it would be wise to have experienced plumbers check the water supply and all the outlets on your property and repair any damage homebuyers could use to bring down final sale figures or stall the negotiations.

3. Wi-Fi Limitations

Young homebuyers are avid internet users and they want their home-to-be to have ready access to the web, so it may be a wise idea to arm your property with high-speed Wi-Fi. When choosing the internet provider, be sure to cross-compare service prices and ratings: not every internet service advertised as super-speedy is stable. This is why you’d better be careful when selecting the package and opt for the one that’s reliable 24/7, even if it’s in the slower lane.

4. Clutter and Grime

Even if your home looks bang-on perfect from the structural standpoint, it can still turn away an interested homebuyer if you let your hard-core hoarding habits show during the viewing. Before you give would-be homeowners a tour of the premises, be sure to take out the clutter and wipe the floors and hardware clean. Although cleanliness won’t increase your home’s market value or its square footage, it may win over a hesitant buyer and persuade them to sign the contract for your property and not your grime-loving neighbor’s home. If you want to hack the spring clean like a pro, you can hire professional cleaners and stagers to help you up on your home’s visual game.

5. Pest Infestations

While love for the environment is an asset when it comes to structure and appliances, it may go amiss if you allow it to spread to bugs, rodents, and other creepy crawlies that may invade your property. An odd cricket and ant is a normal sight in homes (especially those with a garden), but full-blown pest infestations are a huge red flag that will send homebuyers running for cover in a flash. To reduce risk of unsuccessful sale and cut DOM, you can hire pest control experts to go over your property with a fine-tooth comb and make sure potential buyers don’t catch a glimpse of unwanted subtenants and decide to make their home investment elsewhere.

The beauty of a home, sweet home may be in the eye of the beholder, but do be aware that the young beholder has the money and knows its value, too. It’s a competitive market out there, so make sure to take down the red flags if you want to sell your property sans delays or lower than expected sales calls in the mix. Good luck!


Luxury End: Demand is way up, while the luxury inventory is only up slightly.


Demand is up for Orange County’s luxury home market with 46 additional pending sales compared to last year at this time; however, there is more competition. The luxury inventory is up by 65 homes. That extra competition translates to more seller who are not successful on a monthly basis. Also, a lot of the luxury activity is taking place within the $1 million to $1.5 million price range.


For homes priced between $1 million to $1.5 million, the inventory is down by 26 homes compared to last year, and demand is up by 33 pending sales. Yet, above $1.5 million, the inventory is up by 91 homes, and demand is up by only 13. 


In the past two weeks, demand for homes above $1 million increased from 245 to 325 pending sales, a 33% rise, its highest level since mid-December. The luxury home inventory increased from 1,705 homes to 1,744, its highest level since mid-December as well.  The expected market time decreased in the past couple of weeks from 209 to 165 days.


For homes priced between $1 million to $1.5 million, the expected market time in the past couple of weeks decreased from 147 days to 98 days. For homes priced between $1.5 million to $2 million, the expected market time increased from 169 to 195 days. For homes priced above $2 million, the expected market time dropped from 370 days to 277 days. At 277 days, a seller would be looking at placing their home in escrow around the beginning of November.


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