As I said a couple posts back, the median sales price for homes in Orange County rose above $700K in September. But a recent forecast for the OC real estate market suggests that home prices might rise more slowly in the months ahead, around 1% through summer 2018.
Here are the home-price forecasts for the three largest cities in Orange County:
- Anaheim: The housing analysts at Zillow expect home prices in Anaheim, California to rise by 1.4%. House values in Anaheim rose by 6.5% over the previous year.
- Irvine: An even more modest forecast for the Irvine housing market, with an expectation for a 0.8% price increase over the next year.
- Santa Ana: Economists predicted that home values in Santa Anna would rise by 2.1% between now and the summer of 2018. That was one of the highest forecasts they issued for cities within the broader Orange County real estate market. Santa Ana also had the highest increase in home prices over the last year, with values rising by 11%.
Is There a Price Bubble?
The Orange County real estate market is still constrained with limited supply available. According to local housing professionals, the county had about a 2-month supply of homes in May of this year. A “balanced” real estate market is considered to have about six months worth of supply. So from an inventory standpoint, Orange County is still a seller’s market due to limited supply. But homes aren’t selling as quickly as you might imagine, given the limited inventory. In May, the median number of days on market for listed properties was 40. That means houses in the area are selling a bit faster than the national average, but they’re not going like “hotcakes.” This reinforces the idea that the local housing market is becoming unaffordable to the majority of buyers.
Which brings us to the million-dollar question. Is the Orange County real estate market in a bubble, or will it enter one in 2018? Jim Doti, an economics professor at Chapman University recently told the Orange County Register that home prices in the area have reached an “irrational level.” This is because the median value is now eight times higher than the median family income. Doti went on to say: “We are in a balloon. No question.”