The Orange County Real Estate Market Continues to Soar

The Orange County Real Estate Market Continues to Soar

Have you ever had that uncanny sensation where you’re experiencing something that you had said or done before? As I began to write this article, I was about two paragraphs in, and suddenly felt that strange feeling of déjà vu.

I was reading my words and hearing something in my mind that was just so familiar, like I was disturbingly plagiarizing someone. I suddenly realized, that someone was me! It was just about a year ago that I wrote an article for Real Estate In-Depth on how hot the Orange County real estate market was. I reread that piece and thought I could have just changed the date, and you would think it was written for today’s Orange County market conditions.

So, before I go any further, I’ll graciously apologize in advance for some of you hearing all this before because aside from some slight changes in statistical information, you did hear it before, in the late summer of 2020.

We’ve been hearing it for quite some time now in Orange County, throughout the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas, basically everywhere; inventory is still low, buyer demand is still high. Many are wondering if we will see some sort of change in these market conditions that we’ve been in for well over a year now. Are we beginning to experience a shift because in some price points, listings are staying active a bit longer, we are seeing “only” a dozen or so offers in multiple offer situations instead of 20 to 30? Real estate experts do not predict a major shift any time soon.

In the month of August, we saw the highest number of closed single-family residential properties in 2021, with 442 sales, up from 378 in July. There were 528 new single-family listings, down from 591 in the previous month.

The average days on market (calculated from list date to under contract date), dropped to a swift 45 days in August, compared to 59 days in the second quarter of 2021, and 71 in the first quarter. The average closed sale price to original list price ratio in the month of August was 102.4%, up from 101.7% in July.

July and August registered record breaking average sale prices in Orange County, coming in at $414,654 and $411,279, respectively. The single-family median sale price in August was $359,900, up 20% from August 2020.

The Orange County rental market continues to soar as well. As of this writing, there are only 83 available residential rentals in OneKey MLS. As a point of reference, in August 2019, there were 265 and in July 2019, 307. Single-family homes in some areas are renting in the $4,000-$5,000 a month range and we are seeing two-bedroom apartment rentals up to, and at times exceeding $3,000 per month.

Orange County has always seen its fair share of homebuyers from New York City. We historically have had a large population who commute to areas of the city for work. We saw an influx of buyers from the city over this past year, not as commuters, but buyers seeking amenities for working remotely. Some speculate this migration may not continue due to people being called back to their jobs in the city sooner than expected. Time will tell.

In most price points, new listings are still getting accepted offers within days, even hours. The buyer demand is still quite strong, yet several transactions are resulting in some buyer’s remorse. Perhaps some regrets in getting caught up in the moment of multiple offer situations, offering in excess of top dollar, waiving appraisal contingencies and inspections. Out of curiosity, today I ran a search of single-family homes over the past seven days that came “Back on Market.” There were 34. Thirty-four homes where the deals fell through due to various reasons. Thirty-four opportunities for 34 buyers to have a chance to get back in the game and win their dream home. Let’s remember to communicate well, and always be a professional especially when things may not initially go your way. You just may get another shot.

Real estate experts predict that buyer demand will remain strong, inventory will continue to be challenging and home prices will continue to rise for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022 although, they will rise more slowly, possibly single-digit increases in 2022.

Overall, agents are very positive about real estate in Orange County. They recognize the uniqueness of this market where sellers and buyers are both still benefitting; sellers from record high prices and buyers from historically low interest rates.

So, if you actually did experience a little déjà vu in reading this, it simply means the Orange County real estate market continues to soar, and I’d say we’re all ok with that.

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