Category Archives: Short Sales

Orange County Market Update

The market continues to be busy in the lower end of the price range, and bank-owned and short sales are making up about 61% of all closed sales in Orange County. 

Today, there are a total of 11,577 homes for sale in Orange County.   Of those, 4783 (42%) are labeled as either bank owned or short sales.  Of the 4363 that are currently in escrow, 2925 (68%) are distressed.  In the last 30 days, 1018 (61%), of the 1653 closings were distressed.

Buyers are looking for the best values that they can find, and the best priced homes are usually bank owned.  Short sales are closing more often than in the past, but it is still frustrating for a buyer to make an offer, then have to wait weeks or months to get an answer from the lender.  It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, the President’s new stimulus plan will have.  

The latest foreclosure listings are now posted for selected cities or areas in South Orange County.  If you are looking in an area that I haven’t included, please let me know and I’ll run the list just for you!

Other posts like this:

2008 End of Year Report 
2008 Orange County Mid-Year Report
2007 Orange County Sales Report

Search the 11,500+ homes in Orange County

Thanks for visiting!

Vicki Lloyd


Homes in Lake Forest California: MLS Extremes

Of the 204 active homes in the Lake Forest California MLS today, there are 37 that are bank-owned (REOs), 107 that are offered as short sales (subject to lender approval), 47  that (I think) are over-priced, and 13 that are in the range to sell within the month. 

The current average list price in Lake Forest is $418,441 at $265/square foot and has been on the market for an average of 109 days. 

Out of curiosity, I sorted all the active properties in Lake Forest to check various highs and lows.  Here are the extremes at the far ends today: 

  • The least expensive home is a one bedroom condo offered at $107,500. 


  • The most expensive is a large re-built home on the lake front at $1,650,000.  This house also has the most square feet of 3850, the most baths with 5, and is the newest built in 2006. 

 Most Expensive Home in Lake Forest

  • The smallest property is a one-bedroom condo of 610 square feet, priced at $162,000. 

Smallest 610 sq ft

  • The highest price per square foot ($562) is another lake front home  priced at $1,295,000. 

 Most Expensive per square foot

  • The lowest price per square foot ($138 ) is a 2 bedroom condo at $140,000, which is a short sale. 

 Lowest $/square foot = $134

  • The oldest listing came on the market in October 2007, and is a short sale.  The price started at $485,000 and is now down to $420,000.   (This is a classic case of “chasing the market down”.)

 Oldest listing

  • The one with the most bedrooms of 6, is a short sale and listed for $375,000.

Most Bedrooms

If you would like to check my statistics, or do your own research, please click this link to  Search ALL the homes for sale in the Southern California MLS  (there must be at least one that you like!)

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Thanks for visiting!

Vicki Lloyd

Orange County Real Estate Market Improvement!

The market for homes in Orange County, California, finally seems to be waking up from a long slumber.  While the closings for May didn’t set any records, the new pending escrows have improved substantially in the last month. 

When evaluating the overall market in Orange County, I look at all cities, and residential (not multi-unit complexes or mobile homes) properties priced from a low of $75,000 to a high of $1.5 million.  The $75K lower limit eliminates the erroneous leases, time shares and mobile homes.  The $1.5million upper limit is to keep the mansions and estates from effecting the average $ per square foot values. 

Here’s the snapshot of that market today (in units):

Active : 13,182
In Escrow : 3,908
Closed during May : 1,886

Assuming an average escrow time of 6 weeks, if that same pace continues, the absorption rate is now a little less than 4 months.

Carving up the Market

Of course, the activity level is not spread evenly over the entire market.  I like to carve it up and take a look at the troubled homes separately from the ones that just need a seller to agree to a price and close date.


The foreclosed market (“REOs” or “Bank Owned”) is moving especially quickly now.  Many banks are now pricing aggressively right from the start,  so we are seeing multiple offers again! 

Active : 966
In Escrow : 886
Closed in May : 357
The absorption rate for REOs is currently less than 2 months!

Short sales continue to be a drag on the market.  The MLS rules require that listing agents put the house in the “back-up” category when offers are submitted to the bank, but there is no way of knowing when a decision will be made to either go forward or cancel the sale.  Many buyers find a different property and just buy it before getting an answer from the lender so the true “in escrow” number for short sales is highly suspicious!

Active : 4387
In escrow : 935
Sold in May : 240
The absorption rate for Short sales is impossible to estimate!

For many buyers who don’t have the money or time to invest in repairs & upgrades, REOs are too much trouble.  For buyers who need an answer about where they are going to live, short sales are close to impossible.  If you remove both REOs and short sales from the market, we now have the following statistics:

Active :  7812
In escrow : 2091
Sold in May : 1287
The overall non-troubled market inventory is just about 5 months today, but many price ranges are very limited and the inventory level is substantially lower. 

There are a lot of qualified buyers that are actively seeking a home, but they are very conservative.  These buyers are the ones who sat in the corner, paying their bills, and did not get caught up in the buying frenzy of 2004 -2006.  They are not going to pay those inflated prices today. 

Note to sellers – if you put your home on the market today, it shouldn’t take long to determine if it is priced properly or not.  If you don’t get showings quickly in this market, you are priced too high.  If you get showings but no offers, talk to your agent about how it shows – it may need to be decluttered or staged, or you may have to take another look at the price!