Thursday, August 17, 2006

Watching, Waiting....

You've got to feel sorry for Orange Country home realtors who in the past have been pulling down huge commission checks for selling over-valued, over-priced homes the last several years. Now they've got to actually do some work to "earn" that undeserved cash.

But damn those potential buyers in Orange County! They are now turning into a patient lot! They are not as easily convinced as before to buy in to deep-end financing schemes for a lousy 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath matchbox house in the illustrious OC! This OC Register article claims that home sellers are equally patient.

But the patience level of home buyers may not be as variable as that of a motivated home seller. Not all sellers find themselves in the same financial situation. Some are sitting pretty financially and not worried about a thing. But there are many real estate speculators (home flippers) and over-leveraged homeowners in OC as well. What happens when an over-leveraged, motivated seller who's adjustable-rate mortgage rolls-over to the higher rate? Re-financing doesn't make sense because the value of the home has declined. He tries to price the home aggressively (but within his mortgage bank's pricing guidelines) to get rid of the property, but still can't sell due to buyer patience and a fear of rising rates come September?

We may soon find out the answer. Inventories in Orange Country continue to climb and home sales remain slow in August, perhaps the last "hot summer sales month".

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