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  • Writer's pictureNancy Moeller

How to lose 9% in two weeks during the holidays.

Unfortunately for all of us, I'm not referring to body weight. Sorry.

In the last two weeks, we lost 9% of our already anemic OC housing inventory. The active listing inventory plunged by 317 homes, and now sits at only 3,152 homes. It's the lowest level since Economist, Steven Thomas started tracking it in 2004.

Sure, the holiday market drives lower supply, but this level of inventory is near scarcity. Demand is down, too. It's hard to say if that's indicative of the season or the frustration with buyers being constantly outbid and throwing in the mistletoe.

On a daily basis, our colleagues are asking in private social media groups if anyone has an "off market" listing they can show their clients. Any scrap offered in response is immediately pounced upon in the comments section. "Call me, text me, PM me, email me, PLEASE just respond to me."

On the other side of the equation, sellers are under the impression they can overprice their homes and get whatever they want. They are partially right. They can usually price their home over the last comparable sale and sell quickly. However, they cannot list their average home for more than the upgraded, view home across the street and expect buyers to agree. They won't. A free market means that stupidity is typically priced out.

Sellers need to be optimistically reasonable and remember that most buyers will only pay what an appraiser tells them its worth. Buyers need to hang in there and remember that interest rates MATTER. Locking in your low housing cost for the next 10 - 30 years is priceless.

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