I think I can safely say, after reviewing the data and gauging by my own experience, 2018 is shaping up to be pretty much like 2017 in the Orange County Real Estate Market.
There are so few homes currently for sale right now, only about 3,500 active listings, that it seems unlikely that we will reach the historic average of about 8,000 homes for sale any time this year. Demand is still quite strong due to an improving economy and still-historically low interest rates (but better hurry). Most likely the inventory will reach a peak of only bout 6,500 homes for sale some time in July.
If you are looking to sell your home and want less competition, the earlier in the year the better.
The strongest demand usually begins in late spring, ending in late summer. That is when one can also expect the greatest price appreciation. I expect prices to appreciate between 4% and 5% for the whole year. Translation: try and purchase ASAP before summer hits.
Buyers will need to be patient and persistent if they want to be successful in making a home purchase in 2018. Sellers can expect to receive multiple offers, especially if their home is priced under $900,000. Contact me if you want more detailed info about what to expect in your specific area and in your specific instance.