For many years now, the local real estate market, as a whole, has been experiencing a supply and demand issue. While we are just now beginning to see signs that this may be changing, one segment is seeing little change…lots, both vacant and with tear downs, to build on.
Specifically oversized lots (1.5 lots or larger) located in Old Town Seal Beach. These lots are attractive to people for numerous reasons, the most common is the ability to build a larger home while retaining yard space. Many of these properties also enjoy a third garage space, a rare commodity in Old Town.
Two specific challenges facing buyers presently seeking to purchase an oversized lot. First is the issue of scarcity, only twenty properties with oversized lots have sold since January 2013. Depending on where in Old Town you want to live, this number gets even smaller. For example, if you’d like to live between PCH & Electric, from 12th - Seal Beach Blvd, you’d have to pick between one of seven properties sold in the last 45 months.
Lack of selection isn’t the only challenge. Even well qualified buyers are finding that they are competing with cash offers on nearly every oversized lot that is listed for sale. Just how much cash is out there? Of the twenty properties that have sold since January 2013, only seven were purchased with a loan (65% were cash purchases).
This shortage has lead to a strategy shift among buyers, specifically those that have a home they need to sell in order to purchase. Many people are opting to sell and then rent while they wait for the next opportunity to become available, positioning themselves as a non-contingent and/or cash buyers.
People that want to avoid the competition all together have begun searching for pre-market listings, also known as “pocket listings”. A good means to locate these types of opportunities is to contact your local, reputable real estate professional. They speak to property owners on a daily basis and tend to be in the know about what is coming available before it goes on the market. Another local resource is the website PreMarketSealBeach.com, setup by a company to address the gap in supply and demand.