ORANGE COUNTY, CA—The high price of homes in Orange County iskeeping many Millennials out of theresidential market, Keith ThomasJr., a local Redfin real estate agent,tells GlobeSt.com. Thomas says, “If I had to write a tweet and sumup the OC Millennial homebuyer in 140 characters or less, I'd say'Millennials are very cautious when buying in the OC real estatemarket—rightfully so, as median prices are much higher than manycan afford.' ”

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Redfin recently came out with a report that showed a disconnect betweenhomebuyers and sellers across the county. According to the report,an increase in the number of homes for sale hasn't been enough tobring them back to the market; affordability andfinancing hurdles are now holding them back. Also,sellers have been slow to realize that the market is shifting awayfrom their favor.

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The report also shows that sellers are losing ground quickly inagents' eyes. Across Redfin markets nationwide, just 24% of agentssurveyed said that sellers have all the power in their market, downfrom 35% just three months ago. Sellers have lost the most groundin Midwest markets such as Chicago and Minneapolis, where only 12%of Redfin agents now think sellers are holding all the cards, downfrom 24% last quarter. In both the West and Northeast markets, 30%of agents said that sellers still have all the power, but that wasalso down from 38% and 33% last quarter, respectively.

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“Our latest market sentiment report is definitely reflective ofwhat's going on in the OC housing market—only theOC is more extreme,” says Thomas. “From flash sells to homes justsitting, the market has been very dynamic over the past year. Aftera huge price appreciation we saw in 2013, the perceptions of buyersand sellers have been on completely different pages, which has ledto some rising inventory due to overpricing. Overall, though, weare seeing some balance return, and buyers are regaining leveragewhen it comes to getting a fair price on their dream home.”

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Thomas adds that although affordability remains a valid concern,there is still pretty heavy competition for attractively pricedturnkey homes. “Although OC prices are still relatively high, itremains a good time for buyers in our market. Interest rates remainlow, buyers are in a better position to negotiate these days, andrents are through the roof in the OC.”

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As GlobeSt.com has reported previously, thanks to technology,buyers are much savvier than they were in the past. “First-timebuyers and buyers new to the OC market have really seen the dramaunfold before their eyes,” says Thomas. “As a result, most of themare coming really well equipped with lots of data and informationat their fingertips. For the most part, we have lots of able buyerswho are still very cautious about overpriced homes. The best thinga seller's real estate agent can do is help their seller to pricetheir home appropriately—if priced right, homes are still sellingrapidly.”

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on GlobeSt.com and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.