Over the last year inventory (the number of homes for sale) has dropped steadily and the sales are increasing. It would be nice if we could measure how many offers were made on each property because it seems as though that is increasing but there is no data for that. The bottom line is that there is more demand than there is supply. When that happens prices tend to go up. The projection for the increase in property prices in Orange County for this year is 6.8%. That doesn't mean that is what will really happen but it is a good indication that prices will go up this year. Waiting to buy means higher costs for interest, property taxes, and insurance over the life of the ownership of the property. Irvine is consistently an area of very high demand compared to other areas in Orange County and that doesn't look like it will change in the near future. The rate of appreciation may be higher than other areas. Because of the relatively high number of sales, the appraisals are following the actual market values better than in areas with fewer sales.