Fewest O.C. homes for sale in 7 years

Real estate news from the OC Register…..

The supply of homes for sale in Orange County has been sliced in half to a 7-year low.

The latest Orange County home inventory report from Steve Thomas and ReportsOnHousing.com — data as of June 7 includes these thoughts …

The listing inventory dropped another 2% in the past couple of weeks. The descent in the active listing inventory has slowed considerably, but it is still dropping. The listing inventory shed 96 homes in two weeks and now totals 5,731. The last time the inventory was this low was exactly seven years ago, June of 2005. The inventory has continuously dropped since June of last year, a 50% decline. Last year at this time there were 11,337 homes on the market. With such a drastically reduced inventory and strong demand, the expected market time forall of Orange County is at 47 days. I still am concerned that soon, very soon, news of the unbelievably hot real estate market is going to persuade many sellers to jump in after waiting on the sidelines for quite some time. Remember, these are not the mid-2000’s. I often compare the current market activity to 2005, a very hot year for Orange County housing. However, back then short sales and foreclosures were unheard of. The market will be absorbing distressed sales for years to come, putting a lid on rapid inflation.!


Thomas’ signature housing measurement is his “market time” benchmark. It tracks how many months it theoretically takes to sell all the inventory in the local MLS for-sale listings at the current pace of pending deals being made. By this Thomas logic, as of June 7 — we see …

  • Market time of 1.55 months for Orange County buyers to gobble up all homes for sale at the current pace vs. 1.57 months two weeks ago vs. 3.66 months a year ago vs. 3.19 months two years ago.
  • Of the 8 Orange County pricing slices Thomas tracks, 3 had faster market time vs. 2 weeks ago; and 8 improved over a year ago.
  • Orange County homes listed for under a million bucks have a market time of 1.24 months vs. 5.08 months for homes listed for more than $1 million.
  • So, basically, it is 4.1 times harder to sell a million-dollar-plus residence!
  • And just so you know, the million-dollar market represents 27% of all homes listed and 8% of all homes that entered into escrow in the past 30 days.

Here’s the recent data for listings; deals pending; market time in months; latest vs. 2 weeks earllier, a year ago and 2 years ago. Color coding for market time is red (slowed by 5%-plus in year); green (sped up by 5%-plus in year); and yellow (in between!) Note: k=thousand; m=million …

Slice Listings Deals Market Time (months) 2 week ago 1 yr. ago 2 yr. ago
$0-$250k 765 683 1.12 1.19 2.79 2.36
$250k-$500k 1,488 1,608 0.93 1.00 2.90 2.38
$500k-$750k 1,255 822 1.53 1.46 4.06 3.04
$750k-$1m 707 279 2.53 2.33 4.82 4.10
$1m-$1.5m 533 173 3.08 2.94 6.42 5.59
$1.5m-$2m 311 69 4.51 4.06 9.06 7.49
$2m-4m 461 51 9.04 7.91 10.21 15.42
$4m+ 266 16 16.63 33.75 32.22 44.50
All O.C. 5,731 3,687 1.55 1.57 3.66 3.19

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