Orange County Housing Report …

The active listing inventory continues to drop along with distressed properties, both foreclosures and short sales.  The active listing inventory dropped by1,005 homes in the past six weeks and now totals 9,313, the lowest level since February of 2006.  Today there are 5,567 fewer active listings on the market compared to last year when the inventory totaled 14,880.  There are 7,559 fewer active listings compared to two years ago when the inventory totaled 16,872.  There are currently 3,062 distressed homes on the active market, 48% off of the peak of 5,950 established in August 2008.   The number of active foreclosures has dropped to 424 for all of Orange County, a 70% drop from the peak of 1,404 established in November of 2008.  The number of short sales on the active market has dropped to 2,656, a 46% drop from the peak of 4,810 established in May of 2008.  In the past six weeks, the number of short sales has dropped by 539 homes.  This drop can be directly attributed to strong demand for homes priced below $1 million along with an insatiable buyer appetite for distressed properties.  Distressed sales now account for 33% of the active listing inventory and 53% of demand.  The expected market time for foreclosures is currently 0.65 months.  For short sales, the expected market time is 2.10 months.


For Orange County, demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, increased by only 20 homes in the past six weeks, now totaling 3,652.  This is the height for demand in 2009.  Orange County demand has not been at this level since August of 2005, just prior to the beginning of the current cycle.  Last year there were 592 fewer pending sales, totaling 3,060, 16% less.  Two years ago demand was 1,667 fewer, totaling 1,985, 46% less.  Demand has reached a plateau, partially due to fewer distressed sales and total properties in the lower ranges.  With an expected market time of 1.40 months, the $250,000 to $500,000 range has been incredibly hot and many buyers have written offer after offer with no success.


The expected market time dropped from 2.85 months six weeks ago to 2.55 months today.  The expected market time last year was at 4.86 months, and two years ago it was at 8.33 months.  This is the lowest expected market time since September 2005.  Total Orange County pending sales continues its surge, reaching record heights, totaling 6,348, a 615 home increase over the past six weeks.  Last year at this time, total pending sales reached 4,256, 2,092 fewer than today.  Two years ago it was at 2,952, 3,396 fewer.  Total pending count is different than demand because demand tracks new pending sales over the past month.  Total pending count takes into account all pending sales, including those that have been pending for longer than 30-days. 


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