OC Home Demand

O.C. home demand up 103% vs. a year ago – Jonathan Lansner, Orange County Register, August 26, 2008

Biweekly housing report also finds supply is at lowest level in 16 months.

What a difference a year can make, especially when a year ago Orange County bousing was being zapped by a fast-brewing credit crunch.
Here’s what the biweekly Orange County housing report from Steve Thomas at Re/Max Real Estate Services in Aliso Viejo says, with data as of Thursday.
* Demand (homes put into escrow) is up 103 percent in a year. Fresh pending sales from the past month rose 51 in two weeks to 2,991. One year ago, demand was 1,475 after dropping by 329 pending sales in just two weeks.
* Supply, or active listing inventory, fell 289 homes in two weeks to 14,059, the lowest level since April 5, 2007. Last year at this time, inventory was 17,881 homes.
* The expected market time for all Orange County homes to sell at the current sales pace fell to 4.7 vs. 12.12 months a year ago. This measure of supply remained in double digits until February of this year.
* It would take 3.8 months to sell all homes listed at $750,000 or less; 10.3 homes above that price.
Meanwhile, the supply of distressed homes for sale was at a 14-week low.
* The number of Orange County distressed properties – homes listed by agents as foreclosures or short sales – was 5,865 last week, down 85 vs. two weeks earlier and the lowest since May 15.
* As a percent of all listed homes for sale, distressed properties were 41.7 percent of the market last week vs. 41.5 percent two weeks earlier.
* Since Dec. 27, the number of distressed homes on the market has grown 2,114 while the non-distressed supply is 3,570 lower.
Thomas says: “even with the giant negative spotlight on the financial markets and distressed properties, the Orange County housing market is at a much healthier place compared to the past couple of years and is on the road to an eventual recovery.”
And another number cruncher came up with more news on the Orange County home price front. First American CoreLogic’s first look at prices through mid-July shows prices aren’t dropping as fast as they were. The analytics firm’s housing price index for July saw prices declining at a 19.1 percent annual rate. That compares with a decline of 20.28 percent in June and a decline of 20.47 percent in May, the 18-month high.

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