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Orange County Housing Report: A Modest Deceleration


The active listing inventory in the past couple of weeks decreased by 49 homes, down 2%, and now sits at 2,385, its lowest reading since the start of July. The inventory peaked four weeks ago. It is the second lowest end-of-August reading since tracking began in 2004, slightly behind 2021. In August, 39% fewer homes came on the market compared to the 3-year average before COVID (2017 to 2019), 1,367 less. Last year, there were 3,726 homes on the market, 1,341 more homes, or 56% higher. The 3-year average before COVID (2017 to 2019) was 6,569, or 175% more, nearly triple.


Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, decreased by 111 pending sales in the past two weeks, down 7%, and now totals 1,465, the lowest end-of-August level since tracking began in 2004. Last year, there were 1,831 pending sales, 25% more than today. The 3- year average before COVID (2017 to 2019) was 2,438, or 66% more.


With demand falling faster than supply, the Expected Market Time, the number of days to sell all Orange County listings at the current buying pace, increased from 46 to 49 days in the past couple of weeks. It was 61 days last year, slower than today.


For homes priced below $750,000, the Expected Market Time decreased from 32 to 31 days. This range represents 18% of the active inventory and 28% of demand.


For homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 31 to 32 days. This range represents 15% of the active inventory and 23% of demand.


For homes priced between $1 million and $1.25 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 33 to 37 days. This range represents 10% of the active inventory and 13% of demand.


For homes priced between $1.25 million and $1.5 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 40 to 38 days. This range represents 10% of the active inventory and 12% of demand.


For homes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 53 to 58 days. This range represents 14% of the active inventory and 12% of demand.


For homes priced between $2 million and $4 million, the Expected Market Time in the past two weeks increased from 82 to 96 days. For homes priced between $4 million and $6 million, the Expected Market Time increased from 177 to 257 days. For homes priced above $6 million, the Expected Market Time decreased from 378 to 310 days


The luxury end, all homes above $2 million, account for 34% of the inventory and 11% of demand.


Distressed homes, both short sales and foreclosures combined, comprised only 0.2% of all listings and 0.3% of demand. Only two foreclosures and two short sales are available today in Orange County, with four total distressed homes on the active market, down three from two weeks ago. Last year, eight distressed homes were on the market, similar to today.


There were 1,784 closed residential resales in July, 9% less than July 2022’s 1,959 closed sales. July marked a 10% drop compared to June 2023. The sales-to-list price ratio was 100.3% for all of Orange County. Foreclosures accounted for 0.2% of all closed sales, and there were no short sales. That means that 99.8% of all sales were good ol’ fashioned sellers with equity.



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