2,923 home sales contracts signed in Orange County

Orange County home sellers signed 2,923 sales contracts with buyers during the 30 days ending on Thursday, according to the latest Orange County home inventory report from O.C. broker and numbers cruncher Steve Thomas.

While that’s down about 10% from the same period a year ago, it’s up 8% in the past two weeks — and up dramatically since the start of the year. Thomas wrote: “Historically, New Year’s Day is the slowest time of the year in terms of demand. Demand, the number of new pending sales over the prior month, has increased by 58% since then, adding an additional 1,856 homes and now totals 2,923. In the past two weeks, demand has increased by 8%, adding 205 pending sales. Up to this point, demand was a mirror of 2009. It now outpaces 2009 by 4%. Let’s hope that this trend continues for the overall health of the Orange County housing market.”

Thomas also calculates a “market time” benchmark tracking how many months it theoretically takes to sell all the inventory in the local broker-run multiple listing service at the current pace of deal making. As of last Thursday, Thomas calculated it would take:
3.65 months (three months and 20 days) for buyers to gobble up all homes for sale at the current pace, vs. 3.82 months two weeks ago. A year ago, the ratio of sales to inventory was. 2.51 months; it was 4.09 months two years ago.
Homes listed for under $1 million have a “market time” of 3.30 months, vs. 8.70 months for homes listed for more than $1 million.
So, basically, it is 2.6 times harder to sell a million-dollar-plus residence.
The million-dollar market represents 16% of all homes listed and 7% of all homes that entered into escrow in the past 30 days.


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