Orange County house hunters must sort through the slimmest selection of existing homes in seven months.

ReportsOnHousing says there were 5,955 residences listed for sale in brokers’ listing networks as of Nov. 3, down 383 in two weeks – the largest drop of the year to the slimmest supply since April. A year ago there were 6,132 homes were for sale in what many real estate pros say is a market slowed by a very tight supply.

Homes priced below $500,000 are harder to find. Listings are down 21 percent in a year; new escrows are off 15 percent.

Buying pace is steadier. New pending sales entering escrow in the past month fell by just 12 in the past two weeks to 2,480 – 2 percent more than a year ago.

As a result, ReportsOnHousings’ estimate of selling speed – its “market time” metric – fell to 72 days on Thursday vs. 77 days recorded two weeks ago as well as a year ago. The newsletter considers any speed under 90 days to be a seller’s market.

“More and more sellers are realizing that the holiday market is knocking on the door, the slowest time of the year for real estate,” wrote Steve Thomas, editor of ReportsOnHousing.

“We can expect the inventory to continue to drop until we ring in the New Year with fewer than 5,000 homes on the market. The long-term average for Orange County is an inventory of 8,000 homes, far more than where we stand today, or any other time this year.”

— –

Original article published on OC Register written by Jonathan Lansner