Realtors report increase in house supply

Realtors report increase in house supply

Orange County’s supply of existing houses listed for sale did an about face last month and rose to just over seven months  — meaning it would take that long to sell them all at July’s sales pace, the California Association of Realtors reported.

That’s the highest O.C.’s “unsold inventory” has been since February. The increase likely represents both a rise in the number of homes listed for sale and the abrupt drop in sales that occurred following the end of federal homebuyer tax credits.

Steve Thomas of Altera Real Estate reported that the supply of unsold homes on the Orange County market increased to 11,650, up from 7,300 in January.

Still, at 7.2 months, O.C.’s July inventory is below a countywide average of eight months dating back to the early 1990s.

Realtor association numbers show that the inventory rose to a record of 21.5 months in January 2008, and fell to a post-boom low of 5.4 months in December. (See Chart)

The unsold inventory in California as a whole rose to 5.8 months, compared to four months in July 2009. That’s still below the long-running state average of seven months.

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