Orange County has the fifth-fastest pace of home sales in the nation so far this year, with 59 percent of the homes listed on Trulia coming off the market in two months or less, the real estate website reported recently.
Trulia measured sales pace by comparing how many homes listed on its website on Feb. 5 were still for sale by April 5. The results show that turnover is accelerating.
In the same period of 2014, 55 percent of the homes were either sold or withdrawn from the market in two months.
Trulia housing economist Ralph McLaughlin said it’s likely that most of the missing listings were removed because of a sale.
“Homes that are pulled off the market because of a lack of demand are likely to sit on the market longer than 60 days,” McLaughlin said in an email. “So it is unlikely that homes pulled off the market instead of being sold are reflected in our measure.”
The markets in Orange County and California are significantly brisker than the U.S. average.Nationwide, 40 percent of listings disappeared within two months, up from 38 percent a year ago, Trulia reported.
Eight of the nation’s 10 fastest-moving markets are in California, according to the Trulia report.
San Francisco had the nation’s fastest sales pace, with 74 percent of the listings vanishing in two months. San Jose and Oakland ranked second with 70 percent of homes no longer for sale after two months. In San Diego, 67 percent of listings disappeared in that time frame.
Other California metro areas in the top 10 were Sacramento, at 58 percent, and Los Angeles and Ventura counties, each at 57 percent.
A limited supply of homes and high demand are the key reasons why listings are vanishing fastest in California.
“Expensive markets – including many in California – have tight housing supplies because of limited construction in the face of growing demand. So homes get snapped up quickly,” the report said.
Orange County’s turnover is even faster than Trulia indicated, according to Steve Thomas of ReportsOnHousing.com.
Thomas calculated that as of April 9, it would take 54 days to sell 100 percent of the homes listed in the Realtor-run “multiple listing” database during the previous 30 days. That’s down from 65 days in the same period of 2014.
“The Orange County housing market is currently hot and favors sellers,” Thomas said. “The hotter the price range and market, the sharper a buyer’s pencil needs to be.”
Thomas’ figures show that the $250,000-to-$500,000 price range is Orange County’s fastest-moving segment. He calculated that it would take 47 days to sell all the homes listed in that price range.
The $500,000-to-$750,000 price range is Orange County’s only other housing segment with homes averaging less than two months on the market. The average in that segment was 54 days.
Homes are selling faster this year for all listings between $250,000 and $2 million.
The nation’s most sluggish markets are concentrated on the East Coast, according to Trulia.
Albany, N.Y., had the slowest market, with 29 percent of homes leaving the market in two months. Long Island was second-slowest, with 31 percent of homes vanishing in two months, followed by Syracuse at 32 percent.
The uptick in home sales is bad news for first-time homebuyers, because the pace is fastest in the lowest-priced third of the market, Trulia reported.
“First-timers ... are already getting slammed by declining affordability and slow wage growth,” the Trulia report said. “Now, even the homes they might be able to afford seem to be disappearing in the blink of an eye.”