Distressed O.C. homes for sale tumble 61%

Distressed properties were 23% of Orange County homes listed for sale and 48% of the residences recently put into escrow. Steve Thomas of ReportsOnHousing.com publishes every two weeks a report on the supply of local homes for sale and the share of that inventory that’s distressed properties — foreclosures and short sales. His latest report — as of April 26 — says …

Since October, the distressed inventory has shed 2,164 homes, a 61% drop. That is not a typo; the total active distressed inventory, both foreclosures and short sales, has dropped 61%. Since the beginning of this year, the drop has been a staggering 55%. Today there are 1,399 total short sales and foreclosures on the active listing inventory. Last year at this time there were 3,834. Absolutely nobody predicted a sharp drop in distressed homes either. This was an unanticipated step and a crucial ingredient to the current recovery that is underway. There are only 304 foreclosures in all of Orange County, a drop of 24 in the past two weeks. The foreclosure inventory has not been this low since August 2009. The expected market time is an incredible 0.6 months. Having the winning bid on a foreclosure is almost as good as winning a lottery. There are a ton of buyers competing for very few homes. Short sales aren’t much different with a o.8 month inventory. After shedding 179 homes in the past two weeks, the short sale inventory now totals 1,095, levels not seen since the distressed inventory began to rise in 2007.

Some of the details …

  • 1,399 distressed Orange County properties were listed for sale — 23% of the 6,044 listed overall.
  • 1,935 new escrows were opened to buy distressed Orange County properties in the past 30 days. That is 48% of the 3,992 new pending sales countywide.
  • Thomas calculated “market time” — cross of supply and new escrows showing how long, theoretically, it would take to sell inventory. Using that “market time” math, there’s 0.72 months worth of distressed properties on the market vs. 2.26 months worth of non-distressed homes. So, distressed homes currently sell 3.1 times faster than non-distressed homes.
  • 34% of the distressed listings were foreclosures being sold by banks; 66% were short sales.
  • 45% of the distressed listings were attached homes; 55% were detached homes.
  • 32% of distressed Orange County listings were in ocean-close communities.
  • Pricey? 63 of the listed distressed homes were price above $1 million — 5% of all distressed listings.
  • Cheap? 1,032 of the listed distressed homes were priced $500,000 or less — 74% of all distressed listings.
  • Chart summarizes trends in Thomas’ report, distressed counts and share of all listings (plus, pending sales and market time — demand divided by inventory.)

Highlights …

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