Orange County’s housing inventory is currently fewer than 6,000 homes.

House-hunting is tougher than ever in California’s Orange County as of November 3rd, according to a report from ReportsOnHousing. The county’s total number of residential listings experienced its largest drop so far this year in the previous two weeks, and the current listing number – 5,955 – is the lowest in seven months.

Homes priced below $500,000 are especially scarce under these circumstances: residential listings under $500,000 fell by 21% in the two weeks leading up to Nov. 3rd, and new escrows are off 15%. Buying pace is a little steadier, with only 12 fewer pending county sales entering escrow.

ReportsOnHousing’s estimate of amount of time an Orange County home is on the market fell to 72 l from 77 days during this time. “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.”

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