Homes for sale in Orange County have nearly doubled in six months, rising to 6,298 listings as of Thursday, Steve Thomas of said in his latest report.



Listings in the Realtor-run multiple listing service were up 98 percent since mid-March, a low in almost nine years of data.


“Orange County housing is moving away from a sizzling hot seller’s market with rapid appreciation to a cost conscious cooler market with restrained appreciation,” Thomas wrote in his latest report.


As listings increased, the number of contracts signings began dropping, falling 25 percent since mid-June, he said.


“The market was starting to cool as values began to dramatically recover from their recession lows a few years ago,” he added. “What looked like a total deal and had attracted a wave of investors had lost a bit of its allure and luster. Investors started looking elsewhere. Homes began receiving fewer offers and buyers shied away from grossly overpriced homes.”


Last year at this time there were 4,416 homes on the market, 1,882 fewer than on Thursday, Thomas reported.


Thomas’ report shows further:


  • The biggest increase in listings occurred in the $250,000-to-$750,000 price range. Listings in that price bracket jumped 144 percent to 3,386 homes for sale. That category accounted for just over half off all listings.
  • The next biggest increase was in the $750,000-to-$1.5 million price range, which was up 97 percent to 1,536 listings. That group accounted for a fourth of all homes for sale.
  • Listings for $1.5 million and above — accounting for 17 percent of the market — increased 39 percent to 1,054 homes.

“Demand continues to drop as we make our way through the autumn market,” Thomas said. “This is cyclically a slower time of the year. … But the downshift is a bit more pronounced this year.”