“Talk to any buyer looking to purchase an affordable home right now, and they would describe the housing market as insanely hot due to a lack of options,” he said.
Homes have been continually appreciating since the housing recovery five years ago, but affordability has eroded at a steady pace, too.
In 2012, 60 percent of all homes offered for sale were below $500,000, Thomas says. There were 5,801 homes offered for sale in that price range, compared to 2,089 this year.
The effect is even obvious in the condomimium market, where entry-level choices have gone up from $250,000 to $500,000.
So who’s doing ok?
“For buyers looking for a home priced above $750,000, there actually have been more choices compared to last year,” Thomas says.
So far this year, 3,920 homes have been placed on the market above $750,000 compared to 3,658 last year, or 7 percent more.
The median price of an Orange County home, or the price at the midpoint of all sales, was $645,000 in February, according to Irvine-based data firm CoreLogic. That was up $10,000 from January and up $35,000 from February 2016, a year-over-year gain of 5.7 percent.