Inventory as of 2/24/2013: 2-0-0.

As Irvine inventory drops and the nationwide housing statistics show signs of life, we have moved into a seller's market. Last year, around spring, I questioned if this is the worst Irvine saw, and in fall, I wondered if this is recovery. Within a year, we have gone from bottom to recovery to a bubble. Condominiums are being listed for a price that people paid to buy single family homes just a year ago. Here is my favorite village “West Irvine” which saw the worst last winter, and stabilized last summer, and now is booming.

59 Sapphire, Irvine CA 92602

Listing Price: $569,900

Beds/ bath: 3 Beds/ 2.25 Baths

Area: 1500 SF

Price/ SF: $380

Year Built: 2001

Builders Tract Code: Mandeville (MAND)

Elementary School: BECKMAN

Middle School: PIONEER

High School: MYFORD

School District: Tustin Unified School District

When I saw the listing price, my jaw dropped. I am watching these homes for almost 12-15 months now. Attached condominiums, space just enough for a small family, has huge potential as an investment property, better construction quality than some of the single family homes in the area, all good for a price tag below $450,000. But at 569,900, if this is not the beginning of another housing bubble, what is?

Here is the brief sales history for these condos. Market conditions have changed too, inventory is a third of what it was a year ago, but still, unless you are a rich person who is buying these properties by dozens, it is going to feel like a lot for a little home.

163 Topaz $274.34

97 Sapphire $244.00

109 Sapphire $290.00

103 Sapphire $255.28

161 Topaz 1 $260.00

65 Sapphire $258.67

92 Topaz $233.33

33 Moonstone $286.67

63 sapphire $260.38

56 Sapphire $303.33

149 Topaz 13 $270.73

19 Moonstone $252.67

9 Moonstone $317.33

1 Moonstone $316.67

78 Topaz $295.00

117 Sapphire $313/SF

19 Sagamore $329/SF

75 Sapphire $260/SF

22 Moonstone $325/SF

At $380/SF, it's a $100/SF jump from last year. When was the last time this happened? Oh, if I remember it right, around 2005-2007 (these homes were around $600-$650k then).

Here are a couple of other blogs I had written about these homes:

117 Sapphire and 97 Sapphire

117 Sapphire

97 Sapphire

Mortgage: $2,079Monthly

Property Tax: $6,036 Annually, $503 Monthly

Mello Roos: $772 Annually, $65 Monthly

HOA Dues: $230 Monthly

Total: $2,877 Monthly

(Fixed monthly expense to own a similar condo last August was $2105,and September was $2,346)

What are your thoughts?

Are we in the bubble-central, or is it just the beginning?

If you are a buyer, what are your plans? Will you continue to rent for a while, or buy before it's too late?

Share your thoughts at Talk Irvine.