Is Irvine Housing a Buyers’ or Sellers’ Market?

The following post gives more information to help answer the question that Cubiz Zirconia asked in Monday’s post: Is it time for Irvine home prices to rebound?


Trulia came out with a report recently that said buying a home was a better deal than renting in many U.S. locations, including the OC.



Trulia Rent vs Buy Chart


Does this mean that Irvine has transitioned from a buyers’ to a sellers’ market?


When I was writing about the Irvine real estate market for Redfin, I would periodically check Altos Research statistics for single-family homes in Irvine. One of these stats was the Altos Market Action Index. Altos defines the Market Action Index as the balance between potential buyers and sellers; in other words, the balance between supply and demand. Above 30 is defined as a sellers’ market, and below 30 is defined as a buyers’ market.


Following is a random sample of past Irvine Market Action Indexes for single-family homes:


    • December 13, 2009: 19.98


    • July 12, 2009: 18.31


    • September 16, 2008: 16.68


    • June 15, 2008: 16.54


    • January 13, 2008: 16.11



According to these numbers, the Irvine single-family market was definitely a buyers’ market. So what about today? Has the single-family market in Irvine transitioned from a buyers’ to sellers’ market?


Irvine’s current Altos Market Index is 20.54. According to this number, Irvine’s single-family housing is still a buyers’ market. (Of course, this could be true or untrue for different neighborhoods in Irvine.) How long will this last? Any opinions?



To see more statistics from Altos on Irvine’s single-family housing market, to go the Altos Research page for Irvine. I found it interesting that the 90-day trend shows that the number of homes on the market in Irvine has declined quite a bit.


Note: I’ll write about Irvine’s condo market at another time.


Discuss below or at Talk Irvine.


One thought on “Is Irvine Housing a Buyers’ or Sellers’ Market?

  1. Bryan

    This study is seriously flawed….the link that takes you to the article says that in the (949)/South OC, that the ratio rent/buy is 14.4.

    I pay $4300/mo in rent in Northpark, or $51,600 annually. At 14.4x rent supposedly, my house would sell for $743,000. If that was the case, it would be sold in less than an hour. The TMV of the house is between $1.15-$1.2MM based on recent comps…..

    I’d love to know where the ratio is truly at 14.4 in the (949) area code……

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