The Orange County, Calif., housing market and its titanic home prices are not unsinkable. The inventory of for-sale homes is growing, the pace of home resales is slowing and home-price appreciation is starting to stagnate in the county, which has been one of the hottest housing markets in the nation. And while things are not going swimmingly anymore, it doesn't mean that the market is drowning, either, say local real estate professionals. Home sales were down about 17 percent in Orange County from July 2003 to July 2004, and down 13.3 percent from June 2004 to July 2004, according to DataQuick, a company that tracks real estate data. In 2003, home sales were up 6.1 percent from June to July – the summer months are typically the busiest season for home sales. And the California Association of Realtors reports that the inventory of existing, detached homes has grown from 1.4 months in April to 7.5 months in July–the last time it reached 7.5 months was in October 1998. This m...
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