Once again, the mainstream media is, well, kind of right.

In just another example of being “sort of right,” the San Diego Union Tribune reports on housing trends this morning.

The main story was from the Associated Press and is available online. Missing from the online version are the bits of local color which, according to the footnote, were added to the article by Union staff writer Roger Showley and appear in the tree-version. In response to the reported rise in unsold homes nationally, the article says “… in San Diego County, a different story is unfolding.” That’s the “sort of right” part.

According to Peter Dennehy, Senior vice president of Sullivan Group Realty Advisors, the inventory of unsold homes has been dropping steadily since February.”

So far, so good. Here is the trend for San Diego County homes for sale courtesy of Clarus Market Metrics. You can see it in all of its full-screen glory on our web site here.


But, Mr. Dennehy and the San Diego Union Tribune also reported:

By yesterday, (inventory of unsold homes) had fallen below the 10,000 level for the first time in four years. The 9,704 listings compares with 12,079 a month ago and represents 4.4 months of supply.

Don’t you guys read our blog?

If you did, you would have read our post yesterday about a new category which has been added to our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) — the “contingent” category. Sometime in the past month, all homes with accepted offers awaiting lender approval or accepted offers with a first right of refusal were hastily yanked from “active” status and placed in this new holding tank. Now you see them, now you don’t.

Here is what the Sandicor MLS tells us this morning. In San Diego county, there are 9,861 single-family homes and condominiums for sale, which is eerily similar to the number reported in our local rag. There are also, however, 2,860 “contingent” homes for sale in the county which last month would have shown up in the “active status” category. The total? Insert drumroll. 12721 total homes are offered for sale, which is actually a slightly larger number than reported for last month.

So, yes, inventory has been declining in the county since February. But, we did not see a 25% decline in inventory from a month ago. Compared to April, the May numbers are essentially unchanged.

Maybe this is not a big deal, but it’s fun to get your facts right.

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