Take Two for February 15, 2013

Housing inventory in California drops dramatically in January

David Paul Morris/Getty Images

A sold sign is posted on a fence in front of a newly constructed home in the Oakbridge housing development on April 25, 2011in Danville, California. New home sales rose 11.1% in the month of March according to the Commerce Department.

It's only been a few years since the housing market imploded both here in southern California and across the country. The common refrain was that it would take another few years, possibly a decade or more for housing to bounce back.

RELATED: California 'shadow inventory' of real estate drops through October

In the meantime, it was a buyer's market: low prices, low interest rates, desperate sellers.

But talk with just about anyone wandering around open houses each Sunday and you'll hear a different refrain: What happened?!

Prices here jumped more than 23 percent last month, according to DataQuick, and foreclosure filings dropped a stunning 77 percent. So all the sudden finding a house to buy isn't so easy.

Chris Thornberg, an economist and founding partner of Beacon Economics, is here to explain.


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