Southern California -- this just in

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Is the housing inventory in L.A. really declining?

August 14, 2008 | 10:45 am

Our own Peter Viles asks the question and comes up with a few answers on our real estate blog, L.A. Land:

Recent MLS listings, as analyzed by Housing Tracker, indicate that inventory of for-sale homes in Los Angeles has been declining slightly in recent weeks. This trend -- if accurate -- raises a number of questions and possibilities, and I'd like to throw a few out there and then ask for your input.

First off, because we're in an unprecedented real estate market in Southern California, it's somewhat meaningless to argue that the apparent drop in inventory is "unexpected" or "unusual" -- we've never been in a market like this, so no one knows what to expect, or what is usual.

The most obvious interpretation is that homeowners believe it's not a great time to sell, so those who have a choice are deciding not to list their homes. Taken a step further, this would mean the economy, though weakening, is not so weak that it is forcing people to sell their homes.

That said, there's a theory floating around various blogs that...

Read Peter's full post here.

-- Veronique de Turenne