Orange County’s Housing Market Continues to Warm Up

photo - OC home salesThe Orange County housing market continues to do well for sellers, buyers not so much. The Orange County Register reports that for the 22 business days ending February 9 the county’s median selling residential home price was $620,000, an increase of 8.8% compared to last year. There were 2,481 Orange County residential properties sold over the last year, an increase of 12.9% from the prior year ago.

To put this in perspective,

  • The nationwide average home value is $184,000 and through the end of January the median home price was $218,867, according to the real estate website Zillow. It states that the country’s home values have increased less than half the rate of Orange County’s increase, 4.2% over the past year.
  • Statewide 393,340 homes were sold in February 2016, up 6.4% from the same time last year, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR). The state’s median home sales price in February was $446,460.

The Register states there are several reasons behind this market strength.

  • The increase is not universal across the county. Prices increased in 58 of 83 Orange County ZIP codes from the previous year. Sales grew in 51 of the 83 ZIP codes compared with the same period a year ago.
  • Single home resales are particularly popular with 1,514 sold, an increase of 14.4% from a year ago. The median selling price was up 6.3% from a year ago to $670,000.
  • Resales of condos are also doing well with 706 sold, up 10.7% from a year ago. The median price was $426,500, an increase of 9.6% from a year ago.
  • New home construction involved 261 sales, up 11.1% from a year ago. The median selling price was $816,000, up 1.1%.
  • The lower end of market housing market didn’t do as well, impacted by limited supply. In the county’s 27 less expensive ZIP codes the median sales price was $545,000 and the total sales were up 9.7% compared to a year ago.
  • The high end of the market is doing particularly well. In the 27 most expense ZIP codes with the median sales price beginning at $679,000, sales increased 17.7% compared to a year ago.
  • The most expensive homes are also selling. In the seven zip codes where the median selling prices are more than $1 million, 162 homes were sold, up 14.9% compared to a year ago.

The state’s housing market is expected to see continued growth this year though it will be limited by a short supply of homes and persistent high prices, according to CAR, reports The Union. CAR predicts a 6.3% increase in existing home sales for 2016 or 433,000 single family home sales.

The housing market is influenced by a number of factors.

  • CAR expects a slight rise for a thirty year fixed mortgage up to 4.5% from 3.9% in 2015.
  • The organization projects California’s unemployment rate decreasing from 6.3% percent in 2015 to 5.5% in 2016.
  • Affordability is a concern for CAR members and those in the market to buy a home. In 1970 the difference between California’s median home price and the nation’s median home price was $10,000. Today, it’s $227,593. The difference between the country’s median home price and the median home price in Orange County is $401,133.

If you’re involved in a real estate transaction that didn’t go as planned and you believe your legal rights have been violated contact our office so we can talk about what happened, what laws may apply and your best options to protect your interests and rights.