The Orange County real estate market

October 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California 
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The Orange County real estate market, which was for a time showing strong signs of recovery from the recession, has started to slip into negative territory again, with home sales trailing off and the median price remaining largely unchanged. According to a September 14, 2010 report from the OC Metro, “Orange County home sales in August fell to the lowest level for the month since 2007, due in part to the struggling job market and the recent expiration of the federal tax credits. But the median price for a residence did get a slight boost over the same time last year, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick. A total of 2,538 homes were sold last month, down 9 percent from August 2009, when 2,790 transactions were closed. But, the number rose slightly from July, when 2,527 properties were sold. For the entire six-county Southern California region, which includes Orange, L.A., Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino and Ventura, August sales fell to 18,541 – it’s also the lowest level for the month since 2007, according to MDA DataQuick. Last month’s total represents a 13.8 percent drop from August 2009, when 21,502 homes were purchased. The number also dipped from 18,946 in July. “The loss of homebuyer tax credits explains much of the sales weakness over the past two months,” said John Walsh, president of MDA DataQuick…”

Although a separate report indicated a slight rise in the median price of an Orange County home for sale, the OC Metro reported on September 22, 2010 that the median price remained unchanged in August. According to the article, “The median price for a home in Orange County was unchanged in August, though sales slid from the same time last year, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors, which relies on MLS information for its data. The region’s median home price was $499,580, down 2.8 percent from July and 33.1 percent off its peak, which was recorded in April 2007. But, the number has risen 18.1 percent after hitting the bottom in January of last year. Statewide, the median home price posted its 10th consecutive year-over-year gain, according to C.A.R. The number rose to $318,660, up 8.6 percent from August 2009. The number also increased 1.2 percent from July. Meanwhile, home sales in Orange County declined 11.2 percent from August 2009 and 7.3 percent from July.  Statewide, sales fell 14.9 percent last month, compared to the same time in 2009, though they increased 1.8 percent from July.”

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Fullerton real estate market

March 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California 
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The Fullerton real estate market, which is closely linked to the rest of the Southern California real estate market, made some impressive strides during the month of January. According to an article released by EGP News, “In Orange County, the median home price was $325,000, up from $300,000 in the same month a year ago, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick. According to DataQuick, 15,361 homes were sold in the six-county Southern California region – Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties – in January, down 31.2 percent from 22,328 in December and up 0.9 percent from 15,227 in January 2009.” As John Walsh of MDA DataQuick pointed out, “The January stats underscore just how atypical this market remains…A huge chunk of what’s selling is still distressed.”

The price of Fullerton homes for sale substantially increased in the month of January, according to an article in OC Metro. The piece, published on February 16, 2010, found that “Orange County’s median home price jumped 14.9 percent in January compared to the same time last year, according to stats just released by San Diego-based MDA DataQuick.” The article, composed by Kristen Schott, noted that “The price for a home or condominium in the region rose to $425,000 in the period, up from $370,000 in January 2009. But the number declined from December’s $435,000 median. For the entire Southern California region, which includes the Orange, L.A., Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties, the median home price rose 8.6 percent to $271,500…”

One problem spot for Fullerton real estate and Orange County real estate was reported in another article by the OC Metro. This piece, composed by Carol Starcevic, noted that “Foreclosure notifications in Orange County rose slightly in January from the previous month, but the number still remains significantly lower than January of 2009’s figure.” The February 16, 2010 article continued to point out that “In addition, 523 properties were returned to banks, up 86 from December but down 193 from January 2009. And 303 homes were sold to a third party, up 81 from December and 183 from the same time last year, according to the report.”

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South Orange County real estate updates

October 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California 


A few parts of highly-sought after South Orange County real estate were an anomaly in recent real estate findings by MDA DataQuick, reported Daniel Taub on October 13, 2009, for Bloomberg News.  While “Southern California house and condominium prices fell 11 percent in September from a year earlier as foreclosures dominated sales,” Orange County was the only county to experience an increase in median price, with the figure rising 0.9 percent to $429,000.  This is compared to San Bernardino, which dropped 27 percent to just $150,000.

LB_Laguna-Beach-CliffsSome of the most popular real estate in South Orange County is in the exclusive and elite neighborhood of Laguna Beach, a thriving beach community reserved for only the most selecting and wealthy residents.  Luckily, recent analyses have seen an increase in the home prices and stability of beach markets like Laguna Beach.  In fact, “September was the 15th consecutive month to see year-over-year sales gains,” claimed the writers of the Orange County Register’s October 14, 2009, report.  Pat Veling, who contributed opinion to the article, is the president of a local real estate consulting firm and believes that the “increase in median home price signals that more medium- and higher-priced homes are selling.”  He has found that “the recovery we are seeing has broken out of entry-level price points and is finding its way into mid-level price point.”

Another interesting point from the same news article came from Pat Veling, the president of Real Data Strategies, a local real estate consulting firm.  He believes that “because demand remains so intense for entry-level homes, he added, many buyers are giving up trying to buy them after getting outbid too many times. Some are raising their sights and paying more to buy homes at a price where the competition to buy isn’t so tough.”  This means that the supply of South Orange County homes for sale in the lower-tier markets is dwindling and that demand for mid-tier properties is beginning to surge.

Orange County real estate update

October 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California County real estate is finally seeing some good news after years of recession and dropping house prices.  For the first time in two years, Orange County home prices rose, according to Jeff Collins, Jonathan Lansner, and Mathew Padilla of the Orange County Register.  The October 14, 2009, article claims that “a 24-month losing streak ended last month when home prices increased from the year before, although it’s uncertain whether prices will keep on going up or enter a new round of losses.”  According to the most recent reports, “Southern California home prices will be up about 30 percent from the lowest levels by mid-2012.”  This comes as good news for home owners who are looking to see their properties revalue as well as for current homebuyers and investors who have the chance to purchase real estate in Orange County inexpensively with the prospect of selling it at a higher price in just a few years.

DataQuick, who helped to provide statistics and numbers for the Orange County Register, claimed that “the median price for Orange County homes for sale – or the price at the midpoint of all transactions – was $429,000 last month, up 0.9 percent from the median in September 2008.”  According to a Los Angeles Times article run in the October 4, 2009, print edition and written by reporter Peter Y. Hong, there has also been an increase of interest in smaller homes in the county rather than the palatial homes that once dominated the market.  The article says that “deluxe houses now lie vacant in droves along the coasts and hillsides of Southern California, from Manhattan Beach to Irvine.”  However, their prices haven’t dropped nearly as much as many other homes in Orange County because their owners can afford to keep them on the market for “months, sometimes years, hoping to find buyers who would pay their asking prices.”

Although some areas of Orange County are recovering quite well, “expensive gated communities housing mammoth-sized residences in Southern California are turning into albatrosses,” reported Alex Finkelstein on October 5, 2009 for the Real Estate Channel.  “There are no buyers willing to pay the asking top-tier prices for this caliber of real estate at this time. So the properties sit vacant.”