Is Orange County’s Real Estate Market Improving?

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Is Orange County’s Real Estate Market Improving?

Home sales in Orange County are up almost 14% versus one year ago, according to Data Quick’s home buying report. Here are some of the latest numbers for the 22 business days ending April 17th, 2012:

  • 2,914 residences were sold. That is up 13.7% vs. one year ago. But, those numbers are still down 19% from the 1988 – 2011 sales averages.
  • The median selling price for all residences is now at $410,000. That is down 5.2% vs. one year ago and 36% below June 2007’s peak of $645,000. The good news is that the most recent median is 11% above the cyclical low hit in January 2009 at $370,000.
  • 23 of 83 Orange County’s Zip Codes saw increases in both the number of sales and in prices. Currently, Laguna Beach appears to be a very hot area with a 76.9% increase in sales and a 32.4% increase in prices.
  • Irvine’s 92606 Zip saw the largest drop in sales at 58.3%, but still managed to gain 9.9% in prices. Dana Point’s numbers sank with a 50% decrease in sales and a drop of 11.5% in prices.
  • New home prices are up 13.8% vs. one year ago. However, the total number of sales are down 3.4% vs. one year ago and down 72.4% from the 1988 – 2011 sales averages (It is no wonder that so many construction workers are unemployed!).

THE BOTTOM LINE: Yes, it does appear that we are seeing some overall improvement. However, we still haven’t seen the effects of our “shadow market” of homes that will be foreclosed upon in the coming months. And, of course, it would be foolish for anyone to start celebrating a real estate market recovery when California’s unemployment still stands at 11% (Please note that our State’s claim of an 11% unemployment rate does not include all of those workers who have given up looking for a job).