South County now biggest home-sale region

August 3rd, 2010 Jon Lansner, Lasner on Real Estate Blog

Perhaps one of the most dramatic Orange County homebuying trends of the first half was a new king of market share of home sales by geography.

Our ZIP-by-ZIP analysis of DataQuick statistics shows that a year ago the county’s mid-section was the busiest geographic slice. Those ZIPs — from Orange to Fountain Valley to Westminster to Anaheim — accounted for 37% of all home sold in 2009’s first six months. Inland communities — north and south — each had roughly a quarter of the market. Beach towns took in the rest of the activity.

This year, the momentum has swung south. South inland ZIP codes added 1,528 sales — growth equal to 77% of countywide homebuying growth in the period. Meanwhile, the county’s mid-section ZIPs lost 416 sales, or an 8% drop.

As a result, south inland ZIPs — from towns like touching to sea from Tustin to San Juan Capistrano — had 30% of the first half’s activity while mid-county slipped to 29.7% share. The other parts of the county were essentially stable, while north inland at 23% share fo sales and beach towns at 17%.

This move southward for real estate shoppers may account, in part, for why the countywide median price was up 10.5% in the first half vs. a year ago. Median selling price in mid-county communities was $352,500 while it ran $520,000 in south inland neighborhoods.

The trend to the south is even more pronounced recently.

For the 22 business days ending July 15 — freshest numbers from DataQuick — our math identified mid-county ZIPs — median selling price $356,500 — with 836 sales. That’s down 16% from a year ago and just 27% of all sales.

But South inland ZIPs — median selling price $507,750 — had 1,018 sales. That’s up 44% from a year ago and 33% of all Orange County actvity.

All told, countywide sales were  up 6% vs. a year ago as the median selling price was up 6% in the period.

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