O.C. house prices up 16%, Realtors report

December 18th, 2012,  by 

OC Register

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The California Association of Realtors reported steep gains for Orange County house prices and sales last month.

The median price of a detached, single-family Orange County home rose 15.9 percent from November of last year, to $565,020.

Sales were up 30.1 percent from year-ago levels. The association said 1,531 houses changed hands in November, up from 1,177 closed deals in November 2011.

Realtor numbers track DataQuick Information Systems’ housing numbers reported last week.

According to DataQuick, Orange County’s median detached, single-family house price – or price at the midpoint of all sales — increased 14.1 percent from year-ago levels to $525,000. The sales total was 1,841 units, up 23.1 percent. (The median price for all houses and condos in November was $450,000, DataQuick reported.)

DataQuick sales figures tend to be higher because the research firm gets its figures from the county Clerk-Recorders’ Office. The Realtors derive their figures from multiple listing service databases, which don’t include all sales.

Sales and price data for November. *Annualized projection
Area Median Price 1 yr. ch. Sales 1 yr. ch.
Calif. houses $349,300 24.8% 518,290* 2.7%
Calif. Condo/Twnhms $278,520 26.0% 4,473 13.0%
Orange County $565,020 15.9% 1,531 30.1%
Los Angeles $337,080 15.7% 3,706 10.6%
Riverside County $239,610 19.8% 1,957 -2.6%
San Bernardino $152,000 12.4% 1,092 -8.4%
San Diego $403,990 13.3% 1,897 15.7%
Ventura $453,760 10.5% 579 41.9%
S.F. Bay Area $588,800 25.9% 3,726 12.2%
Sacramento $194,700 18.2% 1,469 -4.9%

Orange County’s inventory of homes for sale – measured in months needed to sell all listings – was 3.3 months, the Realtor group said. That’s down from seven months in November 2011.

The average time needed to close a deal fell to 52.6 days last month, down from 80.7 days the same month last year.

Statewide, the median house price increased 24.8 percent to $349,300, while the median price of a California condo increased 26 percent to $278,520.

The Realtor association warned that higher house prices in California are tied in large part to a shift to higher-priced home sales because the supply of cheaper homes remains tight. As the number of foreclosures dropped, home sales have declined in lower-priced markets; mid- to higher-priced homes posted strong increases, the group said.

Double-digit sales gains in coastal counties — 22.1 percent in San Francisco, 10.6 percent in Los Angeles and 41.9 in Ventura, for example – were offset by sales declines inland. For example, Kern County’s sales fell 21.4 percent, Merced’s fell 28.8 percent and the Inland Empire’s fell 4.7 percent.

Sales gains for the state as a whole increased just 2.7 percent in November.

The group said that 518,000 California houses would sell in a year at November’s sales pace, up from 504,000 at the November 2011 pace.

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