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Orange County home sales at 15-year high in October

Orange County’s homebuying rebound continued in October with sales hitting a 15-year high powered by historically low interest rates, coronavirus-led urges for more space and a limited inventory for house hunters to choose from.

A study by DQNews of closed transactions in Orange County from October shows …

• 3,779 homes sold, existing and new — up 23.7% in a year. It’s the most sales in any October since 2005. Year to date there have been 28,024 Orange County purchases — up 1% vs. 2019.

• $795,000 countywide median selling price — up 10% over 12 months. Record high? $800,000 set in August.

October extended the region’s summertime homebuying reversal into autumn after what had been a pandemic-induced chill in spring. The buying binge produced Southern California’s fastest-selling October in 15 years, too, according to the DQNews database.

Here’s a look into key slices of Orange County data for October …

Existing single-family houses: 2,383 sold, up 27.2% in a year. Median of $870,000 — a 13% increase over 12 months.

Existing condos: 1,089 sales, up 32.6% over 12 months. Median of $550,000 — a 8.9% increase in a year.

Newly built: Builders sold 307 new homes, down 14.7% in a year. Median of $925,500 — a 14.4% decline over 12 months.

Builder share: 8.1% of sales vs. 11.8% a year earlier. Orange County builders’ slice of the market ranks No. 3 among SoCal’s six counties.

Price rank: How Orange County’s median compared to Southern California’s five other counties: No. 1 overall; No. 1 for single-family resales; No. 2 for condo resales; and No. 1 for new homes.

How cheap is money? Rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.89% in the three months ending in October vs. 3.64% a year earlier. That translates to house hunters having 10% more buying power thanks to cheap-money policies by the Federal Reserve.

How thin is supply? Zillow stats show 18% fewer homes to buy in Los Angeles and Orange counties in mid-November vs. a year earlier and 47% less selection in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Around Southern California, according to DQNews’ latest report on closed sales in October …

Six-county region: 24,453 sold, up 17% over 12 months. Median? $605,000 — a 14.2% increase.

Los Angeles County: 7,601 sold, up 11% over 12 months. Median? Record-high $715,000 — a 15.3% increase.

Riverside County: 4,350 sales, up 17.8%. Median? $445,500 — a 14% increase.

San Bernardino County: 3,299 sold, up 17%. Median? Record-high $400,000 — a 14% increase.

San Diego County: 4,292 sold, up 22.9%. Median? $650,000 — a 13% increase.

Ventura County: 1,132 sold, up 12.4%. Median? $655,000 — a 12.9% increase.


Source: Orange County Register

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