May 15th, 2013 9:29 AM by Mel Samick
Momentum continued to build in Orange County's housing market, with local home prices rising last month at the fastest pace in seven years…
The median price of an Orange County home hit $535,000 in April, Data-Quick Information Systems reported Tuesday. That’s the highest median – or price at the midpoint of all sales – since December 2007.
Sales increased last month to 3,327 transactions, up 13.9% from the year before and the highest April tally since 2006. Last month's median home price also was up 27.4% from April 2012. That's the fourth highest appreciation rate in records dating back a quarter century. The only months with higher annual appreciation rates were April 2004 (32.1%), May 2004 (32.5%) and June 2004 (30.5%).
Heightened demand and a still-limited supply of homes for sale fueled rising home prices. Reasonably priced homes below the $750,000 mark sell fast with multiple offers. Meanwhile buyers must compete in a market in which nearly one-third of the purchases are made entirely with cash.
As of last month, the local housing market was up $165,000, or 45% from the price reached at the bottom of the market crash in January 2009.
But April's median still was $110,000, or 17%, below the housing boom's June 2007 price peak of $645,000.
In addition, Data-Quick figures show the following median prices and sales tallies by housing type:
• Resale houses: $591,000 (up 21.9%), with 2,162 homes sold (up 10.8%).
• Resale condos: $364,750 (up 30.7%), with 902 condos sold (up 5.7%).
• New homes (houses and condos): $700,500 (up 12.0%), with 263 homes sold, more than double the previous year’s level.
The market is hot and shows no signs of a slowdown.