March home sales in Orange County hit nine-year high

Orange County home sales took off in March, climbing 8.9 percent from March of last year, CoreLogic reported Thursday.

In all, 3,140 houses, condos and townhomes changed hands last month, the biggest monthly tally in eight months and the most sales for a March since 2006.

But prices overall were unchanged from year-ago levels.

The median selling price of an Orange County home – or the price at the midpoint of all sales – was $580,000, CoreLogic reported. Prices were up 4 percent, however, for existing single-family homes, which made up 61 percent of the March market.

While sales saw their first big year-over-year percentage gain in 1 1/2 years, the pace of homebuying has been depressed since late 2013 following a huge jump in home prices. Last month’s sales also still were 14.5 percent below the March average.

Sales jumps occurred last month across the region, with Southern California housing transactions up 11.1 percent to 19,603.

“Sales increased year over year, which is something that’s only happened in a few months over the past year,” said CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage. “Sales have been hampered by low inventory, especially in the lower price ranges, rising prices and lingering credit hurdles.”

An increase in the number of homes for sale “could support higher sales and tame home price appreciation.”

Here’s a breakdown of Southern California home sales and prices by county:

County/area March median 1 yr. ch. Sales 1 yr. ch.
Orange $580,000 0.0% 3,140 8.9%
Los Angeles $476,500 9.5% 6,653 12.5%
Riverside $301,000 4.3% 3,242 5.7%
San Bernardino $250,000 8.7% 2,289 11.8%
San Diego $456,000 6.8% 3,467 13.4%
Ventura $460,000 7.0% 812 21.6%
Southern Calif. $425,000 6.3% 19,603 11.1%

written by: Jeff Collins

courtesy of: OCRegister.com

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