Monday, October 17, 2005

Orange County: Home Prices Decline

by Bill McBride on 10/17/2005 05:04:00 PM

The OC Register reports on one of the closest watched housing markets: O.C. home prices decline

Orange County's home prices fell slightly off their record high in September.

The median selling prices for all residences last month was $610,000, down from $617,000 in August but still up 14 percent from September 2004, market tracker DataQuick reported Monday morning.

The local housing market has been on a roll this year. In August, Orange County home prices had set record high in six out of the past eight months.

Sales activity was strong in September, with sales at 4,072 – up 13 percent from a year ago.
And from DataQuick: Southland home sales still near peak
A total of 31,740 new and resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 7.4 percent from 34,292 in August, and up 6.0 percent from 29,942 for September last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

A decline from August to September is normal for the season. Last month's sales count made for the third-strongest September in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. Sales totaled 32,813 two years ago, and in September 1988 sales totaled 34,653. The low for that month was in 1992 with 12,838 sales.
The median price paid for a Southern California home was $475,000 last month. That was down 0.2 percent from $476,000 in August, and up 16.1 percent from $409,000 for September 2004.

Year-over-year changes in the median price ranged from 3.8 percent in San Diego County to 32.8 percent in San Bernardino County. The median in both counties hit a new peak.
The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $2,098 last month, down from $2,123 for the previous month, and up from $1,809 for September a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are slightly below their peak in the spring of 1989.