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County’s Housing Prices Jump Again

Times Staff Writer

Orange County housing prices leaped again in November, when the median price of an existing single-family detached home rose 1.7% to $230,701, according to California Assn. of Realtors figures released Tuesday.

November’s price was 29% higher than a year ago, when the median price was $178,870. But it was not an Orange County record; the September median of $234,934 still holds top honors.

November’s resale housing market performance may have been strengthened by a decline in mortgage rates during September and October, when most home buyers with transactions that closed escrow in November were shopping for a mortgage loan.

“The reality of falling mortgage rates, combined with the pre- and post-election expectation of higher interest rates in early 1989, encouraged many potential home buyers to make their move in November,” said Joel Singer, chief economist for the 120,000-member trade group. “Additionally, buyers acting before the end of the year for tax reasons may have helped boost sales.”

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Singer also said that a lack of inventory may have helped boost home prices during a time of year when they typically level off.

The state’s median sales price also continued to edge up in November, rising 1.2% from $175,295 in October to $177,485. The November price was 23.6% higher than in November, 1987, when the median detached-home price was $143,554.

“In terms of sales, this was the strongest November of the decade and one of the best months we’ve seen this year,” said association President Dale Colby, a Realtor from Glendora. “In fact, home sales were up sharply from last November in every major region of the state.”


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