Sales of New Homes Up 2% in Orange County

New-home sales in Orange County rose a modest 2% this summer from a year earlier, but were up a sharp 19.5% from the spring, according to a real estate research and consulting group.

The report by the Meyers Group said 2,970 new homes were sold in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, up from 2,901 homes sold in the previous summer and the 2,486 homes sold last spring.

Forty-eight new projects opened for sale in the latest quarter, compared to 29 in the spring and 22 in the summer of 1988.

The median price of a new single-family home in the county stood at $350,000 in the July-September period, down 5.4% from the $369,000 median in the spring but up 12% from the previous summer.

The price decline from the previous quarter was blamed on competition caused by the sharp increase in new housing projects and the fact that many of the homes that were sold during the summer were smaller and had fewer costly amenities.

The lowest-priced new house in Orange County sold for $159,900 this summer, the report said. Homes in the most expensive non-custom new tract were $1,150,000.

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