Home Resales Still Down but Median Price Climbs


Single-family home resales in Orange County continued an 18-month slump in January, but the median price of those homes rebounded to the highest level since May, the state realtors association reported Wednesday.

The median price of $236,730 was down 1.6% from $240,624 in January, 1990, but was up 3.3% from December’s $229,120, according to statistics complied by the California Assn. of Realtors.

January’s sales pace, based on escrows that closed during the month, was down 26.5% from a year earlier but was off only 4.6% from December. The January figures represent sales agreements originally made in November and December, so the decline reflected the consumer uncertainty that followed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August and the beginning of the recession.

Realtors and real estate industry analysts say that sales began picking up in January and that the upswing should begin to show up in sales reports next month.


January was the fifth consecutive month in which home sales figures have declined from the previous month. However, the January decline was the smallest month-to-month drop during the period, the report shows.

The realtors association numbers are based on reports from seven of the 11 boards of realtors in Orange County and include only single-family detached homes. The association does not report the actual number of transactions for individual counties.

In a similar report issued last week, TRW Real Estate Information Services said that a total of 2,418 resale homes closed escrow in the county in January, the lowest tally in 37 months. The TRW figures, which include attached homes and condominiums, showed January’s resale closings to be down 16.9% from 2,876 closings in January, 1990.