Advertisement

Median Price of O.C. Homes Hits $236,000

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Exceeding even the most aggressive forecasts of a blazing summer real estate market, Orange County’s median home price soared to an all-time high of $236,000 in June, gaining a whopping $10,000 in one month as agents and builders scrambled to find homes for anxious buyers.

Home sales in June crashed through the 5,000-mark for the first time in nearly a decade as sellers found themselves flooded with multiple offers from buyers willing to pay full price--and then some.

“I have buyers and can’t find the homes,” said Michael Dreyfus of Prudential California Realty in Newport Beach, who estimates he has at least six buyers for every house. “Three years ago, I had houses but no buyers.”

Dreyfus is requiring that his clients meet him immediately at a house when it goes on the market in hopes of beating other interested buyers with a bid.

Advertisement

One family, without time to find a baby-sitter, rushed from Riverside County with their toddler to make an offer. Another family, unable to break away, bought a $600,000 home in Newport Beach--sight unseen, Dreyfus said.

June marked the second time this year that the median price leaped by $10,000 in one month, the other being March, and the eighth consecutive month that it rose by at least 10%.

Experts said the run-up is showing no signs of slowing, given the strong economy, low mortgage rates and sustained job growth.

“We could have price increases at least above 10% through October, meaning the overall median rate for the county could easily be in the $250,000 range by year’s end,” said John Karevoll of Acxiom/Dataquick Information Systems, which compiled the figures.

Advertisement

Although the biggest price surges have been recorded along the coast--all segments of the housing market--from condominiums to mansions, have seen double-digit increases over the past year.

Contributing to June’s sharp sales increase is the fact that prices have rebounded to pre-recession levels in most parts of the county. As more people realize their homes are worth more than they owe on them, they have begun looking to move up, creating more inventory to meet the increased demand.

That has been reflected in higher prices paid for low- and moderate-priced homes, which until the past few months have lagged the high-end market.

Condominium prices, for example, have risen 21% over the past 12 months, to a median $155,000 in June.

Advertisement

A shortage of new homes also is driving prices higher, by 42.5% over the past year, to a record median $332,000 in June.

At the end of May, the latest figures available, there were only 638 new homes available for purchase in Orange County, about one month’s supply, accord to Meyers Group Real Estate Information.

Three months ago, there were 1,797 new homes on the market.

“Projects sell out faster than they can be replaced,” said Lorry Lynn, Meyers’ senior managing director.

Advertisement

At a new-model showing last week in Irvine, Catellus Residential Group said 1,300 people signed an interest sheet for 104 homes in its Cypress development.

Of those, 500 families filled out additional forms becoming pre-qualified in hopes of bolstering their odds of joining the lucky few.

“There is a lot of anxiety in the marketplace,” said Karen Spargo, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Catellus.

The sudden jump in housing prices has caught many by surprise, and many buyers have grown frustrated at seeing long waiting lists.

Advertisement

As a result, buyers continually call to see if they can move up on waiting lists or check that their names still appear on the company’s list.

One woman, trying to avoid the wait, knocked on the Catellus construction trailer’s door asking to speak to the manager.

She whipped out her checkbook, offering to pay him nearly $600,000 for two houses in cash. Sorry, he told her but she would have to wait.

Lower interest rates also are fueling demand, which means buyers can buy more house today than they could a decade ago.

Advertisement

The monthly payment on $236,000 home, assuming a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 6.73% and a 20% down payment, would be $1,214. Ten years ago, when interest rates topped 10%, the median-priced home of about $220,000 came with a $1,696 monthly payment, Karevoll said.

But with prices rising in June, more people opted for adjustable-rate loans: 17.1% of all purchases versus 15.3% in May.

In order to meet demand for loans, Tricor Mortgage Lending has hired more than 120 employees this year and moved to a space almost 10 times larger.

The Huntington Beach lender is on a pace to make nearly $1 billion in new loans and refinancings this year, said Anthony Hsieh, chief executive.

Advertisement

He said his appraisers, who drive in cars decorated with corporate logos, have been asked by prospective customers at stop lights about loan rates and business cards.

One appraiser, surfing near Dana Point, found himself being quizzed by other beach-goers in the parking lot.

“That sort of thing didn’t happen before,” Hsieh said, “but now people are approaching us.”

* HOME SALES CHART, D1

Advertisement

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Price Break

Declining interest rates have helped ease the burden for Orange County homeowners during the last decade. Here’s how June payments have declined, assuming a $236,000 sale price and 20% down payment on a 30-year fixed mortgage:

RATE:

Advertisement

1989: 10.279%

1998: 6.663%

PAYMENT:

1989: $1,696

Advertisement

1998: $1,214

Source: Acxiom/DataQuick

Orange County Home Sales

The June home sales total of 5,098 was the highest since March 1989 when 5,241 homes sold. June’s median price jumped 17.4% from $201,000 a year ago to $236,000. (See story, A1.) Sales, median prices and resale price per square foot of new and existing homes and condominiums, by ZIP Code:

Advertisement

*--*

Community Pct. Median Pct. ’97 Med. /Zip Sales Chng. price Chng. Sq.Ft.(1) Aliso Viejo 92656 148 27.6% $185,750 -0.1% $120 Anaheim 92801 38 26.7% $147,000 3.5% $108 Anaheim 92802 26 8.3% $164,000 3.0% $107 Anaheim 92804 74 29.8% $164,000 5.8% $114 Anaheim 92805 51 45.7% $155,000 9.2% $106 Anaheim 92806 34 70.0% $203,500 10.6% $106 Anaheim 92807 92 27.8% $228,500 9.9% $108 Anaheim 92808 78 11.4% $270,000 12.5% $133 Brea 92821 52 73.3% $224,500 17.5% $111 Buena Park 90620 52 20.9% $173,000 8.1% $127 Buena Park 90621 28 0.0% $167,500 16.1% $102 Corona del Mar 92625 36 50.0% $662,500 28.3% $310 Costa Mesa 92626 57 18.8% $234,500 16.1% $130 Costa Mesa 92627 61 38.6% $240,000 24.7% $166 Cypress 90630 72 80.0% $236,500 14.8% $127 Dana Point 92624 13 160.0% $252,000 -22.2% $275 Dana Point 92629 111 88.1% $323,500 32.0% $150 Foothill Ranch 92610 48 60.0% $241,000 8.2% $115 Fountain Valley 92708 88 17.3% $251,000 11.6% $127 Fullerton 92831 52 44.4% $192,500 -15.2% $129 Fullerton 92832 26 62.5% $157,000 1.0% $130 Fullerton 92833 65 58.5% $190,000 14.5% $124 Fullerton 92835 49 133.3% $253,000 -1.0% $128 Garden Grove 92840 64 28.0% $168,500 8.2% $114 Garden Grove 92841 29 38.1% $165,000 7.8% $121 Garden Grove 92843 32 3.2% $148,500 -1.0% $119 Garden Grove 92844 33 32.0% $150,000 9.9% $109 Garden Grove 92845 34 61.9% $220,500 16.7% $137 Huntington Beach 92646 86 0.0% $254,750 11.0% $140 Huntington Beach 92647 69 16.9% $231,500 12.9% $147 Huntington Beach 92648 137 168.6% $315,000 18.9% $151 Huntington Beach 92649 67 34.0% $290,750 23.7% $171 Irvine 92604 69 81.6% $240,000 17.6% $130 Irvine 92606 54 -3.6% $334,500 46.1% $126 Irvine 92612 95 58.3% $322,500 8.3% $163 Irvine 92614 56 14.3% $244,500 13.7% $159 Irvine 92620 102 54.5% $254,000 -4.2% $134 La Habra 90631 82 39.0% $169,000 8.3% $117 La Palma 90623 25 25.0% $270,000 23.4% $113 Laguna Beach 92651 50 6.4% $471,500 23.6% $334 Laguna Hills 92653 128 56.1% $189,500 0.7% $135 Laguna Niguel* 92677 279 55.9% $294,500 15.9% $135 Lake Forest 92630 143 60.7% $235,000 23.7% $117 Los Alamitos 90720 29 38.1% $345,000 25.5% $167 Mission Viejo 92691 120 21.2% $260,000 30.0% $121 Mission Viejo 92692 173 36.2% $300,000 37.8% $119 Newport Beach 92657 24 26.3% $536,750 5.2% $217 Newport Beach 92660 70 40.0% $478,000 10.6% $217 Newport Beach 92661 5 -16.7% $785,000 -16.0% $494 Newport Beach 92663 48 20.0% $416,000 32.1% $269 Orange 92865 21 23.5% $190,000 -3.1% $122 Orange 92866 23 -8.0% $208,750 3.3% $138 Orange 92867 57 90.0% $240,000 21.2% $121 Orange 92868 16 14.3% $146,000 4.3% $127 Orange 92869 88 41.9% $261,000 15.5% $121 Placentia 92870 85 66.7% $227,500 16.1% $113 R. Santa Margarita 92688 175 34.6% $185,000 -4.1% $121 S. Juan Capistrano 92675 95 31.9% $285,000 31.6% $121 San Clemente 92672 94 42.4% $278,750 36.6% $132 San Clemente 92673 38 5.6% $268,500 -1.1% $149 Santa Ana 92701 33 -21.4% $89,000 3.5% $110 Santa Ana 92703 43 10.3% $149,000 10.4% $111 Santa Ana 92704 67 6.3% $151,000 9.4% $115 Santa Ana** 92705 68 11.5% $336,000 5.7% $129 Santa Ana 92706 39 69.6% $182,000 19.0% $115 Santa Ana 92707 51 21.4% $138,000 11.7% $114 Seal Beach 90740 28 75.0% $333,000 4.4% $167 Stanton 90680 28 75.0% $131,000 12.4% $125 Trabuco/Coto 92679 128 47.1% $355,000 28.2% $118 Tustin 92780 71 42.0% $195,000 17.5% $122 Tustin 92782 69 68.3% $211,000 -1.9% $128 Villa Park 92861 11 120.0% $450,000 13.9% $134 Westminster 92683 101 27.8% $183,750 11.0% $120 Yorba Linda 92886 98 42.0% $283,500 11.8% $128 Yorba Linda 92887 60 36.4% $345,000 13.7% $136 Other -- 57 -- -- -- -- Countywide 5,098 36.8% $236,000 17.4% $126

Community ’98 Med. /Zip Sq.Ft.(1) Aliso Viejo 92656 $146 Anaheim 92801 $118 Anaheim 92802 $116 Anaheim 92804 $123 Anaheim 92805 $119 Anaheim 92806 $113 Anaheim 92807 $128 Anaheim 92808 $156 Brea 92821 $136 Buena Park 90620 $132 Buena Park 90621 $120 Corona del Mar 92625 $355 Costa Mesa 92626 $147 Costa Mesa 92627 $178 Cypress 90630 $138 Dana Point 92624 $224 Dana Point 92629 $184 Foothill Ranch 92610 $148 Fountain Valley 92708 $134 Fullerton 92831 $138 Fullerton 92832 $150 Fullerton 92833 $138 Fullerton 92835 $131 Garden Grove 92840 $133 Garden Grove 92841 $132 Garden Grove 92843 $128 Garden Grove 92844 $129 Garden Grove 92845 $154 Huntington Beach 92646 $166 Huntington Beach 92647 $166 Huntington Beach 92648 $181 Huntington Beach 92649 $196 Irvine 92604 $159 Irvine 92606 $153 Irvine 92612 $188 Irvine 92614 $188 Irvine 92620 $153 La Habra 90631 $120 La Palma 90623 $130 Laguna Beach 92651 $328 Laguna Hills 92653 $160 Laguna Niguel* 92677 $171 Lake Forest 92630 $140 Los Alamitos 90720 $197 Mission Viejo 92691 $141 Mission Viejo 92692 $150 Newport Beach 92657 $264 Newport Beach 92660 $242 Newport Beach 92661 $559 Newport Beach 92663 $309 Orange 92865 $124 Orange 92866 $165 Orange 92867 $142 Orange 92868 $117 Orange 92869 $137 Placentia 92870 $122 R. Santa Margarita 92688 $145 S. Juan Capistrano 92675 $146 San Clemente 92672 $172 San Clemente 92673 $164 Santa Ana 92701 $138 Santa Ana 92703 $119 Santa Ana 92704 $125 Santa Ana** 92705 $150 Santa Ana 92706 $133 Santa Ana 92707 $132 Seal Beach 90740 $218 Stanton 90680 $132 Trabuco/Coto 92679 $146 Tustin 92780 $140 Tustin 92782 $148 Villa Park 92861 $147 Westminster 92683 $133 Yorba Linda 92886 $146 Yorba Linda 92887 $149 Other -- -- Countywide $145

*--*

Advertisement

(1) Median resale price per square foot

*Includes South Laguna **Includes Lemon/Cowan Heights

Source: Acxiom/DataQuick; Researched by JANICE JONES DODDS/Los Angeles Times Sales, Price Trends

Monthly Sales: 5,098

Advertisement

Median price: $236,000

June Sales: 5,098

June Median Price: $236,000

Source: Acxiom/DataQuick

Advertisement


Advertisement