More good news for Orange County residents, especially those of us somehow involved in one of the OC’s biggest industries: Real Estate! In May, Orange County home sales hit their highest level in nearly seven years, with over 3,00 deeds changing hands. This is the highest number of homes sold in the OC since June 2006.

Meanwhile, the median Orange County home price  (the price at the midpoint of all sales, which is not the same as the average) was an impressive  $540,000, up 24% from the year before, bringing us to the highest median sales price since the real estate bubble burst in late 2007. Even more, May’s median was up $5,000 from April.

Local real estate agents, such as South Orange County realtor Cheryl Marquis, attribute this increase in the median home selling price to many of the same factors that have propelled the market since the start of the year; including low mortgage interest rates, strong demand, stiff competition from cash-paying investors and relatively few homes for sale.

Although the number of listings on the market increased by 950 homes since mid-March, realtors continue to report stiff competition among buyers, with multiple offers and homes selling within weeks, if not days, of coming on the market. And this includes homes at both the high and low ends of the spectrum. For example, Cheryl just worked with her buyer-clients to purchase a lovely Orange County home in the $1,000,000+ range that received 4 offers within the first few days of it being on the market. Of course, Cheryl used her negotiation skills and years of experience in up and down markets to secure the home for her buyers. You can read more about the home and the buying process here.

A recent Orange County real estate report shows:

  • May’s median home selling price – while up $105,000 from a year ago – remains $105,000 below the market peak reached in June 2007. And it’s $183,000 below the peak in inflation-adjusted dollars.
  • Recently foreclosed homes made up 6% of May’s transactions, the smallest percentage since August 2007.
  • Cheaper “distressed” homes made up 13% of the homes going into escrow in the past month, compared with 42% a year ago.
  • Absentee buyers – most likely investors or vacation-home buyers – accounted for 22% of May’s deals.
  • People paying cash accounted for 30% of May’s homebuyers, compared with an average of 12.2% since 1988.

Interesting statistics for sure! Real estate, and that includes listing availability, is always changing in Orange County. To stay on top of the market, be sure to follow Cheryl Marquis on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ and check back on this Orange County real estate blog!

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC or check her out on Facebook at CherylSellsOrangeCounty.