At The Marquis Team, we’ve been saying it for months, and now we have the data to back us up: Orange County home prices are rising. Many savvy real estate investors and Orange County families made the most of a down economy and snatched up great deals on homes in Orange County in the last few years. We certainly encouraged our clients to consider ‘striking while the iron was hot!’ However, certain potential homebuyers were resistant and wanted to wait for the market to ‘drop even more.’ As Orange County home sales of late have show, that is not happening. And with mortgage rates going up, it seems that the plethora of distressed properties and other great deals that had flooded the Orange County real estate market will not be easy to snatch up.

Here is the latest information on Orange County home buying and selling data, courtesy of  DataQuick. The latest numbers put the median selling price of an Orange County home at $470,000 — the highest full-month level since June 2008, just before the nation’s financial collapse.

What’s more, the total number of Orange County December home sales is up over 30% from this time last year. Compared to December 2012, resales of single family homes were up 34.9%, condo sales rose 19.8%, and builders’ new homes sales were 60.8% higher. On top of that, 54 of 83 Orange County zip codes had both rising sales and prices in the period. What does all of this information tell us? Orange County home prices are going up and people are buying.

Don’t get too worried that we are about to hit another Orange County real estate market bubble: the $470,000 median selling price is 27% below June 2007′s peak of $645,000. In fact, the median selling price of a single-family home is 28% less than peak pricing in June 2007, Orange County condos are selling at 35% below their peak in March 2006, and builder prices for new homes are 29% below their February 2005 top.

If you like graphs, read on for the breakdown of recent Orange County real estate activity by key category. Included is a comparison of the latest results to the average monthly sales pace from 1988 through 2011:

Slice Price Price vs. year ago Sales Sales vs. year ago Sales vs. ’88-’11 avg.
Houses $525,000 +15.5% 2,235 +34.9% 0.2%
Condos $305,500 +17.0% 891 +19.8% 4.2%
New $614,500 +15.9% 320 +60.8% -37.4%
All O.C. $470,000 +17.5% 3,446 +32.5% -4.2%

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

Cheryl Marquis has been an active and successful real estate agent in South Orange County, California for more than 25 years. As a TOP PRODUCER in her company, Cheryl has received the specific accreditation of a Certified Relocation Specialist (CRS) and Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR) and is a member of the Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate, a select network of the world’s leading luxury home agents. Cheryl is a member of C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors), N.A.R. (National Association of Realtors) and O.C.A.R. (Orange County Association of Realtors). To talk to Cheryl about buying or selling a home in Orange County, call her at 949.683.1501 or visit her online at