Good news! Two recent reports show that California real estate on a roll. According to the California Association of Realtors, California home sale prices came close to a 4-year high in July, with the pace of sales year-over-year growing for the fourth month in a row. This is great news for sellers — buyers, don’t wait any longer to buy or invest! The July median home price in California was the highest since August 2008, when it was at $352,730. July also marked the 5th straight month that the state’s median home price saw both month-over-month and year-over-year gains.

Interesting stats from the report:

•The median price of an existing single-family home (or price at the midpoint of all sales) was $333,860 in July, up 4.2% from $320,540 in June and nearly 13% from the state’s July 2011 median of $296,160. During the housing crash, the state’s median price got as low as $245,230.

•July sales rose to an annualized pace of 529,230 homes – in other words, homes that would sell if transactions were to occur for a year at July’s sales pace. That’s an increase of 15.3% over the pace in July 2011 – 459,140 homes.

•California’s housing inventory was pretty flat in July, with the index of existing, single-family homes at 3.4 months compared to 3.5 months in June. However, July’s inventory was down from a revised 5.6-month supply in July 2011. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A seven-month “inventory” of homes for sale is considered normal.

Wondering what the deal is for our lovely Orange County? To start, prices slipped slightly and sales had a dramatic increase:

•The median house price was $551,160 in July, barely down from $551,510 the year before and down about 3% from June. The low since the housing crash was $442,170 in January 2009.

•House sales in O.C. were up 32.1% from year-ago levels.

•The county’s “inventory” of homes for sale was at a 4-month supply, down a bit from 4.2 months in June and plunging from 7.5 months in July 2011.

Another indication of improvement in the state’s real estate market: California added the most new construction jobs in the country in the year ended July, a construction industry report indicated.

In Orange County and throughout California, we have what many call a “Sellers Market.” This term can be misleading, however. Just because an environment is great for selling does not mean that those intersted in purchasing a home in Orange County, CA as an investment or a place of residence cannt find a great deal. It is takes an experienced, knowledgeable Orange County realtor to point out the gems!

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions in an individuals or family’s life. Make sure you are getting the care and attention you deserve with your Orange County real estate agent.

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC or check her 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