10 key Orange County real estate headlines in 2017 – Orange County Register

For some in Orange County’s housing market, ’17 was indeed a very good year.

Median home prices shattered the $700,000 price barrier. Six percent fewer homes came on the market than in 2016, yet there were just as many closed resales, said Steven Thomas, author of ReportsOnHousing.

But with unrelenting bidding wars and record-high rents – $1,863 a month in Q3 – many prospective homebuyers were singing a different tune.

“The Orange County housing market in 2017 was incredibly hot due to a chronic, low inventory,” Thomas said. “There were never enough homes on the market to quench strong buyer demand.”

The imbalance continued even into the slower months, with “market time,” a way to measure the pace of sales, speeding up a week – to 65 days vs. 72 one year ago as of mid-December.

A similar scenario played out across the nation.

“In 2017, the time on market plummeted to an all-time low — at just three weeks — to sell a home,” said the National Association of Realtors’ Economists’ Outlook blog in late December. “2017 marks the shortest period sellers were selling in three decades.”

On the commercial side, Orange County landmarks old and new grabbed headlines, too.

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Some by-the-numbers highlights:

$359,818 

With housing affordability a big issue, that eye-catching price at a new townhome community in Rancho Mission Viejo is getting plenty of attention. New Home Co. is selling 10 units starting below $360,000. They’re about 700 square feet each, with budget-friendly appliances and small dining areas tucked into kitchens. “Reaction from prospective buyers has been strong,” said Joan Marcus-Colvin, New Home Co.’s chief marketing officer. “We’re seeing almost an even split between young families and couples without children.”

$710,000

A late-summer surge in home buying pushed Orange County housing prices to record highs, and the median home price hit $710,00 in September, according to house tracker CoreLogic….

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