OC Housing prices flat, sales sinking


Inquiring minds

The median price of an Orange County home – or price at the midpoint of all sales – fell to $438,000 last month, housing tracker MDA DataQuick reported Tuesday.

That’s the lowest since April and up just 0.3 of a percentage point (or $1,500) from the October 2009 median.

Meanwhile, sagging sales stretched into their fourth month, with 2,298 Orange County homes trading hands in October.

That’s 9 percent fewer than in September and 17.9 percent below the October 2009 tally.

While sales typically drop from September to October, last month was the second-slowest for an October since DataQuick began tracking home sales in 1988. It also was nearly 36 percent below the average of around 3,600 housing deals in a typical October.

Going forward is not going to be fun. The writing is on the wall:

“Things have slowed down and agents are starting to get worried,” said Irvine top-producer Mac Mackenzie. “I think buyer confidence has been reduced, and people are having trouble getting (their loans) approved.”
“We’re not seeing any move-up buyers,” added Harry Solomon, managing owner of Nova Real Estate Services in Laguna Hills. “If you can’t sell the little condo because you’re upside-down, you’re certainly not going to buy something else.

Of course there are no move-up buyers. Not only is the last statement true, you also have a building wave of foreclosures coming and the state about to default on its debt.

2011 is going to be a very ugly year in California real estate.

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