OC High-end home prices: Falling


Inquiring minds are looking at the tonier areas of The OC and seeing their residential real estate prices are falling. According to the slightly different view of the Orange County real estate market from HousingTracker.net, the county’s high end takes the heaviest discounting:

This website tracks trends in asking prices from brokers’ MLS system of homes for sale. In addition, HousingTracker breaks down its data into a pair of neat markers — the 25th and 75th percentiles that let us see how the market’s upper crust and more modest abodes are faring.

From the January report we see …

At the 25th percentile — the median of the lower half of the price spectrum of local homes for sale — the selling price was $294,950; that is down 1% vs. the previous month and down 1.7% vs. a year ago. Over two years, there’s been an 1.8% dip in prices set by sellers of more affordable local homes. This is the 5th consecutive month-to-month cut in asking prices for these more “affordable” homes.

At the 75th percentile — the median of the upper half of the price spectrum of local homes for sale — the selling price was $640,873; that is down 1.1% vs. the previous month and off 11.5% vs. a year ago. Over two years, there’s been an 11.9% tumble in prices asked for higher-end housing. This is the 7th consecutive month-to-month cut in asking prices for these less “affordable” homes.

The gap between these two price points was 117% this month vs. 118% the previous months and 142% a year earlier. The gap peaked at 167% in June and July 2009.

The overall Orange County median listing price, by this math, was $418,975 for January — that is off 1.1% vs. the previous month and off 6.6% vs. a year ago. Over two years, there’s been an 3% decline.

This next year will see some ‘interesting’ developments in Orange County real estate. With the number of homeowners not paying their mortgages at a very high level, a very nasty year is beginning.

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