Median price for an OC home reaches record high of nearly $1.1M 

Typical house payment in SoCal jumps to a record $4,160 while number of sales plunges

Median price for an OC home hits nearly $1.1 million, a record
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Home buyers in Orange County now must pay a record $1.085 million for a typical house.

The cost of a median-priced OC home jumped 14 percent on an annual basis in October to an all-time high, while a typical home in the Southern California region rose 4.3 percent to $735,000, the Orange County Register reported, citing figures from CoreLogic. 

The higher median and climbing mortgage rates pushed the typical monthly house payment in Southern California to a record $4,160. 

Meanwhile, home sales for the six-county region fell 8 percent from the year before to 13,293.

Home sales have fallen for 23 straight months, reaching the second-lowest level for an October since 1988. The number of October sales was the 20th lowest of any month on record.

“A sizable jump in interest rates kept home sales constrained in October and will likely hamper home sales for the remainder of the year,” Jennifer Branchini, president of the California Association of Realtors, said in a statement.

The buyers’ pain extends from coast to coast, with markets plagued by low inventory, high mortgage rates and rising prices.

More than a third of Americans are rooting for a housing market crash to boost their chances of affording a home, according to a recent LendingTree poll. Nearly half of millennials and just over half of Gen Z respondents hoped for a crash.

Lower sales are attributed to fewer homes on the market and fewer buyers able to afford them with current lofty payments. Nonetheless, the number of buyers still outpaces for-sale listings as homeowners cling to historically low mortgage rates obtained before last year.

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“Housing is scraping the bottom in the number of homes available, buyer demand and the number of homeowners willing to sell,” Steve Thomas, author of Reports on Housing, said in his latest dispatch.

Pat Veling, president of Real Data Strategies, said the slow sales volume continues to hammer the real estate industry, leaving brokers and others dependent on transaction volume “in a tenuous place.”

“Consolidation is on the horizon,” Veling said “We’ll have fewer agents, we’ll have fewer companies, we’ll have fewer (local Realtor) associations and multiple listing services.”

Veling and others, however, predicted a slight rebound in the market if interest rates decrease as expected next year.

“If inflation continues to cool, we could see more improvement in mortgage rates, … which would alleviate some pressure on both the buy and sell sides of the housing market in 2024,” Jordan Levine, chief economist of the California Association of Realtors, told the Register.

As home prices soared in OC in October, year-over-year sales were down 8.6 percent to 4,234 transactions, according to the Register.

In October, the price of a typical home in Los Angeles County rose 3.9 percent to $832,000, while sales were down 8.6 percent to 4,234 transactions.

The price of a typical home in Riverside County rose 1.5 percent to $553,000, while sales were down 5.7 percent to 2,526 transactions. The prices of a typical home in San Bernardino County rose 1.4 percent to $497,000, while sales were down 6.4 percent to 1,965 transactions.

— Dana Bartholomew

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