OC’s price gains for homes leads the nation, with surge in luxury

Typical Orange County house rises 10.5% in a year, driven by 12.3% jump at the top end

Orange County’s Price Gains for Homes Leads the Nation

Prices for homes in Orange County are rising faster than anywhere in the country, led by a surge in the luxury market.

The typical home in OC rose 10.5 percent in the 12 months through May, driven by a 12.3 percent gain in luxury homes, which also led the nation, the Orange County Register reported, citing figures from First American Data & Analytics.

The First American study compared the rise in prices for starter homes, mid-tier houses and luxury estates among 30 major cities.

Deep-pocketed buyers in OC pushed up prices, leading the list. The county also had a 10.9 percent increase for its mid-tier market (No. 2), but “only” a 8.3 percent rise for the starter segment (No. 6).

The median price for a home in Orange County in May was $1.2 million, according to Redfin, which charted an 18 percent gain on the year.

In September, Mitch Buchannon, who may have been the actor from “Baywatch,” paid $43 million for a 3,900-square-foot home on a bluff overlooking Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach.

In November, mortgage financier Evan Stone bought a 7,600-square-foot manse in Laguna Beach’s Emerald Bay for $25 million.  

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In July, typical home values broke records in Newport Beach, Irvine and Tustin.

That’s the flip side of the national market where buyers hunting for starter homes led the segment.

The median gain for the 30 U.S. cities was 4.2 percent, led by a 4.6 percent gain in starter homes, a 4.1 percent gain for mid-tier homes and a 3.9 rise in luxury estates, according to the Register.

In San Diego County, home prices climbed 8.4 percent, putting the city at No. 3, with gains of 10 percent for luxury (No. 2), 8.7 percent for mid-tier (No. 4) and 6.6 percent for starter homes (No. 10).

In Los Angeles County, home prices rose 3.8 percent (No. 17), with a 3.1 percent rise in luxury (No. 21), a 4.1 percent rise in mid-tier (No. 16) and a 4.9 increase for starter homes (No. 14).

In the Inland Empire, prices rose 3.7 percent (No. 18), with gains of 5 percent in luxury (No. 14),  3.5 percent in the middle market (No. 19) and 4 percent for starter homes (No. 20).

— Dana Bartholomew

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