Home prices nationwide and in Orange County show gains in August 2012

Housing experts and news outlets are continuing to report about the improving real estate market. Property values are increasing, the number of distressed homes on the market is decreasing and residential financing options are remaining affordable for many potential homebuyers. These attributes and others can be accredited to the improving real estate in Orange County.

According to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a leading measure of U.S. home prices, the average home price in the nation increased by 0.9 percent for both the 10- and 20-city Composites in August 2012, compared to the previous month. Property values continued to rise across the country in August 2012 - both annual and monthly measurements are showing steady improvements.

"Home prices continued climbing across the country in August," said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Nineteen of the 20 cities and both Composites showed monthly gains in August. Seventeen cities and both Composites posted positive annual returns in August 2012. In 18 cities and both Composites annual rates improved in August versus July."

Average home prices across the United States are back to their summer levels. Property values in August 2012 rose by 8.5 percent above the early lows recorded during the first three months of 2012.

Some neighborhoods in Orange County rose in value significantly during September 2012 - continuing the trend from the previous month. Real estate news and custom data provider DataQuick claims that the median cost of a property in Orange County during September 2012 was $450,000 - a 5.9 percent rise in a year-over-year comparison. There were 2,677 home sales recorded during the month - 6.7 percent more than in September 2011.

The largest price increases were recorded for new homes, which rose in price by 16.6 percent to $679,000. The median price of a condominium sold during September 2012 was $305,000 - up 14.2 percent. Out of the numerous communities included in Orange County, Foothill Ranch had the greatest median price increase of 122 percent, which brought the median cost of a home in this neighborhood to $455,000.

Home prices are continuing to improve across the United States, especially in high quality metro areas such as Orange County.