Southern California home prices improve in September 2012

The Southern California market is turning itself around from the disappointing housing figures posted for much of the mid-2000s. The latest real estate data is showing marked improvements in the region. The MLS listings in Orange County depict a market with upward momentum as housing prices increase, foreclosure rates decline and sales volumes improve.

According to real estate news and data provider DataQuick, the median price paid for a Southern California home rose in September 2012.

In September 2012, there were 2,677 home sales - up 6.7 percent from 2,510 in September 2011, according to the source. The median home price also increased during that twelve month period, from $425,000 in September 2011 to $450,000 one year later - a 5.9 percent improvement.

In addition to the overall improving Orange County market, residential financing rates are remaining affordable at historic lows, attracting many potential buyers.

"The latest stats suggest unbelievably low mortgage rates and modestly higher consumer confidence continue to put pressure on a supply-starved housing market. We can’t stress enough, though, that the median sale price and other price measures reflect more than just rising home values. There have been a major change in market mix, meaning fewer low-priced sales, fewer foreclosures re-selling, and more sales in middle and upscale markets," said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

Some neighborhood in the community featured stronger median home price increases than others. Here are three neighborhoods in Orange County that posted impressive yearly price increases in September 2012:

1. Foothill Ranch. This Orange County community featured a median home price increase of 122 percent from September 2011 to September 2012, according to DataQuick. The median cost of a property in the 92610 ZIP code was $455,000 in September 2012.

2. Brea. The town of Brea is split by two ZIP codes. The 92823 portion of the community featured a median home price of $656,500 in September 2012 - up 93.5 percent from the same month one year prior.

3. Newport Coast. The luxury neighborhood of Newport Coast is home to some pricey pads. DataQuick claims that the median price of a house in the area was $1,750,000 in September 2012. The median cost of a property rose by 40 percent during the previous 12 months.