Home prices rise in Orange County

The real estate market in Orange County continues to show signs of recovery. Housing prices are on the rise, foreclosure numbers are on the decline and home sales are increasing. Potential homebuyers looking to purchase one of the homes for sale in Orange County may want to check out the local MLS listings.

The Daily Titan reports that Orange County is showing the strongest home value increase in Southern California. One real estate organization claimed the median price for a detached single-family home in the greater area was $562,000 in September 2012. That reported median price is 12 percent higher than figures from one year earlier.

"Both the demand and supply side for housing are turning positive," Anil Puri, Ph.D, director for the Institute for Economic and Environmental Studies, told the news source. "Our forecast is that O.C. housing prices will increase 5 percent to 7 percent in 2013."

According to real estate news and data provider DataQuick, the increase in median price occurred for primarily two reasons: higher demand and a change in the types of properties being purchased.

The higher demand was a result of record-low mortgage rates increasing the affordability of owning a property in comparison to rising rent costs, which coincided with a decreasing housing inventory. The change in the type of properties being sold is the result of a decreasing market share of discounted distressed houses listed as for sale. Instead, real estate figures are showing more mid-range to luxury homes are getting purchased.

"Assuming this year's modest upward trend in pricing holds," said John Walsh, president of DataQuick, "we'll eventually see the market begin to re-balance with more supply, though that could take many months. More and more potential move-up buyers who do have equity will be thinking about timing their next purchase to maximize the advantage of super-low rates and relatively low prices."

The number of mid- to higher-cost homes that sold in September 2012 has increased. DataQuick claims that homes priced between $300,000 and $800,000 has risen 11.5 percent in a year-over-year comparison. Properties listed between these figures represent a higher market worth and indicate that those people buying homes have greater capitol to spend.