Orange County home prices closed out the year at levels not previously seen since 2007. According to DataQuick, the median home price in Orange County reached $570,000 in December.
For the year, Orange County home prices rose by 21.4%–which the Orange County Register reports is the biggest annual price increase since 2004. Additionally, the number of homes sold in Orange County reached a seven-year high in 2013. There were 36,480 sales for the year—which represents a 7.2% increase from the previous year.
Statewide, DataQuick reported home prices climbed to $385,000 in December—which was the highest for any month since February 2008.
It was certainly a strong year for the Orange County housing market, as rising demand and higher prices have been good for sellers. However, as the Register points out, affordability is increasingly becoming an issue for first-time homebuyers. One agent told the Register that the supply of homes in the 1,800- to 2,100 square feet range—which often attract first-time homebuyers—continues to be below normal levels. As a result, these homes are continuing to attract multiple offers and are sold quickly.
No one was ready to predict what to expect in 2014 with regards to the Orange County housing market. A lot could depend on interest rates, which are currently hovering around 4.5% but is expected to reach 5% sometime this year.