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Very Positive Orange County Real Estate Market News!

A.R. Hemingway Speculative House (1908)
photo: chicagogeek
First, on March 22, the Orange County Register reported that Jobs in Orange County grew at a 2.3 percent clip last year, faster than previously estimated, reflecting a strengthening economy in California and across the country. 

“Orange County’s jobless rate has dropped from 8.1 percent in January of last year, to 7.1 percent in January 2013.  Orange County’s January jobless rate was the lowest in Southern California. San Bernardino had a rate of 11.6 percent, Riverside 11.5 percent, Los Angeles 10.9 percent, Ventura 9 percent and San Diego 8.6 percent.”

Since home values and demand for housing are closely correlated to positive job growth, the increase in employment is good news for the Orange County housing market.  Read the details at:  http://www.ocregister.com/articles/percent-500908-jobs-california.html

On March 25, the California Association of Realtors reported that Pending home sales in California rose in February from the previous month but were lower than year-ago levels. 

Orange County Equity Sales February 2013“Meanwhile, equity sales rose to their highest level in nearly five years. The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – now make up more than two-thirds of all home sales for the first time since April 2008.”

The share of equity sales in February increased to 67.1 percent, up from 64.4 percent in January. The February level marked the highest level since April 2008, when the share was 67.3 percent.  Equity sales made up less than half (46.7 percent) of all sales in February 2012.

http://www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/2013releases/februarypending/

On March 26, Bloomberg reported that sales of new U.S. houses in February capped the best back-to-back months in more than four years, spurred by near record-low borrowing costs and improving job prospects.

Also, in a follow-up article, Bloomberg reported that residential resale home prices in 20 cities increased 8.1 percent in January from the same time last year, the biggest 12- month gain since June 2006, according to data from S&P/Case- Shiller.  Below are the links to those stories:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/february-sales-of-new-u-s-homes-cap-best-two-months-since-2008.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/home-prices-in-20-u-s-cities-climb-by-most-since-june-2006.html

On March 26, Bloomberg reported that total equity in homes is increasing:  Property owners recaptured $1.6 trillion as home values climbed to the highest levels since 2007.

“The amount by which the value of the houses exceeds their underlying mortgages rose to $8.2 trillion last year, a gain of 25 percent, according to Federal Reserve data.”  Here is the article:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-26/home-value-highest-since-07-as-u-s-houses-make-cash-mortgages.html

On March 27th, the Orange County Register reported that  Home prices in Los Angeles and Orange County increased 12.1 percent in January, increasing for a seventh straight month from the year-earlier levels, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows. 

“The Case-Shiller index was the fourth key indicator showing that local home prices increased in January.  The other three – CoreLogic, DataQuick and the California Association of Realtors – showed Orange County prices up from 11.5 percent to 17.3 percent in January. Case-Shiller is the only one of the four that didn’t report prices for just Orange County.”  Read more at:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ioioiioj-501494-oioio-.html

photo by: chicagogeek