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The Balboa Island real estate market, an upscale segment of the larger Orange County housing market, saw an increase in the median price of homes sold in the most recent tracking period. In addition to a higher selling price for Balboa Island homes for sale, long-term indicators also seem to be pointing towards job growth in the Orange County area. An October 19, 2010 report from the Orange County Business Journal noted that “The median price of an existing Orange County home sold in September rose to $445,000, an increase of more than $16,000 or 3.7% from a year earlier. Prices inched up $5,000 from August levels, according to a report Tuesday from San Diego-based MDA DataQuick, a unit of Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates. OC median prices have been hovering at $440,000 to $450,000 for the past five months. The number of local sales took a nearly 11% slide in September from a year earlier, but the 2,524 sales reported in OC during that period were flat from a month earlier. About 4% of local homes sales in September were “flips” or homes that have traded hands twice in the past six months. That’s the highest rate of flipping of any Southland county in the past month, according to MDA DataQuick’s figures.”
The Orange County job market, including Balboa Island, is poised to add a substantial number of jobs in the next two years, although the market seems relatively stagnant for the time being. According to an October 27, 2010 report from the OC Metro, “Orange County is expected to add 65,000 jobs by 2012, while the labor market will continue to transition for the remainder of 2010, according to the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast. The region is expected to add about 24,000 jobs next year, mainly in the private sector, followed by 41,000 in 2012. The strongest growth is projected in information, education and health, professional and leisure services and retail trade. The uptick in hiring is also expected to lower unemployment to 8.5 percent in 2011 and 7.4 percent in 2012 – though the rates aren't predicted to fall to the 5 percent level until 2014. However, 2010, which has served as a transition in the labor market, is still expected to remain sluggish, losing a total of 11,400 jobs in the calendar year.”
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The Corona Del Mar real estate market, part of the larger Newport Beach and Orange County housing markets, is poised for a sharp gain in median price, according to a new economic report from UCLA. An October 26, 2010 article from the Orange County Register noted that “Orange County will have a half-million-dollar housing market again by 2012, and home sales volume will rebound by a whopping 43% over the next two years, according to the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast for the O.C. housing market. Economists with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast foresee O.C. home prices climbing above $500,000 in 2012 for the first time since April 2008. Prices are expected to appreciate from 6.6% to 9.3% a year through 2015 — and, all told, grow 49% in the next six years. By 2016, prices may be back to, or just under, the all-time highs reached at the pinnacle of the housing boom. As for home sales, UCLA foresees transactions jumping 27.5 in 2011 and continuing to climb through 2014, almost reaching the boom-time levels. “Expect a sluggish housing market for the remainder of this year and into next spring,” the forecast states. “At that time, pent up demand, rising affordability, and dissipating fear of a faltering economy should push sales higher.”
For the moment, however, Corona Del Mar homes for sale seem to be stuck in a rut, showing relatively little negative or positive momentum. According to an October 19, 2010 report from the Orange County Register, “The Orange County housing market appears to be "sitting tight," locked in the grip of economic uncertainty that's taken hold in the waning months of summer, new housing figures show. DataQuick figures released Tuesday show little movement – either up or down -- in home sales or home prices. The median price of an Orange County home – or price at the midpoint of all sales – was $445,000, the housing market tracker reported. That's virtually unchanged from medians reported for the county since May. And at 2,524 total transactions, September sales numbers were virtually unchanged since July…There still are plenty of signs that could justify a glass-half-full view of the market: The median sales price for the month was up 3.7 percent from a year ago. The most recent median is 20 percent above the housing slump bottom of $370,000 hit in January 2009.”
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Balboa Island, California, is technically a neighborhood in Newport Beach in Southern California. The community consists of three artificial islands in Newport Harbor, so it is distinct from the rest of the city of Newport Beach. Being situated on three small islands, the Balboa Island real estate market is rather small with only limited space for building new homes. Due to this constraint on the supply of Balboa island homes for sale, the demand for homes here is very high, which has driven prices high. And like it many neighboring Orange County communities, these islands have seen the real estate market sputter over the past couple of years as the effects of the greater economic slowdown spread to the housing market here. Home prices, once at or near all-time highs, plunged once the market was hit by the wave of homeowners unable to pay their mortgages and foreclosures on Balboa Island.
According to biweekly statistics compiled on the Balboa Island housing market by Balboa Island Real Estate, in the period ended Sept. 13, Balboa Island stood with a six-month supply of homes for sale. It had one home listed for $750,000 to $1 million, 14 homes for $1 million to $2.5 million, 16 homes for $2.5 million to $6 million and two homes for sale listed at more than $6 million, showing that although prices here may have fallen from highs, they are still some of the highest in the region. Nonetheless, there are deals to be had and many investors are closely watching the market for the right opportunity to jump in. In the period ending Sept. 13, there were four active short sales listed but no foreclosed homes and five homes in escrow.
According to the Orange Coast real estate, the Newport Beach zip code that includes Balboa Island for a three-week period ended Sept. 8 saw a median sales price of $4.08 million, up more than 184% from a year earlier. However, these statistics must be carefully examined because there were only two homes sold during the period, a small sample number on which to base statistics. According to the OC Register's monthly chart, the month of August saw just a single home sold in the Newport Beach zip code that includes Balboa Island at a price of $1.15 million.
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The Laguna Beach real estate market, one of the most expensive residential sections of the Orange County housing market, has hit a substantial snag in the most recent tracking period. Not only are fewer Laguna Beach homes for sale being sold, inventory of Laguna Beach properties is backing up for nearly a full year. According to an August 23, 2010 report from the Orange County Register, "From a Laguna Beach perspective, the latest Orange County home inventory report from Steve Thomas at Altera Real Estate -- as of August 19 -- shows these conditions vs. countywide trends ... The newest "market time" of Laguna Beach -- Thomas' math that tracks theoretical time it would take to sell all listed homes at the pace of new escrows opened -- is 11.31 months. That is +7.4% (or roughly 23 days) in a year. Over two years, it's -39% or 213 days. "Market time" of Laguna Beach is +223 days vs. Orange County's overall time to sell. The community's share of its new deals in escrow involving distressed properties -- foreclosures or short sales -- is 8% or -24.63 percentage points vs. countrywide share. Note that this community has 1.2% of all the deals in escrow countywide -- and 0.8% of all distressed deals in the works. Meanwhile, the city has Laguna Beach has 3.5% of the entire supply of resale residences that are listed for sale in Orange County."
The Laguna Beach housing market, which may be reeling primarily as the result of the expiring federal housing tax credit, saw a decline of home sales in the month of July along with a lower median price (although still well above one million dollars for a single family home). A second report from the Orange County Register, dated August 15, 2010, stated that "For the 22 business days ending July 27-- DataQuick's freshest stats -- Laguna Beach homebuying patterns showed: Homebuying -37% vs. a year ago. Laguna Beach's median selling price was $1,112,500 -- that's +147% vs. countywide pricing. A year ago, that Laguna Beach home-price "premium" was 173% vs. the countywide median selling price."
A small community, a census-designated place, within the famed Orange County in Southern California, Newport Coast is home to a population of just under an estimated 10,000, just south of Newport Beach on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It is a master-planned community and is generally a very affluent, wealthy neighborhood, so naturally Newport Coast real estate tends to have incredibly high prices, even relative to other Orange County neighborhoods.
Though the area was affected negatively by the economic recession when it hit in the U.S. -- seeing those high-priced home values plummet and the number of foreclosures in Newport Coast rise to near all-time highs -- the prices for Newport Coast homes for sale remain some of the highest in Orange County. There have been declines though, and the area has still not seen the worst of it, as prices continue to fluctuate. Sales activity has seen a healthy pace though, as many buyers have jumped at the opportunity to buy homes in Newport Coast at what they view as low prices in the hopes that the values will soon rise again, though this is not necessarily a safe assumption: The OC Register recently reported that Orange County home prices have a 99.7% chance of price loss in two years or by winter of 2012.
According to the Orange County Register's annual zip code chart, at the end of 2009, Newport coast saw home sales with a median price of $1.5 million, down 21% from the year prior. Home sales volume, however, was up 30% with 191 sales. This year, that trend has continued. In the Register's monthly zip code chart with figures for July, Newport Coast homes saw sales at a median price of $1.4 million, down 6% year-over-year. The number of sales transactions was again up, though, with 24 homes sold in July, a 20% increase annually.
More recently, one good sign is that Newport Coast has a low number of distressed homes, coming in with the fourth-lowest number of distressed homes by percentage of total inventory of homes for sale. Newport Coast had just 12 of its 156 homes for sale marked as distressed, or 7.7%, the OC Register reported in late August.
The Costa Mesa real estate market, found in Orange County in Southern California, saw signs of distress both in terms of residential home sales and some types of business real estate. A July 16, 2010 report from the Los Angeles Times indicated that not just Costa Mesa is facing these difficulties. The entirety of the Golden State saw a decline in median price as the federal housing tax credit expired. According to the article by Alejandro Lazo, “California's median home sale price fell 2.9% in June compared with May even as sales picked up with buyers closing on purchases made during a spring season fueled by state and federal tax credits. The median sale price in the Golden State was $270,000 last month for all new and resale houses, town homes and condominiums, according to San Diego real estate research firm MDA DataQuick. While that was lower than in May, the median was up 9.8% from June 2009, marking eight consecutive year-over-year increases. A total of 43,964 homes were sold statewide last month, a 7.3% jump from May but a 0.5% decline from June 2009. A bright spot: Foreclosures as a percentage of the resale market were down considerably from the depths of the economic downturn, comprising 34.7% of the market in June. Foreclosure sales peaked at 58.5% of the market in February 2009. Economists believe the effects of federal and state tax credits are beginning to wane.”
Costa Mesa homes for sale may also be adversely affected as the commercial real estate market continues to face financial distress. According to a July 15, 2010 article from the Orange County Register, “Despite hints that hotels room rates are firming — and some of those rooms are filling up — a new report states that a growing number of hotel owners in Orange County and across the state are having trouble meeting their mortgage payments. Atlas Hospitality Group reports 73 more California hotels were in high financial distress — in default on their mortgage or foreclosed upon — in the second quarter vs. a year ago. This 478 second-quarter total is an 18% increase from the first quarter 2010 and up 132% vs. a year ago. In Orange County, four hotels were now owned by banks in the second quarter vs. two foreclosures in the previous quarter and one a year ago. (By the way, Riverside County led the state in number of foreclosed hotels with 11.)”
The expiration of the federal tax credit was likely responsible for boosting the number of homes sold in the Balboa Island real estate market and the rest of Orange County to the highest levels seen in years. Balboa Island, found on the Southern Coast of the Orange County housing market, saw gains relative to last year for the most recent tracking period. According to a July 9, 2010 report from the Orange County Register, “For the 22 business days ending June 24 – DataQuick’s freshest stats – South Coast homebuying patterns showed: 208 homes were bought in the region in the period -- +22% vs. a year ago. Sales counts in all Orange County beach towns ran +8% vs. a year ago. Countywide, it was +12% vs. a year earlier. The sales-weighted average of median price changes in South Coast ZIPs was -32% vs. a year ago. Price change in all Orange County beach towns ran +4% vs. a year ago. Countywide, it was +4% vs. a year earlier.” The lower median price for a Balboa Island home for sale might be a result of the large numbers of delinquent mortgages, short sales, and foreclosures that continue to play a large role in the larger Orange County housing market.
The effect of foreclosures on the Balboa Island real estate market remained strong according to the most recent figures available. According to a July 8, 2010 report from the Orange County Register, “New sign that making a house payment is still a problem. According to CoreLogic’s latest late-mortgage report, 7.69% of Orange County home-loan borrowers – roughly 1 in 13 – are 90 days-plus late with their house payments as of May. That’s +1.64 percentage points vs. a year ago. Also …Compare that rate of change in delinquency rate to the national movement in a year of +1.93 percentage points vs. a year earlier or +1.85 percentage points in California. Orange County’s 90-day delinquency rate – first warning sign of payment troubles – is -2.94 percentage points vs. the state’s slow-pay rate and -0.53 percentage points vs. national pace. 2.23% of Orange County homes in May were in the foreclosure process; -0.04 percentage points vs. a year earlier. 0.39% of Orange County homes in May were repossessed by banks as REO (real estate owned.) That is -0.03 percentage points vs. a year earlier.”
The Corona Del Mar housing market, a subsidiary of the much larger Orange County real estate market, saw strong signs of improvement in the month of May, echoing a trend throughout the entirety of the Golden State. According to a June 22, 2010 report from the Orange County Business Journal, The average sales price of an Orange County single family home rallied by 14% from the month of April 2010 to May 2010. It stated that “The median price for an existing stand-alone OC home sold in May was $505,750, a 3% increase from a month ago and a 6.7% jump in median pricing from a year ago. The area’s median sales price now is up nearly 20% from the recent bottom of the market, seen in January 2009…The number of sales here rose about 16% from a month earlier, and increased 18.5% from a year ago, the Realtor association said. The association excludes condominiums from its figures. Including condos, the median price of an OC home sold in May was $450,000, a $40,000 or 9.8% increase from a year ago, and a $20,000 increase from April levels...The median sales price of an existing home in California was $324,430 in May, about a 6% increase from April and a 23% increase from a year ago, according to the Realtor association. Statewide median prices are up about 32% from the bottom of the market, but still stand 45% below the peak mid-2007 median price of $594,530.”
The average sales price and volume for Corona Del Mar real estate was still far off from its peak, achieved a few months before the economy collapsed. This trend among Corona Del Mar houses for sale was echoed in the larger California housing market, according to a June 22, 2010 report from Bloomberg Businessweek. It noted that “California house prices rose 23 percent in May from a year earlier as homebuyers took advantage of government tax credits, the state’s Realtors group said. The median price of an existing single-family home was $324,430…It was the fifth straight monthly increase of at least 10 percent, the Los Angeles-based group said. Prices rose 5.9 percent from April. California home prices were helped by homebuyer tax credits, the association said.”
The Newport Beach real estate market, along with the rest of the Orange County housing market, showed strong signs of recovery despite a slowly growing distressed homes sector. According to a June 15, 2010 article from the OC Metro, “Orange County's median home price and sales numbers got a welcome boost in May, partly due to government tax credits, low mortgage rates and more activity in higher-priced areas, according to a new report from MDA DataQuick. The median home price rose to $450,000 in the county, up about 10 percent from the same time last year. It's the ninth consecutive year-over-year gain, according to the real estate information service. The price also increased from April when it hit $430,000. For the six-county Southern California region, which includes Orange, L.A., Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura, the median hit $305,000, up a whopping 22.5 percent from the same time last year. The number also increased from April.”
The report by Kristen Schott went on to note more positive news for Newport Beach homes for sale, stating that “Sales rose 22 percent in Orange County, compared to the same time last year. Buyers snapped up 3,257 properties, compared to 2,667 in May 2009. It's the seventh consecutive month of yearly gains, according to MDA DataQuick. The number also increased from 2,669 in April. In the larger region, sales jumped about 7 percent to 22,270, up from 20,775 in May 2009. Numbers also increased month-over-month.”
A June 15, 2010 article from the Orange County Register quoted an expert’s analysis of the Newport Beach foreclosure market, noting that “The distressed inventory continued its slow climb this year, adding an additional 89 homes in the prior two weeks and now totaling 3,080, a 3% increase. The inventory has not surpassed the 3,000 mark since June of last year. Last year at this time, there were 3,062 distressed homes on the market, representing 33% of the active inventory. The number of foreclosures within the active listing inventory dropped by three homes in the past two weeks from 533 to 530. The expected market time for foreclosures is 1.45 months, an extremely hot seller’s market.”