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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