The Huntington Harbor real estate market, part of the larger Huntington Beach and Orange County housing markets, saw a decrease in the median sales price and quantity of homes sold towards the end of 2010. According to statistics reported by the OC Metro and provided by MDA DataQuick, the housing market in Orange County trended downwards in the last month of 2010, largely as a result of a stagnant job market and hesitant lending practices. DataQuick’s figures indicated that the median sales price of a property in Orange County was $410,000, marking a decrease of approximately six percent compared to the same time last year. The decline of about six percent also represented a fall from month-ago levels. Orange County performed considerably more poorly than the larger Southern California housing market, which saw both year-over-year and month-over-month increases in median price. Interestingly, the falling median price did not boost the quantity of sales over the same time period. Although there was a fairly substantial uptick in monthly sales figures, the number of home sales fell by almost thirteen percent between December 2009 and December 2010. Additionally, the month-over-month increase can at least partially be understood as a predictable seasonal trend.
December of 2010 also marked the first time in nearly two and a half years that Huntington Harbor and Orange County homes for sales saw a fall in both median price and quantity of homes sold. The larger Southern California region saw a substantial decline in the number of properties purchased during December 2010, according to MDA DataQuick and the Orange County Register. There were less than twenty thousand single family homes purchased in the six-county Southern California region, marking a fall of almost thirteen percent from last year and a decline of more than twenty percent from an average December. One partial explanation for the quantity of home sales relative to the same time last year is the fact that the federal and state housing tax credits were still having a positive effect on the housing market in December of 2009, artificially inflating the sales figures for that particular month.