The Orange County housing market continued to grow in the first quarter of 2019, with both sales and prices up in what is now a thriving seller’s market. Low levels of single-family inventory continued to stifle sales growth, with sales only rising about 1% for the quarter and just a tick for the year. But demand remains high, evidenced by the almost 2% increase in the average sales price for the quarter, closing a rolling year in which Orange homes appreciated over 8%. Unlike the higher-priced markets in the region, Orange was unaffected by the 2018 Tax Reform cap on state and local tax deductions, perhaps because home buyers in the Orange price range are less likely to itemize their taxes. Indeed, if you look at the even lower-priced condo market, sales were up almost 31% and prices up over 6% for the quarter. Going forward, Orange home sellers have reason to be optimistic for the spring market, with prices at attractive levels, inventory below six months, and interest rates still near historic lows.
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