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REAL ESTATE
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O.C.'s housing market vs. the nation: How do we measure up?

A recent survey shows some positive results.

By Kristen SchottPublished: August 18, 2009 10:44 AM

Orange County's new-home industry is faring just as well – if not better – than the rest of the nation, according to an August survey by Irvine-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting. The study, which polled nearly 300 new-homebuilders, also suggests that stabilization, both regionally and across the country, could be near.

The most noteworthy of the results, which compares O.C. responses to total U.S. responses, found that starts increased in August in the region, averaging 4.5 units per community, up over last month's median of 3.5. The numbers are significantly higher in Orange County than the nation, according to the survey, which found an average of 2.3 units per community.

Local builders were more likely to report net sales as flat month to month than all survey respondents. Eighty-three percent of builders – about five out of six – in the region said sales were flat from last month while one reported declines in net sales. Nationwide, 50 percent of builders said net sales were flat. Unfortunately, O.C. did not report any increases, while 28 percent of builders nationally did.

Local builders reported average net sales per community of 2.4 units – this compares to the nationwide results, which saw an average of 1.4. What's more, none of the O.C. builders in the survey reported zero net sales, while about 10 percent nationwide did.

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