Written by Jonathan Lansner – jlansner@scng.com

The pandemic’s homebuying binge has boosted the number of million-dollar Orange County neighborhoods by 20 in a year — and 32 over 24 months — as the market lost 17 “affordable” communities in 12 months and 35 since April 2020.

My trusty spreadsheet, filled with April homebuying stats from DQNews/CoreLogic for 83 Orange County ZIP codes, showed how home pricing has changed in the past two years. Expensive ZIPs had a median sales price of $1 million and higher and affordable neighborhoods had medians of $750,000 or below.

Yes, I agree that $750,000 is a lot of money. But as recently as May 2020, $750,000 bought you a median-priced Orange County home. Now that median stands at $1.05 million.

Let’s look at how the ranks of expensive and affordable communities have changed …

April: 46 seven-figure ZIPs with 1,604 sales —  53% of all purchases and 8 affordable ZIPs with 184 sales, or 6% of all purchases. The high-end included 8 ZIPs priced at $2 million or more.

March: 45 seven-figure ZIPs with 1,688 sales —  53% of all purchases and 10 affordable ZIPs with 282 sales, or 9% of all purchases. The high-end included 7 ZIPs priced at $2 million or more. And, between the top and the bottom were 21 neighborhoods.

April 2021: 26 million-dollar ZIPs with 1,613 transactions —  39% of all purchases and 25 bargain ZIPs with 935 sales, or a 22% slice. ($2 million or more: 9 ZIPs.)

April 2020: 14 seven-figure ZIPs with 365 closings — a 13% slice vs. 43 sub-$750,000 ZIPs with 1,300 purchases, or 46% of all sales. ($2 million or more: 5 ZIPs.)

Why did this happen?

A feeding frenzy was created by cheap loans, few homes for sale, plus a thirst for larger living spaces and growing investor interest. And this all happened while the economy recovered from a pandemic chill.

Those factors bumped the countywide median price to $1.05 million for April — up 21% in one year (that’s a $179,353 gain or $14,946 a month). In the previous 12 months, prices rose 15% (that’s $115,700 or appreciation at a $9,642 monthly pace).

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Let’s look at which ZIPs are in Orange County’s million-dollar club for April while also looking at the cheapest neighborhoods.

Note that monthly sales data for individual ZIP codes can be volatile, so price trends may reflect a different mix of homes sold — not changing values. (Data for all Orange County ZIPs can be found at bit.ly/aprilpricingoc .)

New to the club

These ZIP codes in the latest million-dollar club were not a member back in April 2021 …

Brea 92823: $1.42 million — up 90%.

Costa Mesa 92627: $1.29 million — up 37%.

Foothill Ranch 92610: $1.28 million — up 68%.

Tustin 92782: $1.28 million — up 48%.

Huntington Beach 92646: $1.25 million — up 44%.

Costa Mesa 92626: $1.25 million — up 33%.

Ladera Ranch 92694: $1.2 million — up 36%.

Irvine 92604: $1.17 million — up 30%.

Orange 92867: $1.16 million — up 28%.

Huntington Beach 92647: $1.15 million — up 37%.

Irvine 92606: $1.14 million — up 20%.

Brea 92821: $1.06 million — up 34%.

Lake Forest 92630: $1.06 million — up 21%.

Irvine 92614: $1.06 million — up 33%.

Fountain Valley 92708: $1.05 million — up 15%.

Laguna Hills 92653: $1.04 million — up 6%.

Orange 92869: $1.04 million — up 14%.

Mission Viejo 92691: $1.02 million — up 23%.

Fullerton 92835: $1.01 million — up 26%.

Anaheim 92808: $1.01 million — up 6%.

Still members

Seven-figure ZIP codes that were club members back in April 2021 …

Newport Beach 92661: $4.55 million — up 32%.

Newport Beach 92662: $4.43 million — unchanged in 12 months.

Corona del Mar 92625: $3.81 million — up 42%.

Newport Coast 92657: $3.8 million — up 15%.

Irvine 92603: $2.85 million — up 20%.

Laguna Beach 92651: $2.75 million — up 18%.

Newport Beach 92660: $2.68 million — up 20%.

Villa Park 92861: $2.18 million — up 25%.

Dana Point 92624: $1.83 million — up 12%.

Irvine 92602: $1.82 million — up 24%.

San Clemente 92672: $1.8 million — up 61%.

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Newport Beach 92663: $1.64 million — off 2%.

Trabuco/Coto 92679: $1.63 million — up 39%.

San Juan Capistrano 92675: $1.59 million — up 35%.

Irvine 92620: $1.53 million — up 49%.

San Clemente 92673: $1.52 million — up 28%.

Santa Ana 92705: $1.51 million — up 26%.

Yorba Linda 92887: $1.48 million — up 39%.

Los Alamitos 90720: $1.42 million — up 18%.

Dana Point 92629: $1.4 million — up 14%.

Irvine 92618: $1.39 million — up 30%.

Huntington Beach 92648: $1.34 million — up 3%.

Seal Beach 90740: $1.3 million — off 7%.

Laguna Niguel 92677: $1.2 million — up 10%.

Yorba Linda 92886: $1.2 million — up 20%.

Huntington Beach 92649: $1.1 million — off 6%

O.C. ‘bargains’

Orange County’s sub-$750,000 ZIP codes in 2021 …

Garden Grove 92843: $725,000 —  up 10%.

Santa Ana 92703: $705,000 —  up 12%.

Santa Ana 92704: $700,000 —  up 27%.

Santa Ana 92707: $670,000 —  up 17%.

Santa Ana 92701: $625,000 —  up 97%.

Orange 92868: $620,000 —  off 15%.

Stanton 90680: $592,500 —  up 1%.

Laguna Woods 92637: $456,250 —  up 9%.

Source: OC Register

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