Orange County’s red-hot housing market is leading some sellers to adopt a novel strategy to attract more interest from potential buyers: keeping the sale price under $1 million. Homes valued at $1 million or more have risen more quickly in Orange County than any other major metro area, according to a study by the real estate website Trulia, and undercutting the competition is one way that some homeowners are beating the market.

The percentage of homes up for sale valued above $1 million in Orange County is above 16 percent, more than double what is was in 2012. On a national level, Orange County ranks fifth in the country among major metro areas for its share of homes values at $1 million or more. Since the turnaround in the housing market began in earnest in 2012, American homes values at more than $1 million have almost doubled according to data compiled by Trulia.

San Francisco is still No. 1, with more than 50 percent of all homes valued at $1 million or more, and seven of the top 10 metro areas in Trulia’s metro study. In areas like San Francisco and San Jose, the booming tech market is driving up home markets, but that trend has been less observable in Orange County or even San Diego, which has seen a remarkable flurry of demand for homes, apartments and office space thanks to a thriving information technology and cyber security market.

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Seattle is No. 10, with 7 percent of all homes valued at $1 million or more. In between are San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, Orange County, Honolulu, New York City, San Diego and Ventura County. Seven of the top 10 metro areas in Trulia’s report are in California. Housing in the West was the hardest hit during the recession, but now it’s booming back.

Many of the areas in Trulia’s “Million Dollar Creep” report had homes in the $800,000 range when the economy began to perk up. Now most of those homes have surpassed the seven-figure level. Orange County became the first county in Southern California to beat the peak prices marked in June 2007, with the median home price reaching $645,000 in April and climbed up to $651,000 in May.

But with higher prices come fewer buyers able to make the grade. Los Angeles and Orange County are the most price-stressed housing markets in the United States, according to the Associated Press. In Orange County, homes valued above $1 million make up 38 percent of the available housing stock, but only 15 percent of demand.

For the right buyer, there are a lot of opportunities in Orange County’s housing market, but it still takes time for the right home to find the right buyer. The expected market time for a home in Orange County valued under $750,000 is just 47 days. For homes valued between $750,000 and $1 million, market time is 83 days. For homes valued between $1 million and $2 million, market time is 148 days. For luxury homes valued above $2 million, market time is 322 days.

If you’re looking for a luxury home in Orange County, contact one of our real estate professionals today. We specialize in exclusive communities throughout Southern California.


  1. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,024 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,956 sqft
  2. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,989 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,549 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,588 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,197 sqft
  4. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,617 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,250 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,400 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,008 sqft

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(all data current as of 10/17/2017)

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