In Newport Beach, the mid-level home rose to $862,750 from the
$663,750 it sold for a year ago. Costa Mesa's median home hit
$440,000 from the $375,000 of a year ago. Both were higher than the
median Orange County home, which rose 15.7% to $405,000.
"The median price of a home in Southern California continued to
post impressive gains in June," said Toby Bradley, the group's
The strong local housing market reflected a broader nationwide
continuing strength in a housing market that hasn't shown any sign of
Sales of new homes in the U.S. rose 4.7% in June to 1.16 million,
the Commerce Department said Friday. Each region of the country
showed an increase for the month. Existing home sales fell 0.3% to
The 30-year fixed mortgage during the month averaged 5.23% during
the month, compared to 6.65% a year ago, mortgage lender Freddie Mac
reported. Adjustable mortgage rates averaged 3.52%, compared to 4.65%
a year ago.
In July, however, long-term rates have begun to rise sharply.
During the four weeks ending Wednesday, the average 30-year fixed
mortgage rose from to 5.99% from 5.28%, Bankrate.com said.
At Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc., a Newport Beach-based real estate
investment trust that specializes in nonconforming residential
mortgages, adjustable rates have been more and more popular,
President Bill Ashmore said.
In the past few weeks, the company has seen a shift: Adjustable
rate loans have taken the lead over fixed-rate products, Ashmore
said. Also, almost 50% of the company's business has been
"What we have seen is that individuals are gravitating to
adjustable rate mortgages," Ashmore said. "There's still a strong
demand out there."
Ashmore forecasts a mere 1% to 1.5% increase in short-term rates,
at two years or less, over the next year. He said longer-term rates
should rise more sharply.
The average value of an Impac loan is slightly more than $211,000,
"This is a very good time to be a lender in California," he added.
* PAUL CLINTON covers the environment, business and politics. He
may be reached at (949) 764-4330 or by e-mail at