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Jergler: Pricey homes in Laguna, Newport take longer to sell

August 23, 2011|By Don Jergler

Thanks to the soft housing market it takes more time to get a home sold than most sellers would like, and if it seems it takes even longer to sell homes in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach than in many other communities in California, there's a good reason for that.

Homes on average sit on the market roughly double the amount of time in Newport, and nearly triple the amount of time in Laguna than the median for the state, according to the most recent housing data.

"It takes longer to sell a home in Laguna Beach versus Newport Beach," said Tony Bartos, an agent with Coldwell Banker Previews International in Newport Beach.

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Bartos notes that data from the multiple listing service (MLS) shows single-family homes in Newport Beach, including Corona del Mar and Newport Coast, sold after 125 days on the market. By comparison, in Laguna Beach detached homes averaged 144 days on the market before selling.

"In Newport Beach," he added, "if we were to exclude the areas of Corona Del Mar and Newport Coast, the disparity is even higher with Newport homes selling in 115 days on average."

But compare Newport and Laguna with the statewide median, and even when those luxury to ultra-luxury markets of Corona Del Mar and Newport Coast are taken out of the equation, the time it takes to sell homes in both communities lags statewide numbers for July. The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home in California was 52.1 days in July, compared with 42.4 days for the same period a year ago, according to data released this week by the California Assn. of Realtors.

The average time on the market was 96 days for Orange County in July, according to MLS data. The average was 78 days for Los Angeles County.

A variety of factors affect the time on the market for a home, experts say, but chief among them appears to be price. Simply put, there are fewer buyers for high-priced properties than there are for more affordable properties.

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