The Fountain Valley real estate market, part of the larger Southern California and Orange County housing markets, saw a lower volume of homes sales in February 2011 compared to February 2010 despite a decline in the number of foreclosures. MDA DataQuick, which collects and compiles real estate data across the country, reported that there were a total of 1,903 single family homes purchased throughout Orange County during the month of February, marking a decrease of more than four percent from the levels seen in February 2010. This was also a decline of just over one percent from January 2011, and suggested that many buyers were not yet ready to commit to a purchase decision. Southern California in general also saw a decline in home purchases over the same period, especially compared to year ago levels. The median sales price of an Orange County home for sale was $410,000, 1.7 percent lower than in February 2010 and just over 1 percent lower than January 2011. Similarly, the larger Southern California region saw a decrease from January 2011 and no change from year ago levels. Orange County properties are generally more expensive than the rest of Southern California and California in general, meaning that the homes which are sold and purchased in the region tend to be a substantial amount more expensive than the rest of the Golden State.
There were also fewer Orange County homes for sale being foreclosed upon in February 2011 compared to both month ago and year ago levels. Specifically, there were 6.7% less home foreclosures in February compared to January 2011, and 2.7% fewer relative to February 2010. There were approximately six hundred foreclosures in February 2011, lower than the average of 667 usually registered per month since 2007. The highest recorded level of foreclosures in Orange County was 1,441, reached in August 2008. Significantly, the number of foreclosures does not include so called short sales, which are sales that do not recoup the debt owed on a property. These short sales have become increasingly popular, and depress median price almost as much as foreclosures tend to.