The Seal Beach real estate market, found in the much larger Orange County housing market, rallied strongly in the most recent tracking period, driven by the expiring federal tax credit. Orange county foreclosures and distressed sales, however, continued to partially drive the market as mortgage delinquencies continued to remain a significant problem. According to a July 2, 2010 report from the Orange County Register, “Since October 1, 2009, the distressed inventory has grown by 37%. The active distressed inventory has increased from 2,346 homes on October 1st and now totals 3,217, levels not seen since May of 2009. The distressed inventory now represents 31% of the current active inventory. Last year at this time, there were 2,919 distressed homes on the market, representing 32% of the active inventory. The number of foreclosures within the active listing inventory increased by 29 homes in the past two weeks from 530 to 559. The expected market time for foreclosures is 1.52 months, an exceptionally hot seller's market. Short sales, where a homeowner attempts to sell a home for less than the total outstanding loans against a home, requiring lender approval, increased by 108 homes over the past two weeks and now total 2,658. The expected market time for short sales is 2.28 months, still a hot seller's market."
Driven by the expiring federal tax credit and continually high rates of short sales, more Seal Beach homes for sale were purchased than in four years. According to a July 9, 2010 article from the Orange County Register, “Looks like te fear of missing a federal tax deadline will push June’s final home sales total for Orange County to a four-year high. For the 22 business days ending June 24 – DataQuick’s latest homebuying report — Orange County saw…Shoppers buy 3,319 residences -- that is +11.6% vs. year-ago buying activity. If the market stays positive, year-over-year, it will be the 8th straight gain -- and 23rd out of 24 months. This current sales pace is 92% of the average 3,597 homes sold per month in the 20 years ended in 2009. If the pace holds, this will be the best June for Orange County homebuying since 2006. Builder's new homes sales were 9% of all residences sold in the period vs. 5% a year ago. From 1990-2009, builders did 14% of the selling.”