While most of the real estate news we hear tends to make you think that home prices will continue to fall, the fact is that in February, the median selling price for an Orange County home rose by $5,000 to $375,000 (according to DataQuick as reported in both the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register). That is still an almost 30% decline from the price a year ago, but the sales pace is UP over 33% from a year ago. January was the seventh consecutive month that the pace of sales was higher than the same time 12 months earlier. That is definitely a trend, but we have yet to see that the rise in the median selling price is a trend. Homes in the OC are definitely more affordable, and in that median price range, it is no longer a buyer’s market in most areas of Orange County. Pent-up buyer demand (especially first-time homebuyers) is eating up the inventory of homes priced under $500,000. Need more incentive to jump into the market? Interest rates are astonishingly low, with reports of fixed rates under 5% with no points (good credit required).