Anaheim Hills lost about 6% in market value between 2006 & 2007 looking at closed sales price per square foot. The "absorbtion rate" in Anaheim Hills is running at about 5.9 months. (That means that it would take 5.9 months, if no new homes came on the market for the inventory to be depleted with the current rate of sales.)
Irvine lost 3% in Market Value from 2006-2007. The absorbtion rate in Irvine is currently 6.5.
The average absorbtion rate in Orange County is 8.7 months.
Although Irvine only went down 3%, inventory levels are the same or a little greater than at the same time in previous year. In Anaheim Hills, inventory has been steadily declining.
Depending on what you mean by market value(holding value or biggest discount), either area is a great choice. If you are leaning towards Irvine, you know that it holds it's value better in comparison to other areas in Orange County, but if you are leaning towards Anaheim Hills, it is 6% cheaper now than the previous years with inventory tightening.
More important than market value, unless you are paying all cash is the window of opportunity that will be closed as of March 1, 2008 with the banks. There is a government mandate that goes into effect on this date that changes the way ALL banks are allowed to qualify buyers. It is possible that you will lose 30%-35% buying power at the end of the month. That means that if you are looking at $700,000 home, you may only qualify for a $500,000 home at the end of THIS month.
A lot of people are waiting to see if the conforming loan limits change (I say waiting because it hasn't been signed into effect by the President who can choose to veto it.) . This will save some people up to 1% on their interest rate by using a conforming loan instead of a jumbo loan, but that may not matter if you no longer even qualify for the home you want after this February.
If you haven't already spoken to a lender, I would at least check that out before the opportunity is lost.
Both of these things going on in the mortgage industry are bringing buyers back into the market. Most people don't know about the March 1, 2008 deadline, but most know about the conforming loan limit changes because they are all over the news.
If you have any other questions, feel free to call (949) 278-4807 or email me SandraCarlisle@firstteam.com. I have a lot of Orange County information on my blog, just click on the Web Reference below and it will take you there.