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A friend of mine moved to Orange County, Calif., just before the housing market collapsed. He paid more than $1 million for a high-rise condominium that in lightning speed dropped about 40 percent in value. He’s been consulting the economic soothsayers ever since, sending me clippings from local publications about improvements in the Orange County housing market.

As I sorted through the latest stack of articles about Orange County that arrived in my mailbox, I noticed a number of the clippings reported on new residential developments, condominiums, apartments and single-family.