LA County home prices reach highest level in almost 10 years

The median sale price of $549,000 is nearly equal to the pre-recession peak

by Elijah Chiland Apr 25, 2017, 12:34pm PDT

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Feeling nostalgic for 2007? Well, if you’re a homebuyer, it will be easy to recreate the magic, with median home prices in Los Angeles County jumping to $549,000 in March, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

That’s an impressive 5 percent leap from the $525,000 median price in February and the highest median sale price since the county’s pre-recession peak of $550,000 in August of 2007.

The bump isn’t specific to LA. Prices have risen to pre-crash levels across all of Southern California, with a median sale price of $480,000 for the whole region (up from $460,000 in February).

Prices aren’t the only thing on the rise. The total number of sales countywide—7,266—jumped nearly 50 percent from February, when just 4,866 homes sold. March typically sees more sales than February, but the number of homes sold this past month was also 9.7 percent higher than the amount sold in March of 2016. Across Southern California, the February-to-March bump in sales was the highest in 12 years, according to CoreLogic.

Does all this mean we’re on the verge of another calamitous real estate collapse?

Not necessarily. According to CoreLogic research analyst Andrew LePage, a variety of factors may be contributing to the red-hot market conditions, including a booming economy, consumer fears of further interest rate hikes, and even the weather (buyers may be getting to more open houses now that the rains have subsided).

Of course, while all this growth is great for homeowners, it’s not such great news for prospective buyers, who already face some of the highest prices in the nation.

“Looking ahead, affordability will be a major hurdle for many home shoppers,” LePage says. “If current trends hold, the region's median sale price could set a record this year, at least in nominal terms.”

http://la.curbed.com/2017/4/25/15423826/la-county-home-prices-recession-sales-increase