The Southern California median home price in December finally surpassed bubble-era highs, a milestone that took more than a decade to achieve and is once again raising concerns that housing is too costly.
The six-county region's median price surged 8.2% from a year earlier to $507,500, real estate data firm CoreLogic said Wednesday. That tops the bubble-era high of $505,000 in 2007, which was matched in September and November.
Adjusted for inflation, the region's median is still nearly 13% below the 2007 peak, and there are other caveats as well. But the new nominal record is noteworthy as a historical marker and because more borrowers who were underwater probably are no longer.
"It goes to show you just how outrageous the last bubble was — for us to take 10 years to get back to that nominal level," said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics.
In none of the six counties, though, did the median — the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — reach a new nominal high. The record for Los Angeles County was reached last summer when it hit $575,000 and has dipped $5,000 since then.