Many West Coast buyers are finding that with a white-hot housing market, they are forced to pay excessively high prices for older, less fashionable homes. Kenny Slaught notes that prices having been increasing steadily since 2008, and common reference, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index, reveals that home prices in Los Angeles rose to their highest point during April of this year since October of 2007. Southern California’s larger metropolitan areas are no longer just reflecting recovery from the recession: they are closing in on their former peaks. Slaught notes that the turnaround can be attributed to many factors, including interest rates, job growth and supply and demand. 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages are currently hover around 3.5% or less, nearing 3.31 percent (the record low hit in November 2012) and pushing many toward buying. These historically low interest rates, coupled with strong employment numbers, such as a 2.4% gain in Los Angeles County and a 3.5% rise in Orange County, point to just why values have appreciated in an extraordinarily fast-paced manner. Home prices vary considerably statewide, but the inflated asking price of higher-end homes throughout California outpaces all other states with the exception of Hawaii. The feverish housing market cannot currently be satisfied by the slim supply available, with many first-timers forced to opt for condominium-style units that are readily available within a more modest price range.

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