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Southern California’s median home price hits a record $520,000 despite rising...

Southern California home prices in April surged 7.2% from a year earlier to reach an all-time high, a sharp increase at a time when rising mortgage rates are making an already pricey housing market even more so. "It's extremely hot," Derek Oie, an Inland Empire real estate agent, said of the market. "When is it going to end?" Indeed, home sales fell 1.5% in April compared with a year earlier — possibly because the number of homes offered for sale has fallen in recent months compared to the same time in 2017, according to online brokerage Redfin. of Realtors. "We don't have the ticking time bomb we had the last time around when we had a lot of folks with loans with stated income," he said, referring to loose standards that required little evidence that buyers could afford loans during the housing bubble of the mid-2000s. In April, the median — the price point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — increased compared with a year earlier in all six counties included in CoreLogic's report: At that rate, April's median-priced home of $520,000 would carry a $2,781 monthly mortgage payment for buyers who put 20% down. Some Southern California real estate agents say the surge in mortgage rates is causing would-be buyers to bid less for homes or put their searches on hold. Heather Presha, a real estate agent who specializes in middle-class Leimert Park, said her clients haven't mentioned the rise in rates as an obstacle. 2:50 p.m.: This article was updated with additional analysis and comment from an economist and real estate agent.