SoCal housing prices are running hot
Bubble fears, Chinese buyers abound in key locales
Home prices in Southern California, home to some of the worst craters in the housing crash, is coming back – at least in some places.
In some corners of the Southland, it's as if the housing crash never happened.
Home prices in a dozen Southern California ZIP Codes have passed their peaks during the housing bubble, according to research firm DataQuick. Most are either in the San Gabriel Valley, a magnet for buyers from Asia, or on the Westside, where the technology industry is booming.
Across the region, home prices remain far below their peaks despite an explosive run-up in the first half of 2013. But nominal prices in some affluent neighborhoods have entered uncharted waters.
The return of bubble-era pricing could foreshadow a spillover effect, experts said. As buyers get priced out of prime areas, they may look to adjacent neighborhoods — juicing demand there and pushing up prices.
"A lot of the action is at the higher end of the market," said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner at Beacon Economics. "That is what is driving the show."