Seven and a half years after bottoming out amid the Great Recession, median home prices in Orange County finally surpassed their bubble-era heights last month.
The wealthy county is the first region in Southern California to hit that mark, but experts largely dismissed talk of a new housing bubble.
Instead, they cited strong job growth, historically low mortgage rates and a meager supply of homes for sale as the chief causes for the price appreciation.
“It was a lot different back in 2006,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist for real estate website Redfin. “That price growth was fueled by a lot of crazy toxic mortgage...