Many West Coast property seekers are finding that they need to pay excessively high prices for older, less fashionable homes, due to the white-hot housing market. Kenny Slaught notes that costs have climbed steadily since 2008, with common reference, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index, revealing that Los Angeles home prices hit their highest point since October of 2007 during April of this year. Moving beyond mere recession recovery, larger metropolitan areas in Southern California are closing in on their former peaks. Slaught says this rapid increase can be attributed to a number of things, such as interest rates, job growth and supply and demand. A current 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages is hovering around 3.5% or less, and these enticing numbers nearing 3.31 percent (the record low hit in November 2012) are encouraging many to buy. Historically low rates coupled with high employment numbers, such as a 2.4% gain in Los Angeles County and a 3.5% increase in Orange County, make it clear exactly why values have appreciated in an extraordinarily fast-paced manner. And while home prices vary considerably around the state, the inflated asking price of higher-end homes is outpacing all states except Hawaii. The heated demand for housing cannot be maintained by the slim supply available, with the first-timers having to opt for condominium-style units that are more obtainable and within a more modest price range.