California home prices surge in April

May 16 2013 2:31PM

Owners of Los Angeles real estate might have gained some equity in April, as home prices across California surged. 

The median price for a home sold in the Golden State surpassed $400,000 for the first time in five years, rising from $378,960 to $402,760, according to the California Association of Realtors. 

"The upsurge in the median price continues to be driven by an increase in sales in the upper- price range, where low inventory is less of an issue," said CAR vice president and chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young.

Prices have been on the rise in recent months, as buyer demand has far outpaced supply in the housing market. Part of the reason demand has been so high is the fact that mortgage rates have been near all-time lows.

However, mortgage rates jumped for the second consecutive week in mid-May, which could help ease demand a bit, but they are still well below averages seen a year ago at this time. 

Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 2.69 percent in the week ending May 16, while 30-year loans hit 3.51 percent, according to Freddie Mac.