CALIFORNIA—After a slow start this year, the price of California homes and condos have reached a new high.

With steady job growth and the incline of the economy over the past year, more potential buyers are feeling optimistic about the housing market. In Southern California, where homes are pricey, the bids are coming in well over the asking price.

Sales in Los Angeles County saw a 12.5 percent increase, while Orange County has seen an 8.9 percent growth. In December 2007, the median home price in SoCal was $425,000.

With the boost in buying prices, some worry new potential buyers may not be able to match bids. San Francisco has a median sale price of $938,000. With limited land and construction, buying power decreases for many potential buyers with moderate incomes.

California is the most populous state in the nation with an estimated 38 million people; with a steady population growth yearly. The population is expected to have an additional 12 million people by 2050. As more Americans stay in their homes for extended years, the supply of homes may not be able to match the growth and more buyers may relocate to other regions.