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 products.” The median price for new and resale houses and condominiums in Orange County jumped 5.9% from a year earlier to $651,500 in May, according to figures released Tuesday by real estate data firm CoreLogic. Read more.