Saturday, November 22, 2003

Our local Realtor association, the Pasadena Foothill Association of Realtors reports that:

California's Luxury Real Estate Sizzles:

The luxury-home market in California shined during the third quarter, with Los Angeles values rising to their highest levels in 12 years and San Diego homes reaching another record high, according to the Prestige Home index by First Republic Bank.

In San Francisco, the luxury-home market broke a string of three consecutive down quarters and posted a 2.1% increase in the third quarter of 2003 in a sign that the market for high-end properties is starting to recover after several years of flat or declining prices.

Los Angeles-area values climbed 17.1% from the third quarter of 2002 and 4.5 percent from the second quarter of 2003. Los Angeles values are now at $1.53 million – their highest level since 1991.

San Diego-area values increased 6.9% from the third quarter of 2002 and 4.3% from the second quarter of 2003. Values reached $1.52 million – the region's second consecutive quarterly record.

San Francisco Bay Area values fell 0.4% from the third quarter of 2002, but rose 2.1% from the second quarter of 2003. Values in the San Francisco Bay Area are still the highest in the state at $2.23 million.

"The Los Angeles luxury-home market is booming because of a strengthening economy, low interest rates, lack of inventory and a rising stock market, while San Diego continues the recent trend of strong appreciation," said Katherine August-deWilde, chief operating officer of First Republic Bank. "In San Francisco, values are beginning to rise, with significant purchasing activity for homes priced up to $2 million. Overall, the luxury-home market in California is heating up."

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