November 28, 2012 Filed under: Press
California Luxury Home Values Rise Again
Prices Climb Strongly in San Francisco, Rise Modestly in Los Angeles and San Diego
November 20, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO – Luxury home values rose in California's major metropolitan markets in the third quarter of 2012 compared to a year ago, according to the First Republic Prestige Home Index™ by First Republic Bank, a leading private bank and wealth management company.
In the quarter that ended Sept. 30, 2012, the Index indicated the following:
"Luxury home prices were particularly strong in the San Francisco Bay Area during the third quarter of 2012," said Katherine August-deWilde, President and Chief Operating Officer of First Republic Bank. "The Bay Area economy is healthy, inventory is limited, and multiple offers are increasingly the norm. Values in Los Angeles and San Diego are rising, and some neighborhoods are experiencing strong demand. Historic low interest rates have resulted in an elevated level of activity in luxury markets throughout California."
First Republic Bank produces the Prestige Home Index each quarter with Fiserv CSW Inc., a leading provider of automated property valuation services and home price metrics to U.S. financial institutions. Historical results of the Index, which has tracked luxury homes since 1985, are accessible at www.firstrepublic.com. First Republic Bank is an active lender in the luxury home market for primary residences and vacation homes.
San Francisco Bay Area Values
The Bay Area posted its second consecutive quarter of healthy gains on a year-over-year basis. The 8.1% year-over-year increase in the third quarter of 2012 was the highest since the first quarter of 2006.
In San Francisco, agents said the market remains robust. "Prices for luxury homes have been strong all year," said Malcolm Kaufman of McGuire Real Estate in San Francisco. "There is limited inventory, the economy here has returned better than anywhere in the country, and employment is up. Lots of money is being spent on $5 million homes and $10 million homes. For some, it feels like 2005 again."
In Silicon Valley, the market was very strong. "People have secure jobs and stable incomes," said Pat Kalish of Intero Real Estate Services in Menlo Park. "Except for the highest end of the luxury market, there is strong competition for properties. We have scarcity of homes, historic low interest and an optimistic outlook. When you are out in the market, you feel the optimism."
In the Marin County, the market was softer. "Marin has not seen the increases that have happened in Menlo Park or San Francisco," said Pat Montag of Decker Bullock Sotheby's International Realty in Mill Valley. "We typically lag a quarter behind San Francisco. We did see an uptick at the end of third quarter in the $3 million to $5 million range. Many people are still waiting until they see what happens in Washington D.C. in the first quarter."