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Luxury home at $2.7 million in San Francisco Bay area


The average luxury home in the San Francisco Bay area now runs a cool $2.7 million, up $329,000 from one year ago, according to a study by San Francisco's First Republic Bank.

The average price of luxury homes - defined as homes with values above the $1 million mark - rose about 6 percent between the fourth quarter of 2004 and the first quarter of 2005 and nearly 14 percent from the first quarter of 2004, boosted by low interest rates and a tight supply of properties for sale, the survey said.

As the housing boom continues to defy expectations of a slowdown, more of the homes that change hands are falling into the luxury category. DataQuick of La Jolla, Calif., found that 11,400 homes - from tiny Palo Alto bungalows to condos in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood - sold for $1 million or more in 2004, representing a 73 percent increase over the total in 2003.

In the state's two other priciest markets - Los Angeles and San Diego - the price of the average prestige home reached $2 million in the first three months of the year, 35 percent lower than the San Francisco Bay area average but more than 20 percent higher than the year-ago averages.

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