Luxury Home Values Stable in Fourth Quarter of 2011

bb9e6 PR Logo Businesswire Luxury Home Values Stable in Fourth Quarter of 2011

Luxury home values declined slightly in Los Angeles and San Francisco,
but rose in San Diego in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the
third quarter, according to the First Republic Prestige Home Index(TM) by
First Republic Bank, a leading private bank and wealth management

In the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, the Index indicated the following:

Los Angeles area values declined 1.8% from the third quarter of 2011
and dipped 0.1% from the fourth quarter a year ago. The average luxury
home in Los Angeles is now $1.97 million.

San Diego area values rose 1.1% from the third quarter but dropped
3.7% year-over-year. The average luxury home in San Diego is now $1.64

San Francisco Bay Area values fell 0.3% from the third quarter and
were down 3.1% from a year ago. The average luxury home in San
Francisco is now $2.52 million.

“Luxury home prices in urban, costal markets in California were mostly
stable in the fourth quarter,” said Katherine
August-deWilde, President and Chief Operating Officer of First
Republic Bank. “Low rates, good values and positive economic news have
led to increasing interest in home buying in 2012. San Francisco and
Silicon Valley, in particular, are likely to benefit from the strength
of the technology and social media sectors.”

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 .
First Republic Bank is an active lender in the luxury home market for
primary residences and vacation homes.

Los Angeles Area Values

In Los Angeles, values have remained in a narrow range over the past two
years. In the first quarter of 2010, the average price of a luxury home
in Los Angeles was $1.98 million. In the fourth quarter of 2012, it was
$1.97 million.

Agents said buyer activity rose toward the close of the fourth quarter.
“The end of the fourth quarter closed very strong,” said Mary Beth Woods
of Coldwell Banker in Brentwood. “The problem is that we don’t have as
much inventory as we need. Buyers are hunting for properties. If the
home is priced close to recent comps, it will sell.”

Rory Posin of RE/MAX in Beverly Hills said the market has clearly picked
up. “I don’t think I could be any busier. Pricing is flat, but activity
is strong.”

In Santa Barbara County, the market appears to be firming. “The high-end
market in Montecito was slow the last couple of years, but it heated up
at the end of 2011,” said Rebecca Riskin of Village Properties in
Montecito. “Since January, we have seen multiple closings for over $9
million, as well as several homes above $15 million enter escrow. Buyers
remain price conscious, but there is a greater level of confidence in
the market.”

San Diego Area Values

San Diego values posted a second consecutive quarterly gain, but prices
were still down 3.7% year-over-year.

“Most of the high-end sales in the fourth quarter were on the
oceanfront,” said Andy Nelson, President and CEO of Willis Allen Real
Estate. “In the first quarter, we have seen new buyers looking for
properties. That’s a good sign. We also have reduced inventory and that
could help push prices. If prices start improving, we may see sellers
re-enter the market.”

In La Jolla, activity has increased markedly since the beginning of the
year. “The fourth quarter was slow, and we were worried it would carry
over into the New Year,” said Peggy Chodorow of Prudential California
Realty in La Jolla. “Since the beginning of the year, the market has
changed. People are buying houses, and the number of showings has
skyrocketed. We’ve even had some multiple offers. This is going on
across every price range.”

San Francisco Bay Area Values

In the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and San Francisco were the most robust
markets for luxury homes.

“You are starting to see the positive impact of social media IPOs, hedge
fund wealth, and interest from foreign buyers,” said David Barrett of
Warwick Properties Group in San Francisco. “The market is benefitting
from good old-fashioned consumer confidence. We recently had 100 people
at a showing.”

In Silicon Valley, the market was strong. “In the fourth quarter,
especially in the last two months, the market really picked up,” said
Monica Corman of Alain Pinel in Menlo Park. “Just about everything was
selling. Palo Alto has been strong, and it has spread to other
communities. There’s incredibly low inventory and pent-up demand.
Silicon Valley also has experienced job growth and IPOs. All of this is
driving the market.”

In Marin County, prices were stable. “The market is largely flat and
will remain flat for the next two to three years, with only modest
increases likely,” said Brad Garsten of Frank Allen Howard Realtors in
Greenbrae. “We’re going to continue to teeter along the bottom until the
economy comes back nationally and globally.”

About The First Republic Prestige Home Index

The First Republic Prestige Home Index(TM) is the first statistical model
of its kind customized to measure changes in homes valued at more than
$1 million in key California urban markets. Some common features of
luxury homes in the Index: 3,000 to 6,000 square feet, three to six
bedrooms, and three to six bathrooms. San Francisco Bay Area properties
include a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere,
Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos,
Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross,
St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside.
Properties in Los Angeles represent a cross-section of luxury homes in
Arcadia, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, La Canada Flintridge, Encino, Los
Angeles, Malibu, Marina del Rey, North Hollywood, Pacific Palisades,
Pasadena, Playa del Rey, Santa Monica, Studio City and the West Los
Angeles enclaves of Bel Air, Brentwood and Westwood. San Diego
properties represent a cross-section of luxury homes in Carlsbad,
Coronado, Del Mar, Encinitas, La Jolla, La Mesa, Poway, Rancho Santa Fe,
San Diego and Solana Beach. In producing the Index, Fiserv CSW Inc.
draws upon its economic database and years of experience in tracking
single-family home values; collects and cross-checks data from multiple
sources; achieves a weighted balance of validation elements such as
repeat sales, comparable sales; and physical home characteristics; and
combines this with First Republic’s extensive local market knowledge.

About First Republic Bank

First Republic Bank

/quotes/zigman/2803861/quotes/nls/frc FRC

and its subsidiaries provide private
banking, private business banking and private wealth management. Founded
in 1985, First Republic specializes in exceptional, relationship-based
service offered through preferred banking or wealth management offices
primarily in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara,
Newport Beach, San Diego, Portland, Boston, Greenwich and New York City.
First Republic offers a complete line of banking products for
individuals and businesses, including deposit services, as well as
residential, commercial and personal loans. First Republic is a
component of the SP Total Market Index, the Wilshire 5000 Total Market
Index(SM), the Russell 1000(R), Russell 3000(R) and Russell Global
indices and six Dow Jones indices.

About First Republic Private Wealth Management

First Republic Private Wealth Management is the investment management,
trust and brokerage group of First Republic Bank. First Republic Private
Wealth Management offers objective advice and fully customized solutions
with the same level of exceptional client service that has been the
hallmark of First Republic Bank for more than 25 years. First Republic
has the flexibility to provide individuals, families, businesses,
endowments, schools and non-profit organizations with appropriate
choices that responsibly meet a client’s specific investment objectives.
Securities Products and Services are offered by First Republic
Securities Company, LLC – Member FINRA/SIPC. First Republic Securities
Company and First Republic Investment Management are wholly owned
subsidiaries of First Republic Bank. Unless otherwise disclosed,
investments through First Republic Investment Management and First
Republic Securities Company, LLC are not FDIC-insured, not bank
guaranteed and may lose value.

SOURCE: First Republic Bank

        Blue Marlin Partners
        Greg Berardi, 415-239-7826

Copyright Business Wire 2012


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