After years of declining and flat-lining, Beverly Hills home prices are going up.
This could either be a good sign that this Debbie Downer of an economy is turning a corner, or it could be another example of how, even in tough times, the rich are getting richer while the rest suffer.
We're going to cross our fingers and go with good sign:
Bloomberg is reporting that bidding wars are breaking out this spring for multi-million-dollar homes in the high-end, Westside communities of Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Pacific Palisades:
Sales of Beverly Hills homes priced at $2 million and higher climbed 11 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to 39, according to DataQuick, a San Diego-based provider of property information. In Brentwood, whose residents include actress and singer Julie Andrews, they increased 56 percent to 25, and in Malibu they gained 64 percent to 23.
We had to do a double take and check the date of the piece to make sure it wasn't from 2007.
So is this good news for the rest of L.A. and beyond? Maybe.
Not only are there bidding wars, but there are waiting lists to buy low "inventory" of $2-million-plus homes, according to some real estate agents. Some of the purchasers are looking for investment property -- not places for themselves -- too.
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Joyce Rey, a Coldwell Banker honcho in Beverly Hills, says:
There's an added degree of confidence in the future and that prices are likely going to go up. There is a definite change in consumer attitude.
Now if only that attitude would trickle down to the rest of America.