Local luxury home prices fall slightly

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SAN DIEGO — The price of a luxury home in San Diego declined by 1.4 percent in 2012 despite gains in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, according to a survey released Tuesday by First Republic Bank.

The median price of a luxury home in San Diego was $1.64 million, according to First Republic’s Prestige Home Index. The bank cited comments by real estate agents who said the holidays caused a slowdown in the San Diego market, but that interest has picked up early this year.

By comparison, the report said the cost of extravagant homes in San Francisco rose 8.4 percent to $2.73 million, with a jump of 4.4 percent in Los Angeles to $2.06 million.

“Growing demand from buyers, low mortgage rates and a lack of inventory continued to put upward pressure on values,” said Katherine August-deWilde, the bank’s president and CEO. “Multiple offers are common in many high-end neighborhoods as buyers compete for a small number of attractive properties.”

The big increases in San Francisco and Los Angeles were mostly the result of low inventory, according to the report.