Luxury home prices slow in last quarter 

For the second consecutive quarter, luxury home values posted small gains in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco in the first quarter of 2006, according to the First Republic Prestige Home Index by First Republic Bank (FRC), San Francisco.

Values of luxury homes — those selling for more than $1 million — in the San Francisco Bay Area rose 1.6 percent from the fourth quarter 2005 to the first quarter of 2006 and gained 8.6 percent from a year ago.

The average luxury home in the San Francisco Bay Area is now a record $2.92 million, up $231,456 from a year ago.

"While the rate of appreciation has slowed considerably from a year ago, the housing market is still strong in all of California’s major metropolitan markets," even though mortgage interest rates continue to rise, said Katherine August-deWilde, COO of First Republic Bank.

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