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I came across a couple of links in the news today about high-end homes in San Diego County:

The U-T’s Roger Showley described the situation for several would-be home sellers in La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe and several other wealthy enclaves.

Through the first four months of the year, 337 homes priced at $1 million or more closed escrow, down 52.4 percent from the same time last year, according to MDA DataQuick.

Over the same period, sales of homes less than $1 million totaled 10,987, up 37.5 percent. The overall median price in April was $290,000, down 44 percent from the peak of $517,500 in November 2005.

“The low end has been driving the county sales higher, while the luxury market has typically remained extremely sluggish,” said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage, adding, “Wealthy folks have taken huge hits that they haven’t taken in a long time, if ever.”

Here are some data to show the disparity between the supply of homes on the high end and the low end:

At the current rate, it would take nearly four months to sell all homes listed for less than $1 million. For homes priced at $1 million or more, the backlog stands at about 30 months, according to the San Diego Association of Realtors.

Obviously, the top end represents a small fraction of the local inventory. According to Zillow.com, 44,500, or 5.9 percent of the nearly 750,000 homes the online company tracks locally are worth $1 million or more. They are generally concentrated in coastal communities with a few scattered throughout the rest of the county.

But, according to the story, a disproportionate share — 20 percent — of the homes on the MLS last week were listed for at least $1 million.

Elsewhere, the LA Times’ Peter Hong looked at a listing in Scripps Ranch in that paper’s real estate blog today, calling it an example of how messy the market downturn is for high-end homes. And readers on Jim Klinge’s blog are discussing the U-T story here.

KELLY BENNETT

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