California luxury home values up in second quarter
According to the First Republic Prestige Home Index issued by First Republic Bank, luxury home values in certain niche California markets experienced strong growth in the second quarter.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, values were up 10.9% year-over-year, as well as 5.0% since the first quarter. Los Angeles homes rose 6.1% since 2012’s second quarter, as well as 3.3% since last quarter. In the San Diego region, values were up 8.0% on a year-ago basis and 4.9% since last quarter.
“This was one of the best quarters in recent history for California luxury home prices in First Republic’s urban, coastal markets,” said Katherine August-deWilde, president and COO of First Republic Bank. “Limited inventory and growing demand from both U.S. and international buyers are driving the market. Many properties generated multiple offers. It was a very strong quarter.”
The average luxury home is valued at $2.9 million, $2.1 million and $1.7 million in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, respectively.
July’s existing-home sales strong at 5.39 million
Total existing-home sales fared well in July, experiencing a 6.5% increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million, marking the 25th consecutive month that sales have remained above year-ago levels.
The National Association of Realtors reported that July’s figures are up from June’s downwardly revised total of 5.06 million and are 17.2% higher than July 2012’s 4.60 million.
Total housing inventory rose 5.6% to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale, marking a 5.1 month supply that was consistent with June’s figures.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, higher mortgage interest rates (currently at their two-year peak) are prohibitive for some potential buyers, but not enough to prevent a sustainted recovery. Yun also identified tight inventory as a harbinger of above-normal price growth.
“Although housing affordability conditions will become less attractive, jobs are being added to the economy, and mortgage underwriting standards should normalize over time from current stringent conditions as default rates fall," said Yun.
July’s national median existing-home price was $213,500, a 13.7% year-over-year increase.
Single-family home sales were up 6.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million, up from June’s 4.48 million and July 2012’s 4.09 million. The median existing single-family home price was $214,000 in July, which is 13.5% higher year-over-year.
Caterpillar promotes Finerty
Bill Finerty, currently VP of Caterpillar’s Americas Distribution Services Division, will assume responsibilities for the newly realigned Diversified Products Division, which includes Caterpillar’s global paving products, forestry products, defense and federal products, OEM Solutions group, Cat Tunneling, and the industrial and waste group.
In addition, Caterpillar’s on-highway truck group will move from the Customer Services Support Division to become part of the Diversified Products Division. The changes for the Diversified Products Division and the Customer Services Support Division will be effective Oct. 1, 2013.
Finerty joined Caterpillar in 1984 in the marketing training program as a sales development technician. He then held a series of positions in the United States and Europe with growing responsibilities in the areas of marketing, finance and mining. In 2005, he was named a regional manager for the Americas Distribution Services Division. He was appointed Caterpillar VP with responsibility for the Americas Distribution Services Division in 2011.
Finerty has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Illinois University.