“The traditional market weak spot – homes in the $1 million-$2.5 million range – has come back to life,” said Tom Dunlap, general manager at Prudential California Realty in Beverly Hills. “There is a lot of cash parked on the sidelines and the price is coming down now to where people who have been watchful are coming off the sidelines.”

Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist at the California Association of Realtors in Los Angeles, sees the movement in luxury homes as the next phase in the recovery of the housing market, which started its collapse as subprime loans soured. The problems took longer to reach affluent home buyers, who had enough assets and income to wait out the market. But now even the owners in swanky neighborhoods need to sell and have dropped their asking prices significantly, especially as job losses have taken their toll on all wage groups.

“You’re seeing values at the high end,” Appleton-Young said. “Also, the spread of foreclosures starting a year ago has affected the high end. You’re seeing more nondiscretionary sellers now than earlier in the recession.”

*Sources: Los Angeles Business Journal

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