LOS ANGELES, July 9 (UPI) -- Industry observers say a recent uptick in sales of high-priced Los Angeles mansions may be a signal that the overall real estate market is turning around.
The Los Angeles Times said Saturday at least six homes have sold this year at prices in excess of $20 million compared with only a few in the rest of Southern California.
While six deals is not considered statistically significant in such a huge market, the performance of the niche has caught the eye of analysts.
"It's highly likely we would not see this activity if there wasn't a growing belief that we were close to the bottom of the market," said Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA.
Gabriel says the downturn in the market has basically knocked real estate values in greater Los Angeles down to their more-realistic 2003 levels. "All the increase we saw during the boom period has been purged from the system," he told the Times.
The newspaper said Candy Spelling's big house in the Holmby Hills area was expected to sell this year after being listed for $150 million for more than two years. The actual sale price is expected to top the $50 million paid for a Bel-Air property last year.
Realtors confirmed there were some significant price reductions stoking this year's activity.
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