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Whoosh: Luxury Home Sales Surge Past Pre-Recession Heights

In the new San Francisco, the average dollar is a luxury dollar. Paragon reports that luxury home values in San Francisco have blown past their pre-recession peaks, lending handy graphic form to the thing we all feel in our gut.

Not only that, but proportion of home and condo sales that fall in the category of luxe has also jumped. Since 2007, the number of luxury dwellings—defined as more than $2M for single-family homes and $1.5M for condos and co-ops—changing hands has increased twofold. That somewhat arbitrary benchmark holds whether you're looking at a true manse or a Bernal fixer-upper.

The increase is part self-fulfilling prophecy (when prices go up, more properties will beat that luxury benchmark) and part legacy of all the high-end condo construction of the previous decade-plus. Even though condo sales lagged in the downturn, many pre-recession properties are reaching the MLS for the first time as their original owners put them on the market.

Indeed, condos are capturing a larger share of the luxury housing cache. And now they've even overtaken luxury home sales in San Francisco. Though the briskest activity is in the predictable places—Pac Heights, the Marina, Russian Hill—historically scrappy neighborhoods like the Mission and Mid-Market are seeing rapid growth. And with the building frenzy back in full force, we should be seeing more of the same.

· San Francisco Luxury Home Market [Paragon]