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High end homes in both Malibu and Pacific Palisades are selling faster, according to a Westside Estate Agency (WEA) analysis of housing data in the two luxury markets through the third quarter.

The report, which reviews overall total sales in the two markets and compares sales pace for homes over $3 million, analyzes the same time periods in 2010 and 2011.

“There is no question that the homes in these two areas continue to sell regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the world,” said Bill Kerbox, a WEA agent based in Malibu who conducted the study. “The telling change is the number of days these homes are on the market, which is shorter this year. This indicates that buyers are in a serious shopping mode and homes that are priced correctly are selling faster.”

According to the company, Malibu showed 38 homes sold in the first three quarters of 2010 compared to 37 homes sold during the same period this year, a statistical dead heat that reflects a stable market. In addition, homes in Malibu are selling 14 percent faster, with the average time on the market decreasing from 229 days in 2010 to 196 days in 2011. The average sales price dropped 13.8 percent from $6.78 million in 2010 to $5.14 million in 2011.

The company stated that Pacific Palisades saw a drop in total luxury home sales—49 sales of more than $3 million through the third quarter of 2010 compared to 34 to date this year—but like Malibu, homes are selling faster. The average time on the market is down from 142 days in 2010 to 79 days in 2011, a decrease of nearly 56 percent. The average price increased 2.8 percent from $4.53 million in 2010 to $4.79 million this year.

Another interesting statistic reported by the company, is the percentage of list price to sales price ratio, which gives an indication of sellers being more realistic. For Malibu, this difference was less than one percentage point (87.52 percent in 2010 and 86.61 percent in 2011). Pacific Palisades showed slight positive movement so far this year, moving from 92.54 percent in 2010 to 93.86 percent in 2011.

Kerbox also noted that the luxury market in the Palisades has recently had a number of quiet sales – those not reported to the Multiple Listing Service – including sales of $19 million, $7.2 million, and two hovering in the $9 million range. Many times these high end sales, Kerbox adds, will not be reported because of privacy concerns on the part of the buyer or the seller.

“This index reveals the true importance of pricing a home properly. While prices increased in the Palisades, homes moved much faster. In Malibu, prices dropped, but total sales kept pace,” noted Stephen Shapiro, WEA partner and co-founder. “We place a high premium on working with sellers to balance their needs with the realities that exist in the marketplace.”

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