The pervasive myth that affluent neighborhoods are immune to economic decline has again been shattered. Home prices in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Malibu dropped up to 30% at the end of 2008.

In Beverly Hills, 47% fewer homes were sold in the fourth quarter of 2008 than the fourth quarter of 2007. Santa Monica experienced a 29% drop in the number of sales.

Wealthy communities can resist drops in the market price of real estate longer than less affluent communities. However, owners in wealthy communities who now wish to sell their homes must lower their price expectations, and the price cutting for the next two or three years has just begun.

Re. “L.A.’s Westside succumbs as housing goes south”, from Los Angeles Times