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Million-dollar homes: the new norm in Bay Area

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Henry Lawrence
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The odds are less in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, yet the share of million-dollar homes there has nearly quadrupled since 2012.

"Once a rarity, the million-dollar home is now fairly commonplace" in numerous U.S. markets, said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for Trulia.

In the Oakland metro area Alameda and Contra Costa counties , the share has jumped from 5.2 percent to 19.7 percent.Lagging behind are the Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Diego, New York and Seattle metro areas.

Nationally, the share of million-dollar homes has modestly risen from 1.6 percent to 3 percent.Advertisement The price appreciation here reflects a Bay Area-wide problem: the lack of housing supply amid a robust tech economy that creates jobs -- and the demand for more housing.The cycle "is not sustainable," said Matt Regan, senior vice president of public policy with the Bay Area Council, which recently conducted a poll showing massive frustration over housing prices among residents.

Paul Sakuma/Associated Press Trulia also has computed percentages for scores of neighborhoods in the 10 U.S. metro areas with the highest share of million-dollar houses.In the Bay Area, the neighborhood with the steepest increase is Westwood Park, near St. Francis Wood in San Francisco.

All four are in proximity to the Caltrain station in San Mateo, as well as to Highway 101: Ease in getting to work clearly means something to homeowners and adds to the value of a house.

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Henry Lawrence
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