Million-Dollar Houses Increasingly Common in California

Just the phrase "million-dollar house" is synonymous with luxury living. But in California's real estate market, seven-figure homes are becoming more commonplace. Data released this week shows that 1 in 13 homes in the state sold for more than $1 million last year. How much "house" that money buys might be surprising.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

And of course for most people, the phrase million dollar house conjures up images of opulence. The reality, at least in California, is more like this:

DANIEL POST: This is the family room. Even in what I would consider to be middle-class neighborhood, in Los Angeles, you know, it's got a granite fireplace. The yard, yeah, the backyard, is nothing to speak of. It's pretty small.

MONTAGNE: That's real estate agent Daniel Post, showing off a home in Culver City, a modest area west of Los Angeles. A real estate tracking firm recently found that one in thirteen homes in California sold for more than a million dollars last year. That's an almost 50 percent jump from 2004.

The median priced homes, selling in the mere six figures, has four bedrooms, and is under 2,500 square feet. This Culver City house is just slightly bigger than that.

POST: It's a two-story wooden stucco, kind of a contemporary Mediterranean feel. The supermarket's three blocks away, the freeway is about six blocks away. It's got some flowers and it's pretty nice.

MONTAGNE: Pretty nice, but nice enough to sell for a million dollars?

POST: Well, the list price is $1,075,000. And they're going to get it; and more.

MONTAGNE: In fact, says Daniel Post, the owners have already gotten eight offers on the house.

From NPR News, this is MORNING EDITION.

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