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Tastemaker Extraordinare
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High-end homes, a.k.a. hot cakes

Think that high-end home sales are slowing?

Think again.

The number of houses sold on the Westside and in Malibu for more than $3 million each is up almost 100% over last year's figure for the period from January through March, according to Cecelia Kennelly-Waeschle of Sotheby's International Realty.

"This is the biggest first quarter since we started tracking the sales in 1988," she said. Kennelly-Waeschle attributes the increase in numbers to higher inventory and "a sharp uptick in values."

This year, 217 homes in the area were sold at more than $3 million each during the first quarter, she said. Last year, her first-quarter total was 114; in 2004, it was 144; in 2003, 55.

The highest-price home sale in Beverly Hills year to date was the gated estate recently sold by Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston for $22.5 million, she said. The sale of an 8-acre parcel at $35 million was the highest for the quarter in the Beverly Hills Post Office area.

Kennelly-Waeschle also reported three double-digit home sales during the first quarter of this year in Malibu, Brentwood and Bel-Air.
 
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