SAN FRANCISCO - Despite fears of an economic slowdown or even a possible recession, luxury home values continued to rise precipitously in California during the fourth quarter, according to First Republic Bank's prestige home index.

The San Francisco Bay area led the way, reaching another record high, and values in Los Angeles and San Diego had their largest annual gains in more than a decade, according to the index.

The average value of a San Francisco-area luxury home rose to $2,316,256 in the fourth quarter, a 4.1% jump from the previous quarter and 38.8% higher than a year earlier.

In Los Angeles the average value of a luxury home rose to $1,186,607, up only slightly from the third quarter but 8.3% higher than a year earlier, and in San Diego the average luxury home value reached $1,234,250, a 7.6% increase from the previous quarter and a 17.6% jump for the year.

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