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Study Reinforces ‘Top Down’ Housing Boom

It’s common wisdom that Southern California’s housing boom has been “top down,” with wealthier areas benefiting most. Just how true that is stands out in a mortgage lending study by the Anaheim real estate information company Experian.

In Orange County, for example, the increase in the money lent for home purchases last year was about 20% higher than in 1996. But for households in the top 10% income bracket, the amount rose by 46.5%, while for households in the bottom 10% it was up a measly 8.2%.

In Los Angeles County, the nation’s largest housing market, the pattern was less exaggerated but still pronounced. There, the wealthiest households received 25.2% more in home loans year to year, compared with a rise of 12.9% for the poorest 10% of households.

Indeed, the pattern was the same throughout Southern California, from San Diego to the Inland Empire to Ventura County, Experian market analyst Nima Nattagh said.

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E. Scott Reckard covers real estate for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7407 and at scott.reckard@latimes.com


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