Luxury house prices


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Trophy homes are losing their luster

The prices of luxury houses have started to drop in many parts of the country, says a survey by the Wall Street Journal. Prices of houses with more than 4,000 square feet have declined in almost half of the 50 major counties included in the survey.

CountyMedian price for first 6 months of 2003% change from first 6 months of 2002
Arapahoe, CO $830,000-35.9%
San Mateo, CA2,100,000-18.7
Washoe, NE  719,500-17.8
Duval, FL  582,500-12.4
Marin, CA2,050,000  -8.9
Franklin, OH $637,500+29.8%
Fairfax, VA1,015,000+26.2
Snohomish, WA  625,000+18.0
Miami-Dade, FL  792,500+17.4
Pierce, WA  440,750+15.5

Source: The Wall Street Journal and Fidelity National Information Solutions.

Devices can shrink blind spots

Rear-mounted video cameras are better protection against accidentally backing over a child than sensors, says Consumer Reports. But the cameras, which let drivers see much of the blind area behind their vehicles, are expensive ($400 to $900) and need to be installed professionally. Sensors, which detect objects behind a vehicle and alert the driver by beeping or lighting a display panel, run between $130 and $500. But they cannot reliably detect a small moving object, such as a young child.

If you drive an SUV, minivan, or wagon with a vertical (rather than slanted) rear window, you might get just as much help from a $20 plastic wide-angle lens that sticks to the rear window, such as the Rear View Safety Lens sold by Elite Enterprises ( or call 800-354-2548).


Yvonne Wollenberg. Online UPDATES.

Medical Economics

Nov. 7, 2003;80.