SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Sellers of high-end homes and cars in Silicon Valley are anticipating a great year in 2012, with those expectations bolstered by the latest drop in the national jobless rate.

Even though the unemployment rate is higher in the Bay Area than the 8.3 percent national average, things are looking up.

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Realtor John Pinto said that he has already seen a lot of people jumping into the housing market again.

“First-time homebuyers really are motivated to get out of paying the very high rents and are having difficulty finding rentals anyway,” said Pinto. “The interest rates are under 4 percent and I think the affordability index is 70 percent of the families in Santa Clara County and the South Bay can afford to buy the medium-priced house.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

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Luxury car sales are also booming. Brendan Harrington, President of Lexus of Stevens Creek, said people are feeling a lot more confident right now in the economy.

“We see the confidence in people, the upgrade. In recessions, people go down to lower models. Here, we find them moving up,” Harrington said. “The smaller vehicle to the bigger vehicle, the smaller engine to the bigger engine. I would say that people are more prudent, more wise than they were 10 years ago. But they’re absolutely moving up market again.”

In fact, Harrington said he expects 2012 to be their best year ever.

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