NEWPORT BEACH, CA—Difficulty in obtaining first-home mortgages is helping one segment of the housing industry: the luxury, or “move-up” market. Mark Buckland, CEO of City Ventures, tells that with so many first-time buyers having trouble getting loans, those who already had a mortgage and are moving up to higher-end properties have the advantage.

As reported last week, the locally based homebuilder has launched a luxury boutique development and homebuilding division that will focus on premier land locations in California. Insignia is dedicated to creating “profoundly personal residences” focusing on superior architecture, amenities and interior design, according to the firm.

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