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Californians may not be ready to split the state in two, but the recession already has divided North from South, according to a study that found Bay Area home purchase loans climbed by 7 percent last year.
Bankers bolstered their loans to Bay Area homebuyers to $15.6 billion, up from 14.5 billion in 1991. By contrast, home purchase loans in recession-plagued Southern California dropped 9 percent last year, to $29.9 billion.
"Southern California's economy continues to lag behind that of the Bay Area," said Nima Nattagh, a market research analyst with TRW REDI Property Data in Riverside, which compiled the real estate lending study.
The picture is worse in …