From HW:

Although California home sales overall dipped during 2010, the more high-end home sales — those sold for $1 million or more — climbed upward for the first time in five years.

Last year, 22,529 homes sold for $1 million or more, up 21% from 18,621 in 2009 and the highest since 2008, when 24,436 homes sold for $1 million-plus, according to San Diego-based DataQuick Information Systems.

In 2005, million-dollar sales peaked at 54,773, after which they declined each year through 2009.

DataQuick suggests a reason for the increase may be because certain segments of the economy improved in the last year and high-end home shoppers went bargain hunting.

“Prestige home buyers respond to a different set of motivations than the rest of us,” said DataQuick President John Walsh, in a press release. “Their decisions are less dependent on jobs, prices and interest rates, and more on how their portfolio is doing.

The jump in $1 million-plus home sales in 2010 compares with a 9% year-over-year drop in total home sales, including all price levels.

“When the financial world was full of uncertainty a couple of years back, and the jumbo loan market dried up, luxury sales plummeted,” he said. “As the economy started its top down recovery, some wealthy buyers went looking for a bargain.”


Million-dollar-plus sales in San Diego:

2009: 1,283 sales, $552/sf

2010: 1,487 sales, $509/sf

Annual sales were +16%, average cost-per-sf was -8%.

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