California luxury home sales jump 21% – Brentwood,Santa Monica & Pacific Palisades Real Estate

1709berkshire-15 - CROPPEDEven the rich love a deal.California homes priced at $1 million or more experienced a sales boom in 2010, the first increase in five years, even as overall home sales in the state declined, a real estate information service reported. The reason: High-end home shoppers went bargain hunting as certain parts of the economy improved but luxury home prices remained depressed.

Last year, 22,529 homes sold statewide for $1 million-plus, a 21% increase from 2009, according to DataQuick Information Systems in San Diego. In contrast, the total number of California homes sold last year dropped 9%.


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

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

Savvy shoppers trying to time the market swooped in before discounted prices could turn the corner.

“Certainly, we’re pretty sure we’re at the bottom” for home prices, said economist Christopher Thornberg, principal with Beacon Economics in Los Angeles.

Even if prices fall further, he said, “if you are borrowing, buying today makes a lot of sense because interest rates are just incredibly low.”

Two other reasons for the $1-million-and-up market increase are the return of the jumbo mortgage market in 2010 and a comeback in the stock market, which saw huge losses in 2009, Thornberg said. “A lot of folks who were reeling from equity losses bounced back.”

Cash purchases also inched upward among $1-million buyers last year to 29.4% of sales, up from 28.9% in 2009 and the highest for any year since 1994. But even cash purchases can be motivated by low interest rates.

High end homes over $1,000,000 are selling & we are beginning to see multiple offers & developers back in the market. Get off the side lines. Now is a great time to buy a Luxury house

Posted on Santa Monica Real Estate – Santa Monica Homes For Sale

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