High-End Home Sales Soar throughout California

While home sales throughout much of California have remained flat throughout this spring and early summer, a new study has indicated that multimillion dollar homes are selling in record numbers, offering hope that the market is still improving and prompting many to wonder what’s holding the rest of the market back.

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According to a recent study performed by San Diego-based DataQuick, $1 million-plus sales grew at a 9.1% clip statewide compared with last year, while sales overall fell 7.4%. Additionally, California in the second quarter set all-time records for the number of homes sold for more than $2 million, more than $3 million, more than $4 million and more than $5 million.

What’s driving these high-end home sales? According to market-watchers, there are several factors.

One is the hot technology sector in the Bay Area and some affluent parts of Southern California, which is minting new millionaires who can afford seven-figure homes. Another is the 11.6% price growth in California over the last year, which means a house worth $925,000 last summer may be worth $1.03 million today. And there’s the influx of international buyers, which is pushing up prices at the high end.

“It’s always fascinating to watch this part of the real estate market. It behaves differently, responds to its own set of criteria,” said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage. “These buyers, especially those in the multi-million-dollar market, are less likely to agonize over credit scores, income and job security, down payments and mortgage interest rates.”

With this in mind, do you think this the market is improving as a whole? And considering that mortgage rates remain historically low, what do you believe is holding other buyers back?

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