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Million Dollar Home Sales Decline for Fourth Straight Year in California


The number of million-dollar plus homes sold in the Golden State fell for the fourth consecutive year, according to DataQuick.

Just 18,621 million-dollar plus homes sold in California last year, down 23.8 percent from the 24,436 sold in the state during 2008.

Such sales peaked in 2005, when a staggering 54,773 were sold; last year’s total was the lowest sales count since 2002, when only 15,703 were sold.

“Prestige home sales are a unique sub-category of the real estate market,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president, in a release. “The buyers and sellers respond to a different set of motivations. In the multi-million-dollar price ranges, decisions are largely discretionary and aren’t as dependent upon jobs, prices and interest rates the way they are for most buyers and sellers.”

“Traditional million-dollar markets are holding up relatively well, while expensive markets that emerged four or five years ago are not,” he added.

Meaning far fewer million-dollar home sales in areas like Riverside County.

Roughly 1,900 homes previously sold for one million or more sold for six figures; the median price decline between the 2009 sale and the previously $1 million-plus sale was about $420,000, a 35 percent decline.

A Bel-Air home sold for $26.5 million in July was the most expensive sale in the state last year; another 332 homes sold for more than $5 million, 228 sold between $4-$5 million, and 590 sold in the $3 million range.

About 29 percent of the sales were financed with cash, up from 24 percent in 2008; of those who did finance with jumbo loans, the median down payment was 39.4 percent.

Last year, Notices of Default, the first step of the foreclosure process, were filed on 4,925 homes previously sold for over one million dollars.

Trustees Deeds, or homes actually lost to foreclosure, totaled 2,698 on homes previously sold for $1 million plus.

Total California home sales at all price levels increased 16.9 percent last year to 460,166, up from 393,703 in 2008.

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