The number of homes that sold for $5 million or more in California reached a record in 2012, according to DataQuick, a real estate information service.
DataQuick reported that 697 homes sold for more than $5 million in 2012, up from the previous record of 491 in 2011.
California also reached sales records last year in the $4-5 million range and the $3-4 million range, and also had the highest number of home sales of more than $1 million since 2007. And a record number of buyers paid with cash.
“It should go without saying that buyers and sellers in the prestige market tend to respond to different motivations and incentives than the rest of the market,” says John Walsh, president of DataQuick. “Job security, downpayment sizes, and mortgage interest rates don’t play the same role. Returns on investments in a low-interest-rate financial environment and safe-haven investing do play a role.”
In the San Francisco Bay area — namely Los Altos, Atherton, and Hillsborough — few to no houses sold for anything less than $1 million, DataQuick reported.
The priciest home purchase in California history came in 2012 too — a Woodside home purchased for $117.5 million. The sale topped a previous record set in 2011 by Russian investor Yuri Milner, who bought for a Los Altos Hills mansion for $100 million.