Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Million-dollar homes

California million-dollar home sales in 2005 surged to a new peak for the fourth year in a row, as appreciation pushed a higher portion of overall sales into the seven-figure category, a real estate information service reported.
A total of 48,666 Golden State homes sold for a million dollars or more last year, up 47 percent from 33,107 in 2004. The total was 19,080 in 2003 and 13,871 in 2002, according to DataQuick Information Systems.
One in 13 homes sold for more than a million dollars last year, up from one in 20 the year before.

"In reality, the prestige market remained pretty stable from 2004 to 2005. But because of the increase in home values across the board, more sales prices crossed the million-dollar threshold. In other words, homes that would have sold for $900,000 in 2004, sold for more than a million last year," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.
Statewide, there were 310 sales for more than $5 million last year; 327 sales were in the $4-$5 million range; 990 in the $3 million range; 3,937 sales in the $2 million range; and the rest between $1 million and $2 million.
The most expensive confirmed purchase was a 13,636-square-foot, 6-bedroom, 12-bathroom La Jolla house on six acres, which sold for $23.5 million in September. The largest was a 7-bedroom, 8-bathroom, 18,369-square-foot house on 2.2 acres in Solana Beach in San Diego County, which sold for $6.2 million in August.
Ross in Marin County and Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego County were communities where virtually all home sales were in the million-dollar category.
Several new million-dollar home markets emerged last year, mostly because of sales of newly built large homes on big lots. The areas include Corona and Norco in Southern California, and Union City in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Newly built homes accounted for 9,043 of last year's sales, up 73.6 percent from 5,210 for 2004. San Diego and Orange counties were the most active markets for newly built million-dollar homes, DataQuick reported.
There were 2,902 condo sales in the million-dollar category, up 73 percent from 1,677 a year ago. Most were sold in West Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
The median-sized million-dollar home was 2,480 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The median price per square foot for all million-dollar homes was $516, up 5.6 percent from $489 a year ago, DataQuick reported.
Around 10 percent of the buyers paid cash, down from 15 percent in 2004. Of those who financed their purchase, the median down payment was 28 percent of the purchase price. Lending institutions most willing to provide mortgage financing were Countrywide, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo, according to DataQuick.


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