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$1M+ Homes On The Rise

From The Union-Tribune 7/31/14

San Diegans are buying properties worth $1 million or more at the fastest pace in seven years.

For the first half of 2014, 1,876 high-priced homes changed hands, up 12.7 percent from the same period in 2013. The second quarter with 1,134 sales was the best quarter since the same quarter in 2007, CoreLogic DataQuick reported Thursday.

San Diego's north city neighborhood of Carmel Valley ranked fourth statewide in second-quarter sales at 136, behind No. 1 Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles at 146; Marin County's Hillsborough at 144; and the 95120 ZIP code of San Jose at 137.

La Jolla, which ranked ninth at 110 sales, was the only other San Diego County ZIP code listed among the top 25.

While the top market statewide was up 9.1 percent year-over-year in sales, the overall housing market for the second quarter was down 7.4 percent over the same period.

While San Diego County median prices inch up month by month, their June level of $450,000 was still $67,500 or 13 percent below the all-time peak of $517,500 set in November 2005.

"It's always fascinating to watch this part of the real estate market," said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage. "It behaves differently, responds to its own set of criteria. 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."

Like prices, sales activity San Diego County and rest of the state have yet surpass their records of a decade ago. But the 265 homes that sold statewide for $5 million or more in the second quarter set a new record.

In San Diego, the high-end's momentum seems to have picked up in coastal neighborhoods but lagged in Rancho Santa Fe, the historic leader in price levels.

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