Wealthy Buyers Re-emerge in Real Estate

March 7, 2011

The rich have returned to the real estate market and are taking advantage of big bargains in luxury homes. Sales of million-dollar homes and condos increased last year in all 20 major metro areas — with some cities seeing an 18.6 percent increase in high-end home sales, according to DataQuick Information Systems. The increase follows four consecutive years of declines in million-dollar homes.

The market that fared the best in high-dollar real estate: San Jose, Calif., which boasted a 27.4 percent increase in sales last year in million-dollar homes. Honolulu also saw a big spike in million-dollar sales — a 26 percent increase — as well as New York, where million-dollar home sales rose nearly 25 percent.

In Washington, D.C., million-dollar home sales grew by 20 percent, as government workers continued to help the high-end real estate market there. Washington, D.C., has recently been ranked as one of the highest paid cities, as well as best educated place in the country.

Other cities with big gains in million-dollar home sales include San Diego (14 percent) and Nashville (13 percent).

"It hasn't been a good six months for all people, but it was a good six months for rich people," Glenn Kelman, CEO of Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin, told CNNMoney. "When Wall Street goes up, rich people buy homes."

Source: “Who’s Buying Homes? The Rich,” CNNMoney (March 7, 2011)

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