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DataQuick finds increase in sales of high-end homes in 2010

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Home sales in 2010 remained weak around the nation, but one sector in particular forged a turn around. According to San Diego-based DataQuick Information Systems, sales on homes $1 million or more rose 18.6% last year after four consecutive years of decline. The real estate data firm reported high-end home sales for last year using public property records for new and resale single-family detached houses and condos. Numbers were reported for 20 major metropolitan statistical areas. The San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, Calif., region posted the highest change in home sales more than $1 million, up 27.4% compared to 2009, followed by Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, Calif., (up 27.1%) and the New York/Northern New Jersey/Long Island MSA (up 24.7%). However, every single market is considerably below it's peak. Nearly 38,500 homes in the high-end market sold during 2010. What DataQuick representative Andrew LePage finds more indicative of recovery in the jumbo sector is the number of homes worth more than $5 million that sold last year. Much of the market in high-cost areas such as California and New York is $1 million or more, according to LePage. Therefore, buyers aren't necessarily rich. "The increase in sales of $5 million homes is really saying something," LePage said. In 2010, 975 homes sold in this bracket, up nearly 14% from the year prior. The majority of these properties were centralized in the high-cost areas listed above, with 323 homes in the New York/Northern New Jersey/Long Island MSA alone. Almost 300 homes costing $5 million or more sold around Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana, Calif. The Sacramento, Calif., MSA posted the highest annual change, up 60% compared to the year prior, while Baltimore reported the largest decrease, down 66.7%. Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the jumbo mortgage market and trends driving the sector in the upcoming edition of HousingWire magazine. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.

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