CHN Blog

Million-dollar home sales at record pace

It’s million-dollar madness in California, with $1 million-plus home sales reaching a first-quarter record and the second-best pace for the high-price homes overall.

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By Ron Trujillo/

Fast-rising home prices coupled with the record-setting stock market helped power million-dollar home sales to the highest-ever level during the first quarter.

California’s $1 million-plus home sales reached a record 10,562 during the January through March period, an 11.7% increase compared to the same three-month period a year ago – and the best for a first quarter, according to CoreLogic.

And the demand for $2 million or more homes also followed the record pace, with a 2,523 homes selling during the first three months of the year, an 11.8% increase compared to a year ago.

A number of factors are leading to more million-dollar homes, including better consumer confidence, good job growth and the record performance on Wall Street.

Of course, fast-rising home prices – especially in the Bay Area – are also a driving factor, since more homes on the market have topped the $1 million mark.

In fact, homes that sold for less than $500,000 reached the lowest level for any quarter in nine years, according to CoreLogic. Almost three of every five homes sold for less than the half-million-dollar level during the first quarter, the lowest percentage since third-quarter 2007 – the peak of the market before the crash that followed.

Million-dollar homes accounted for 10.9% of all homes sales in the state during the first quarter, the second-highest percentage behind only the 11.7% in second-quarter 2016.

Most of the million-dollar homes sold (77%) were in the $1 million to $2 million range, with only 9% of the high-end homes topping $3 million during the first three months of the year.

Some other data on the million-dollar market during the first quarter:

  • Almost 31% of million-dollar homes were bought with cash, and 43% of the $2 million or more purchases.
  • The average million-dollar home was 2,739 square feet with four bedrooms and three baths.
  • The five ZIP codes with the most million-dollar deals were Irvine, San Diego, San Jose, La Jolla and Laguna Beach.

Feature photo of Santa Monica million-dollar house  by Divanov/Shutterstock. San Jose photo via Stellamc/Shutterstock. San Diego marina photo courtesy of William Garrett/Flickr.

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Three of the nation’s top 10 most “walkable” cities are in California, with San Francisco finishing at No. 2, just behind New York City.

Oakland and Long Beach finished in ninth- and 10th-place, respectively, according to Walk Score, a Redfin-owned company.

Walk Score measures the walkability of a city based on distance from amenities – think coffee houses, restaurants and shops – density of population, block length and pedestrian friendliness. The annual Walk Score ranking identifies the most walkable U.S. cities with populations of more than 300,000.

Car-crazed Los Angeles ranked No. 13, while Santa Ana was No. 14. Anaheim, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno and Riverside also cracked the top 50 list.

Fresno was among the cities nationwide with the largest year-over-year increase.

The nation’s largest metros are becoming more walker-friendly, as cities encourage inner-core development and consumers demand more live-work options.

Oakland photo by Cdrin/Shutterstock.

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