Sales rise for million-dollar U.S. homes

Who’s buying homes? The rich

Sales of million-dollar homes and condominiums rose last month in all 20 major metro areas, according to DataQuick Information Systems. On average, these cities saw an 18.6 percent increase in high-end home sales, after four years of declines, CNN reported. In New York, where volume grew nearly 25 percent, high-priced home sales were driven by bonuses on Wall Street. Even though bonuses were slightly smaller last year, the average was still over $120,000. San Jose, Calif., had the biggest market for million-dollar homes, with a 27.4 percent jump in sales last year, while Phoenix had the smallest increase, at just .4 percent. However, sales outside of this price point actually fell 2.8 percent. “It hasn’t been a good six months for all people, but it was a good six months for rich people,” said Glenn Kelman, CEO of brokerage Redfin, based in Seattle. Since stock values have almost doubled from their March 2009 lows, “higher income households are feeling better about their financial security,” said Greg McBride, chief economist for Bankrate.com. As confidence in the market increased, wealthy buyers took advantage of bargains in expensive homes, for which getting a mortgage was cheaper as well. [CNN]

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