Foreign buyers help California hit record US$1m-plus sales from Elaine Golden-Gealer

Elaine2aLos Angeles is the top destination for US foreign property buyers who are snapping up prime US$1million homes, according the latest figures.

Sales of prime property priced at more than US$1million in California hit a seven-year high from April-June at 12,826, which is up 9% from the 11,758 of a year ago and 60% up from the first quarter, according to  CoreLogic DataQuick.

Four record totals for the period were included among the figures:

  • 265 homes sold for more than US$5million last quarter
  • 213 homes sold for US$4-$5million
  • 469 homes sold for US$3-$4million
  • 1,595 homes sold for US$2-$3million.

Million dollar homes for saleManhattan Beach had the most US$1million sales. Rising prices particularly in South California meant that homes on the market for around US$900,000 a year ago, were now fetching US$1million, with foreign interest also helping to push up prices, says CoreLogic DataQuick Analyst Andrew LePage.

“Luxury-home buyers have substantial assets, and they’re constantly evaluating where to park those assets. While we can only speculate, it seems self-evident that luxury home buyers have substantial assets, and they’re constantly evaluating where to park those assets. Right now it’s interesting that there appears to be enough inventory to meet the demand for luxury homes. That’s not always the case in many mid-priced and lower-cost housing markets, where demand continues to outweigh supply.”

An unnamed overseas buyer bought the most expensive property, a US$45million 11,637 square foot, four-bedroom six-bathroom mansion sold in May, which was bought in cash as a holiday property, say agents.

Kurt Rappaport, of Westside Estate Agency, of Beverly Hills and Malibu, who has handled more sales above US$10million than any other broker, told the Daily News that  most prime property buyers now come from overseas, especially from China and Russia.

“In the high end market we are truly seeing buyers from abroad. It used to be 75 per cent of the buyers were people you knew and now 75 per cent of the buyers are coming from abroad.”

Only the wealthiest overseas buyers will be able to afford the 10-acre Owlwood Estate in Los Angeles’ Platinum Triangle, which is currently on sale for US$150million – the joint most expensive in the county, Forbes reports

The 13,000-square-foot property, which was previously owned by Joseph Schenk, the founder of 20th Century Fox , actor Tony Curtis and singers Sonny and Cher, is for sale through Rodeo Realty agents Josh Flagg and Ann Dashiell, although it is not being advertised on MLS.

May data from the website for searches of all US property reinforces National Association of Realtors findings in its 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity that the top five most popular destinations are led by Los Angeles Miami, Las Vegas, Orlando and New York City.

But there are wide variations on the top five destinations sought by buyers from different countries, the data shows:

See where buyers are settling down here

DRE #00598428
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed

“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”