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High-End Luxury Home Sales On The Rise

Across much of the country, median home sales have stalled and prices are flat. But, luxury home sales are on the rise.

A private entrance, immaculate interiors, and a spectacular ocean view. One home on Sand Point Road in Carpinteria can be yours — for about $13 million dollars.

“Real estate historically goes up over time,” said Emily Kellenberger, an agent with Village Properties/Christie’s Interntional Real Estate. “The trend is up. People feel comfortable parking their money in real estate.”

And more people are buying homes like this as the wealthy are planting more of their money in the housing market. The Los Angeles Times reports the number of homes bought at $2 million dollars or higher is now at record levels.

Low interest rates and a strong stock market are driving the demand.

“A lot of these owners have multiple properties,” said Kellenberger. “They want places to park their capital, interest rates are low even though they don’t need financing taking advantage of that .. hedge against inflation.”

Kellenberger says southern Santa Barbara County is experiencing this trend. In 2011, 117 homes sold for more than $2 million dollars; This year, sales doubled.

Home sales in the $10 million dollars range and higher are also trending upwards.

“In terms of sales over $10 million dollars and up, that number in 2011 we only saw one sale. This year ten closed so far with three pending. That’s a big change from 2011,” said Kellenberger.

Homes on the highest end of the spectrum are the exception. The El Fureidis mansion in Montecito, where Scarface was filmed, is for listed at $35 million dollars and could be on the market for years.

“High-end homes are really specialized. The buy pool is small, particularly when you get to that $20, 30 million dollar market and up. It’s emotional discretionary.”

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