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Luxury home sales increase in California

Luxury home sales in California increased 21 percent last year.

Luxury home sales in California increased 21 percent last year.

While many Californians had a hard time selling their homes last year, that wasn't the case for sellers whose customers prefer the lap of luxury.

According to DataQuick Information Systems, there were 22,529 homes sold in the Golden State in 2010. That's a 21 percent increase over 2009, when 18,621 luxury homes were sold.

"Prestige homebuyers respond to a different set of motivations than the rest of us," said John Walsh, president of DataQuick. "Their decisions are less dependent on jobs, prices and interest rates, and more on how their portfolio is doing."

This is the first time since 2005 that luxury home sales increased, which are defined as homes that sell for $1 million or more.

In terms of locations, Manhattan Beach saw the highest number of people moving into luxury homes at 326. Hillsborough County was the only other area that had more than 300 million-dollar home sales.

According to Trulia.com, California has the highest average home selling price in the country at $566,467. Florida is a distant second at $354,253 and Texas rounds out the top three with an average sales price of $260,277.