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RISMEDIA, Jan. 22, 2007-(MCT)-The housing slowdown that's pounding builders and causing home sellers fits isn't affecting one section of the market.

While overall residential sales in North Texas were down slightly in 2006, sales of high-priced homes continued to soar.

Sales of houses priced $1 million and more jumped 18% last year.

And the number of pre-owned houses priced from $800,000 to $900,000 that changed hands was up 23 percent from 2005, according to statistics from the North Texas Real Estate Information System.

So what's up with the boom in posh home purchases?

For one thing, increases in mortgage rates usually aren't a consideration for wealthy buyers who purchase properties with seven-digit price tags.

And well-to-do buyers are less likely to fret over little bumps in the economy and the real estate market.

Indeed, houses sold in the Park Cities-North Texas' most expensive residential enclave-sold at an average of 97 percent of list price in 2006. Not a lot of price cutting going on there.

And it's eye-opening to see that a record 786 homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area priced $1 million or more traded in 2006-a year when most of the headlines were about the U.S. housing slump. Million-dollar home sales have more than doubled in the area since 2000.

In December alone-traditionally one of the slowest months for home sales-55 houses priced in the millions were sold in the D-FW area. That's about one percent of the total market.

Copyright © 2007, The Dallas Morning News
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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