“The U.S. housing market may be weak, but many big spenders are still lavishing money on luxury homes in the Bay Area.

Across the nine-county region, sales of homes priced at $2 million or more soared in 2010 over 2009, according to a preliminary analysis by DataQuick Information Systems. The number of such sales reached 1,216 last year, up nearly 20% from 1,016 in 2009, said DataQuick. While that was still far below the levels of 2005 through 2008, when more than 1,500 such sales a year took place, it was also far stronger than in the early part of the decade when less than 1,000 such sales a year occurred.”

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