The high-end real estate market in California had a banner year in 2012 thanks, in part, to a record number of cash buyers and an upturn in home values. According to The L.A. Times, a record 697 homes sold for more than $5 million in California last year; a marked increase from the previous high of 491 in 2011.

Also on the rise were homes purchased for a million dollars or more, with a total of 26,993 homes selling for a million dollars or more last year, the highest level in five years and a nearly 27% increase from the year before. Still, the number is far less than the record set in 2005, when 54,773 homes sold for a million dollars or more.

“Cash buyers, an upturn in home prices and the recovering economy played a role in the increase, as did a year-end rush among the wealthy to take advantage of lower capital gains taxes by closing before year end,” reports Lauren Beale, of The L.A. Times.

Nearly 29% of the million-dollar home sales in 2012 were cash-only transactions.

For more on the report, read the full article here.

Photo Above: 11244 Briarcliff Lane, Studio City, listed for $7,785,000