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Luxury housing sets new records

Luxury home sales continued their record-breaking pace in July, as prices hit double digit gains in 19 major markets, according to the realtor.com® 2018 Luxury Home Index released today. Additionally, the number of sales at or above the $1 million mark rose 13 percent over last year.

The Index analyzes the entry-level luxury price tier, defined as the top 5 percent of all residential sales, in 91 U.S. counties.

Luxury housing performs strongly nationwide
The pace of sales in the luxury segment continues to break records. The combined median age of inventory in the 91 luxury markets surveyed was 108 days, down eleven days or 9.3 percent year-over-year, moving faster than any July since realtor.com® started tracking the metric in 2012. Additionally, two thirds of luxury markets are seeing inventory move faster than last year.

In 49 of the 91 markets analyzed, the luxury tier currently has an entry point of at least $1 million. The number of sales at or above the $1 million mark in the 91 markets is up 12 percent over last year.

“The strong economy is bolstering demand for luxury homes,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®. “They are selling fast and demand for these homes has pushed the entry level price point to more than $1 million in half of the markets studied. Although there are some pockets of weaker performance, we’ve seen double-digit price growth in 19 markets for the first time in four years.”

Sarasota tops fastest-growing luxury markets
Sarasota, Fla. remained the fastest-growing luxury market, with sale prices up 21.2 percent since last May. Half of all luxury homes in Sarasota sold within 157 days, 21 percent faster than the previous year. Queens, N.Y.; Maui, Hawaii; Santa Clara, Calif.; and Boulder, Colo. rounded out the top five, each seeing yearly growth of 13 to 16 percent.

Northern California continues to draw high-end home buyers
Northern California now has seven of the top 20 fastest-growing luxury markets in the country, thanks to the booming tech sector and strong foreign interest, which are continuing to drive the demand for luxury properties. Bay Area markets of Santa Cruz, Calif.; San Mateo, Calif.; Santa Clara; Sonoma, Calif.; and Marin, Calif. have all been growing at an accelerating pace, with entry-level luxury prices now up between 9 and 14 percent year-over-year. This trend is in contrast to northern California’s mid-market price deceleration of recent months.

Colorado luxury housing on upswing
In Colorado, Boulder, Douglas, and Denver counties all saw double-digit growth in May. Luxury homes in Boulder and Denver typically sell in under 95 days, putting them among the faster-selling luxury markets in the country.

This rise is a second wind for Colorado’s luxury markets, which saw substantial growth in 2015 and 2016 but stagnated in early 2017. Prices have been growing, and homes have been selling more quickly ever since.

Northeast hotspots Jersey City and Queens may be losing momentum
While luxury prices in most New York and New Jersey markets have stalled, Queens, N.Y. and Jersey City (Hudson County, N.J.), continue to see price growth and high demand. In Queens, luxury sales prices have grown 15.8 percent since January 2017, and the luxury entry point is currently $1.3 million, a record for the borough. Jersey City now has a luxury entry point of $1.3 million, up 11.5 percent since last year. In both places, however, price growth has stopped increasing, which indicates that they could be losing momentum.

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