Luxury Home Prices Rising, Sales Booming

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By most accounts, the U.S. economy is growing nicely, more Americans have jobs, and inflation remains under control. Looking at the market for luxury homes underlines that economic story.

Prices for luxury homes rose 4.6% year over year in the first half of 2018 according to a new report from Realtor.com. Of 91 U.S. counties included in the survey of luxury home markets, 17 posted price growth of 10% or more. The survey defines a luxury home as one priced in the top 5% of all residential home sales in a given market in April 2018.

Not only are prices rising in the luxury market, but the pace of sales is also quickening. The number of $1 million+ transactions in the 91 markets surveyed rose by 25% year over year, the biggest jump since January 2014 and two and a half times the pace recorded in the January 2018 survey.

Four of the fastest-growing markets are located in four northern California counties: Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Monterey. A San-Francisco real-estate market analyst told Realtor.com,” $1 million to $2 million is considered our affordable house segment.” He also noted that sales of houses priced above $2 million rose by 20% in the second quarter of this year.

Here’s Realtor.com’s list of the 20 fastest growing luxury markets along with the luxury price (top 5% of all homes sold) and the year-over-year change.

  1. Sarasota, Florida (county seat Sarasota): $1 million; up 19.7% year over year
  2. Collier, Florida (Naples): $1.67 million; up 15.9%
  3. Queens, New York (Queens): $1.26 million; up 15.9%
  4. King, Washington (Seattle): $1.51 million; up 13.7%
  5. Santa Clara, California (San Jose): $2.77 million; up 13.1%
  6. Monterey, California (Salinas): $1.96 million; up 13.2%
  7. Boulder, Colorado (Boulder): $1.33 million; up 12.8%
  8. Santa Cruz, California (Santa Cruz): $1.62 million; up 12.7%
  9. Snohomish, Washington (Everett): $801,000; up 12.7%
  10. San Mateo, California (Redwood City): $3.48 million; 12.3%
  11. Hudson, New Jersey (Jersey City): $1.32 million; 12.2%
  12. Davidson, Tennessee (Lexington): $784,000; 11.9%
  13. Douglas, Colorado (Castle Rock): $923,000; up 11.5%
  14. Williamson, Tennessee (Franklin): $1.04 million; up 10.7%
  15. Denver, Colorado (Denver): $1.02 million; 10.5%
  16. Sacramento, California (Sacramento): $673,000; up 10.1%
  17. Clark, Nevada (Las Vegas): $589,000; 9.9%
  18. Riverside, California (Riverside): $754,000; up 9.8%
  19. Jefferson, Colorado (Golden): $816,000; up 9.5%
  20. Maui, Hawaii (Maui): $2.3 million; 9%

Visit the Realtor.com website for more information on these luxury counties.