Affluent buyers are feeling bullish about housing, as luxury home sales skyrocket, Bloomberg reports. Million-dollar homes in the U.S. are selling at double their historical average, according to data released by the National Association of REALTORS®.
Sales of homes that cost $1 million or more increased 7.8 percent in March compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, sales of homes that cost $250,000 or less — which represent about two-thirds of the housing market — dropped 12 percent in March year-over-year.
“The real estate market is the ultimate reflection of confidence, wealth, and income,” says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic.
Transactions for homes costing $2 million or more soared 33 percent in January and February compared to a year earlier, according to an analysis by DataQuick of 25 of the top U.S. metro areas. The transactions were the highest for a two-month period since DataQuick began its tracking in 1988.
“The luxury markets are on fire,” Christie’s International CEO Bonnie Stone Sellers told Bloomberg. “The trends in luxury housing are similar to trends in other luxury goods. Whether you’re buying a third home in Manhattan as a pied-a-terre or another Picasso, these are acquisitions of passion, of lifestyle, and of experience.”
There have been some blockbuster sales recently. The latest to grab headlines was the $147 million sale of an East Hampton’s property, which now carries the title as the priciest home sale ever in the U.S. This came two weeks after the sale of a single-family home in Greenwich, Conn., known as Copper Beech Farm shattered home records at the time at $120 million.
“The stock market is very strong, and this is a way to monetize and concretize some gains,” says Gary Wasserman, CEO of Allied Metals Corp., who is looking to boost his personal real estate portfolio. “We had quite a shock to our collective confidence in 2008 and 2009. The resurgence of the economy has underscored for us that this country remains a very strong place, and that the future remains strong.”
Source: “Million-Dollar Home Sales Thrive While Low End Stumbles,” Bloomberg Businessweek (May 2, 2014)
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