Luxury Sales Outshine Rest of the Market

November 21, 2014

Sales of million-dollar homes are soaring: Deals on existing homes priced above $1 million climbed more than 16 percent in October compared to a year ago, according to National Association of REALTORS® housing data. The increase was bigger than any other price segment.

"There is little volatility in the stock market. It is whoppingly higher, so people in the top 10 percent of wealth are really feeling confident now," says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Sales are also rebounding for listings in the $750,000 to $1 million range, up 12 percent year-over-year according to NAR. Meanwhile, sales of homes priced under $100,000 dropped 6 percent year-over-year in October.

The largest growth in luxury markets were mostly centered in Miami; Los Angeles; Riverside, Calif.; and New York. International buyers—particularly those from China, Canada, Europe, Russia, and South America—are continuing to help drive up the U.S. luxury market.

Other markets that are often considered “affordable” are seeing bigger pockets of luxury taking hold too. For example, in Houston, the median home price has risen above the national average and landed No. 6 on a survey by the real estate brokerage Redfin of markets with the most million-dollar sales, beating out Boston, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

"It's the new economy of the energy boom and other industries moving inland and taking dollars with them,” says Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin. “Our agents are going crazy in Houston.”

Source: “$1 Million-Plus Home Sales Up 16%,” CNBC (Nov. 20, 2014)