How the luxury market is shifting across the country

by Lauren Brocato

Millennials have begun to monopolize the home-owning population, and as a result, new cities across the country are transforming into some of the hottest luxury markets for the first time.

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing just released their latest monthly luxury market report, and the results are in. This report provides an in-depth look at the top residential markets across the U.S. and Canada. May is considered the peak month to measure the year’s luxury trends and investigate factors at play and decisions buyers make in the homebuying process. The report indicates that Boomers have the most spending power right now, though they are less affected by current trends than millennials.

New York, San Diego, Scottsdale, Vancouver and many Florida cities are among the many traditional luxury market hotspots, as identified by the report, but areas like Las Vegas and Austin are beginning to steal the spotlight. Unsuspectedly, Nashville has become one of the hottest cities in the U.S. with a downtown packed with more than $4 billion in active building permits. Seattle has also seen an influx of residents in recent years due to the relocation of corporate giants such as Amazon and Boeing, which placed it in the top four largest cities in the country.

“The attached luxury property market, including both town homes and condos, is unfolding into an interesting story; a continual increase in the numbers of sales during the last year combined with list price to sold price ratio at 99.16 percent. But it is the spikes in unexpected locations that is providing the trends are zapping,” the report noted.

Luxury prices across the country on the rise

On a national scale, the North American luxury market is seeing typical, springtime trends headed in a positive direction. The number of days on the market for both single-family and attached homes changed slightly over the past year. The year-over-year, single-family average rose one day to an average of 40 days on the market, while attached homes fell an average of four days to 33 days on the market. Since last month, the single-family average rose from 31 days while the attached family homes number remained constant at 33 days.

While days on the market averages stayed relatively similar since last year, the price per square foot did not. In May 2017, a square foot in a single-family home cost buyers $387. The price fluctuated quite a bit over the year, up to $408 in April 2018 and then back down to $390 this month. As for attached homes, the year-over-year price increased $47 to an average of $575 per square foot, which is $2 more than last month.

In a luxury market full of wealthy entrepreneurs and successful international business owners, the average sales price stayed fairly true to the listing price in the attached homes market year-over-year. Last year, the listing price for an attached home was on average $1 million, which is what the average selling price was as well. This year, those numbers remained the same.

As for the single-family homes market, the current listing price is around $1.7 million, compared to last year’s average listing price of about $1.6 million. Single-family homes sold for about $200,000 less than the asking price in both May 2017 and 2018.

The most significant change in the luxury market was the 1,009 more single-family homes sold month-over-month, compared to the 609 additional attached homes sold over the past month as well. This edged the single-family sales ratio up 1.58 percent while the attached ratio only grew less than 1 percent.

Houston’s luxury layout

Houston’s luxury market was deemed balanced by the report, similar to national trends. Of Houston’s 671 new single-family listings, just 349 sold last month. The city saw a rather high average for days on the market, with an estimate of 43 days, while the attached market saw an estimate of 62 days.

Both single-family and attached homes sold for less than their asking prices in May. Single-family homes sold for an average of $735,000, $104,000 less than the median listing price, and attached homes sold for about $7,000 less than their asking price at an average of $632,000.

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