7 of Top 10 Luxury Real Estate Markets Are in California

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New York might still hold top spot in luxury housing markets in the U.S., but seven out of the top 10 counties that boast the highest luxury housing prices in the country are in California, according to Realtor.com’s Luxury Homes Index.

The average sale price in the luxury real estate market in NYC is currently $3,850,000. Following that in 2nd to 7th place are San Mateo ($2,384,000), San Francisco ($2,383,000), Marin ($2,154,000), Santa Barbara ($1,677,000), Santa Clara ($1,830,000), Los Angeles ($1,337,000). Orange County rounds off California’s top 10 counties at 9th place with an average sales price of $1,269,000.

Most of the California counties on the list made relatively healthy gains in prices year-over-year, particularly in Marin (11%) and San Mateo (7.5%). Los Angeles realized gains of 5.6% since the same time last year, and close behind are Orange County (4.8%), Santa Clara (4.7%), and San Francisco (2.5%). Luxury home prices in Santa Barbara remained relatively flat since September 2015.

What’s really the driving force behind the luxury market in California’s top counties are homes priced within the $3 million to $5 million price points. In contrast, the ultra-luxury market over the $20 million mark is showing signs of slowing. Obviously, prices in these extremely high price brackets tend to linger on the market for longer as sellers try to find the right buyer willing to dish out that kind of money for what is undoubtedly a very unique structure designed to the tastes of the original homeowner.

Not only that, the upcoming Presidential election and the volatile economy have made buyers in just about every income bracket a lot more apprehensive about the housing market, and consumer spending in general. However, the middle of the pack in the luxury market still seems to be going strong, thereby contributing to the price hikes we’ve been seeing in the luxury real estate markets in California’s top seven.

As far as the most expensive homes on the markets in the entire country are concerned, four of the five priciest listings on the market are in Southern California. Top spot goes to a Florida expanse south of Palm Beach that’s listed at an astounding $195 million. The California listings that land in the number 2 to 5 spots include the following:

  • Listing in Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles – $150 million
  • Two listings in Beverly Hills – $149 million and $135 million
  • Listing in Santa Barbara – $125 million

At these price levels, it’s nearly impossible for realtors to offer comparisons. Sellers of homes at these sky-high price points are really looking for a unique buyer. While the average time to sell a home in this region is currently 58 days, homes listed above the $100 million price point could take years to sell, even as much as a decade. With only a couple of thousand people across the globe who have the financial capability to afford a home that expensive, it can take a long time to find the right buyer.