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Shrinking Supply Sends Prices for Luxury Homes Up Nearly 8 Percent in First Quarter

POSTED: January 12, 2018

Luxury home prices rose 7.9 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to last year, to an average of $1.8 million. This analysis tracks home sales in more than 1,000 cities across the country and defines a home as luxury if it is among the top 5 percent most expensive homes sold in the city in each quarter. The average price for the bottom 95 percent of homes was $330,000, up 7.5 percent compared to a year earlier.

The strong price growth for luxury homes is due to decline in supply that has persisted since the second quarter of 2017. The number of homes for sale priced at or above $1 million fell 20.4 percent in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, while the number of homes priced at or above $5 million dropped 19.2 percent.

The inventory shortage in the luxury market is newer and somewhat less severe than the inventory shortage for more affordable homes. The number of homes for sale priced below $1 million has been in decline since the third quarter of 2015 and fell 22.8 percent in the first quarter compared to last year.

Competition for luxury homes is also escalating. The average luxury home that sold last quarter went under contract after 82 days on the market, nine days faster than the same period last year. While only 1.5 percent of luxury homes were bid up over the asking price, that’s up from 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

“For the first time since changes to the tax code went into effect, luxury buyers could no longer deduct more than $10,000 in state and local property taxes or interest for mortgages over $750,000. In a world of balanced supply and demand these changes would have dampened price growth. Instead, this quarter saw the strongest luxury price appreciation in four years, demonstrating that the current inventory crunch is extremely broad-based and affects buyers at every price range,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson.