Bay Area Has 3 of Top 10 Luxury Home Markets

SANTA CLARA — Three California Bay Area markets — San Mateo County (Redwood City), Marin County (San Rafael), and Santa Clara County (San Jose) — are among the top 10 most expensive luxury markets in the country, with prices starting between $2.7 and $3.5 million according to realtor.com. Most notably, these three markets feature luxury prices continuing to accelerate and now rising at 12-13 percent year-over-year.

Interest from prospective home buyers in Northern states have propelled two Florida counties — Sarasota and Collier — to the top of the nation’s fastest-growing luxury housing markets, according to the May 2018 Luxury Home Index from realtor.com,.

In May, the top 5 percent most expensive home prices in Sarasota (North Port) and Collier(East Naples) counties grew 19 and 14 percent, respectively. Additionally, Broward County, Fla. — home to Fort Lauderdale and ranked No. 19 on the list — grew 9 percent year-over-year. Much of this growth is attributed to increased interest from buyers located in New YorkBoston and Chicago – markets where, in many cases, luxury prices have stalled, according to realtor.com search data.

“Luxury prices in the Sunshine State are rising quickly as buyers from places like New YorkBoston, and Chicago get wind that there is a better bang for their buck available down South,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “Meanwhile, we are seeing signs of a luxury market glut in many established markets, which is in some cases leading to spillover demand for their less pricey neighbors.”

May 2018 Top 10 Fastest Growing Luxury Markets

Market (Local County Seat)

Luxury Price

(Top 5%)

% Change Year-
over-Year

Sarasota County (Sarasota)

$         993,000

19.1%

Queens County (Queens, N.Y.)

$      1,240,000

15.1%

Collier, County (East Naples)

$      1,651,000

13.7%

Douglas County (Castle Rock, Colo.)

$         919,000

13.1%

San Mateo County (Redwood City, Calif.)

$      3,496,000

13.0%

King County (Seattle)

$      1,486,000

12.8%

Marin County (San Rafael, Calif.)

$      3,220,000

12.5%

Snohomish County (Everett, Wash.)

$         790,000

12.4%

Hudson County (Jersey City, N.J.)

$      1,306,000

12.1%

Santa Clara County (San Jose, Calif.)

$      2,744,000

11.9%

Source: Realtor.com Luxury Home Index with data as of March 2018. The realtor.com luxury home index is based on a 12-month moving average of sales prices and measures price growth using January 2011 as the base.

Luxury Home Prices in BostonChicago, and New York Continue to Slow
While buyers in New YorkBoston, and Chicago may be driving growth in places like Florida, luxury prices within those markets themselves have stalled. In Boston’s Suffolk CountyChicago’s Cook County, and New York’s Manhattan and Suffolk counties, for instance, over the past year luxury home prices decreased 2.7, 2.2, and 2.1 and 1.3 percent, respectively. In Middlesex County (Cambridge, MA) and Kings County (Brooklyn, N.Y.), prices decreased 1.4 and 2.4 percent, respectively, in just the past month alone.

In New York, in particular, realtor.com search data shows demand for luxury homes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where luxury prices have stalled at $4.6 and $2.2 million, respectively, also appears to be spilling rapidly into the lower-priced adjacent markets of Queens, N.Y. and Hudson County (Jersey City, N.J.). Luxury prices in those counties have grown at 15 and 12 percent in the past year, respectively, reaching $1.2 and $1.3 million.

Western Luxury Markets Continue to Grow
In addition to the rising interest in FloridaNorthern CaliforniaColorado, and Washington continue to dominate the top 20 fastest growing luxury markets, with double-digit yearly growth in luxury prices.

Primary and secondary luxury markets in Colorado continue to attract buyers and grow faster than the rest of the country, with entry-level luxury prices in Douglas County (Castle Rock, CO); Jefferson County (Golden, CO); Denver County and Boulder County all posting double-digit yearly growth.

Similarly, the Seattle area continues to see strong demand for luxury homes, with entry-level luxury prices in Seattle and Snohomish, WA., growing at 12 to 13 percent year-over-year. Luxury homes in these Northwest markets remain relatively affordable for West Coast standards, making them an attractive option for upscale buyers in Southern states.