In this era of intense partisanship and division, we can be grateful for the common denominators that bond us as Americans. Our national aversion to spiders, clowns, and trust, falls. Our adoration of heroes, entrepreneurs, and puppies wearing Christmas hats. And, perhaps most of all, our endless fascination with luxury real estate.
Everyone, it seems, loves peeking inside the closed gates of exclusive abodes, or hearing of head-spinning megahome sales. But high-end real estate is much more than just sumptuous kitchens and sparkling infinity pools. Whether you’re an active participant in the nosebleed section of the housing business or just a bystander, luxury
matters. Because the strengths or weaknesses of the upper reaches trickle down to us commoners: Higher home prices at the top pull up prices in the middle and bottom. And vice versa.
So the data team at realtor.com® set out to find the luxury neighborhoods where prices are growing-and falling-the fastest. We found some big changes afoot in some of America’s highest-profile bellwether markets.
Some of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the nation are seeing prices stagnate or fall after years of overbuilding-or because they simply ran out of land on which to erect new, extravagant homes. Foreign buyers in some perennially hot luxe markets have become more scarce. Meanwhile, neighborhoods that until recently weren’t considered the best of the best are taking off.
“The opportunity for new development is more limited now in the more well-known and established luxury locations,” says Jonathan Miller, a New York-based real estate appraiser at Miller Samuel. “Now we are seeing the [luxury] footprint expand into neighborhoods that are nearby or adjacent-areas that [until recently] weren’t thought of as luxury markets.”
To find these big-ticket hot spots, the realtor.com data team pulled housing data for more than 600 ZIP codes where the median home listing price was above $1 million between April 2016 and March 2017. Then we compared that 12-month period to the previous year to see which ZIP codes saw the largest median price increases and decreases. We eliminated ZIPs with fewer than 10 listings per month. We also limited our list to just two ZIP codes per state to give the list some geographic diversity.