Key Highlights

  • Confidence percolating in sellers
  • “Word is getting out that this is the time to sell.”
  • San Francisco seeing uptick in market

The nation’s luxury housing segment, including expensive cities and vacation markets, appear to be leading the recovery, according to Redfin inventory data with analysis by the Dow Jones Market Data Team.

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Even though total inventory was down more than -4% in the week ending May 16 compared to April 1, confidence held by lux home sellers was more buoyant…inventory of homes with price tags of $1M+ rose more than +1% during this same time period.

Buoyant confidence is particularly strong in Northern California. Suzanne Masella, a long established and experience real estate professional in the greater Oakland area, said, “Everyone expected demand to go nowhere…this is like the most competitive market we’ve ever had, but on steroids.”

Take a look at these inventory jumps in luxury markets with $1M+ price points:

  • Oakland – supply of $1M+ homes +37% by mid-may compared to April 1
  • San Francisco – +29%
  • San Jose – +20%
  • San Rafael – +36%
  • Boise City – +24%
  • Seattle – +9%
  • Fort Worth, Boulder, Salt Lake City – +10%

Of course, there are many million-dollar-plus luxury markets that are not bouncing back with inventory jumps and general market activity. Nassau County in NY, one of the hardest hit counties by COVID, continues to see million-dollar listings fall as do New Jersey and Chicago.

Such market divergence is crystal clear on the West Coast. While the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle are recovering, Los Angeles is not. Leslie Appleton-Young, vice president and chief economist at the California Association of REALTORS, said, “The hit to (important industries such as entertainment) has been felt to a greater extent in Southern California.”

According to Joel Kan, associate vice president at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said, “The housing market is one part of the economy that’s showing a V-shaped recovery. A lot of this activity is from buyers who are still pretty well equipped to get out there and shop. They already had the savings and the plans in place to buy. For them, this was just, ‘let’s hold off and wait to see when the smoke clears.’”

The only obstacle for buyers ready, willing and able to “pull the trigger” will be a dearth of supply in places such Florida’s West Palm Beach where Drew Backoff, a project manager at Compass Florida, said, “A lot of people (‘wary sellers’) are still on the sidelines. They’re still looking for some clear path forward.”

Thanks to MansionGlobal.

Also read: Three Satellite Cities Outshining Their Bigger Neighbors, Back to Business Everyone – Real Estate Firms Moving Forward, 65% Now Ready to Attend Open Houses Without Hesitations