The overall real estate business may be going through challenges lately, but make no mistake: According to Realtor.com, the high-end luxury market is booming – and Prescott made that Top Ten!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for luxury homes surged. The newfound ability of many buyers to work remotely, more baby boomers retiring earlier into their forever homes, and cheap mortgages fueled the rush into some of the most naturally beautiful communities across the nation..
“We’ve seen a lot of demand in vacation and second-home spots—particularly on the coastlines, on the beach, lakes, and in the mountains,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, a real estate data firm. He’s seen many affluent Gen Xers and baby boomers buy up real estate in these areas.
“Those who have been very successful, who kept their jobs, and [who] saw the stock market go through the roof cashed out their gains to use that as their down payments to buy a second home,” adds Nothaft.
Over the past two years, many buyers have sought out larger homes with offices and areas for their children to attend school remotely. These homes often cost more than smaller residences, and buyers found they were more willing to move once they weren’t tethered to a physical office.
Rock-bottom mortgage interest rates also helped to make luxury home purchases more appealing.
Worth noting: The concept of luxury real estate is somewhat in the eye of the beholder—and the marketplace. To come up with its rankings, Realtor.com took a look at the nation’s luxury real estate market in January—as well as some of the most mind-blowing properties for sale. Markets were ranked by the number of unique viewers looking at home listings as well as how long properties were on the market. (The faster homes move, the hotter the market.) Only the most expensive 1% of homes in these markets were considered in this ranking, and only prices for this small fraction of homes were provided in the story.
We’re excited to say that Prescott made the list at #10. Here’s what the article had to say:
Prescott, about two hours north of Phoenix, has a rep as an upscale haven for retirees. It’s particularly popular with Californians seeking forever homes. Multiple publications have named it one of the best places in the nation to retire thanks to its warm weather, a large population of seniors, and an abundance of golf courses.
Luxury buyers want homes where they can comfortably age in place with mountain views of the Thumb Butte and the Prescott National Forest, where outdoorsy individuals can hike or go mountain biking.
“Everybody wants the single-level home with great views and a three-car garage,” says local real estate broker Len McGee, of Coldwell Banker Realty. “They want to be able to drive in their garage and walk-in with their groceries and then go into their master suite.”
Popular, pricey communities include Hassayampa and Talking Rock, two private golf course communities in central and northern Prescott, along with American Ranch, a high-end community with an equestrian center.
The rest of the Top Ten, along with the median list price the for top 1% of homes for sale:
- Salt Lake City: $4.2 million
- Portland, Maine: $4.9 million
- Austin, TX: $5 million
- Barnstable Town (Cape Cod), Massachusetts: $15.9 million
- Wilmington, North Carolina: $3.8 million
- Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: $5.5 million
- Sebastian, Florida: $6.2 million
- San Luis Obispo, California: $40 million
1. Kahului, Hawaii: $23.9 million.