Want A Life Of Luxury? The 10 Cities Where It’s A Relative Bargain

Want A Life Of Luxury? The 10 Cities Where It’s A Relative Bargain


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The luxury market drove the pandemic’s heat wave of home price growth, as homebuyers sought out larger luxury properties in which they could shelter-in-place while taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates.

As a result, the median home prices in the general market have risen by about 35 percent in the last four years, as luxury home prices have increased by nearly 50 percent during that period, Realtor.com reported.

In warm-weather hot spots that buyers flocked to during the pandemic, like Reno, Nevada; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Lake Havasu City, Arizona, home prices more than doubled.

However, some luxury markets, particularly those of dense, pricey coastal cities, saw very little price growth, because residents fled those places once they had the option to work remotely. Others had to leave as they were laid off from work and needed to find a more affordable living situation.

One such luxury market is Washington, D.C., where luxury homes are now about 1 percent less expensive than they were in 2020, according to Realtor.com data.

The real estate portal and data company identified 10 markets across the U.S. where luxury home prices rose the least since the start of the pandemic and, therefore, are where luxury bargains can be found today. Luxury home prices were classified as the most expensive 5 percent of all listings in a market, and comparisons were made between luxury prices in April 2020 and April 2024.

Given that several of these cities already had high prices pre-pandemic, there was little room for prices to grow, especially given the economic climate at the time, Realtor.com Senior Economic Analyst Hannah Jones said.

“In a place like Seattle, luxury prices, especially — but home prices overall — kind of settled down during the pandemic because people were moving out of these large coastal cities,” Jones said. “So it makes sense that they didn’t see that same pandemic price hike.”

Credit: Realtor.com

Dense coastal cities are not the only ones where luxury prices remained stable, however — several small and mid-sized cities in the Midwest have also seen luxury prices remain relatively stable since the pandemic, like Toledo, Ohio, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“These places didn’t see that same pandemic boom in prices all around,” Jones said. “So it makes sense that they haven’t seen the same kind of four-year luxury price growth.”

Slow luxury price growth in some markets may also have been driven by individuals seeking affordability in that metro’s market at large, rather than the luxury market. For instance, many residents of San Francisco high-tailed it to Stockton, California, in the last few years, but they sought out non-luxury properties in their new city, causing median home prices in the general market to increase by nearly 60 percent while luxury prices only rose by 19 percent.

“People were moving from areas often looking for affordability within California, but they weren’t looking for the luxury homes there,” Jones said.

What follows are 10 cities as identified by Realtor.com that have seen the most stable luxury home prices since April 2020, with only the single city with the lowest luxury price growth per state, to ensure geographic diversity.

A $2.99 million listing at 2918 P Street, NW, in Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood | Realtor.com

Washington, D.C.

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $2,995,900+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $2,972,500+

Increase: -1 percent

Number of listings above $2,972,500 in April 2024: 115

A $379,900 listing coming soon at 2442 Wealdstone Road in Toledo, Ohio | Realtor.com

Toledo, Ohio

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $324,670+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $335,700+

Increase: 3 percent

Number of listings above $335,700 in April 2024: 18

A $1.6 million listing at 3751 Coral Garden Lane in Winston Salem, North Carolina | Realtor.com

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $938,888+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $998,450+

Increase: 6 percent

Number of listings above $998,450 in April 2024: 24

A pending $975,000 listing at 2024 South Welsh Street in Wichita, Kansas | Realtor.com

Wichita, Kansas

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $765,000+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $895,858+

Increase: 17 percent

Number of listings above $895,858 in April 2024: 34

A $2.249 million listing at 6233 McFarland Road in Stockton, California | Realtor.com

Stockton, California

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $849,003+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $1,004,188+

Increase: 18 percent

Number of listings above $1,004,188 in April 2024: 18

A $785,000 listing at 5204 Sandstone Court in Suffolk, Virginia | Realtor.com

Suffolk, Virginia

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $632,765+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $749,900+

Increase: 19 percent

Number of listings above $749,900 in April 2024: 21

An estate listed for $1.25 million at 5903 Quail Creek Drive in Tyler, Texas | Realtor.com

Tyler, Texas

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $1,022,273+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $1,219,167+

Increase: 19 percent

Number of listings above $1,219,167 in April 2024: 31

A house listed for $1.295 million at 105 East 26th Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma | Realtor.com

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $1,068,488+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $1,300,000+

Increase: 22 percent

Number of listings above $1,300,000 in April 2024: 47

A new construction home on Buck Lake Road in Tallahassee, Florida, listed for $845,000 | Realtor.com

Tallahassee, Florida

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $669,443+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $814,638+

Increase: 22 percent

Number of listings above $814,638 in April 2024: 54

A new construction home listed for $3.399 million at 7922 1/2 Seward Ave South in Seattle, Washington | Realtor.com

Seattle, Washington

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2020: $2,350,000+

Most expensive 5 percent of listings as of April 2024: $2,912,450+

Increase: 24 percent

Number of listings above $2,912,450 in April 2024: 81

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Email Lillian Dickerson





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