Barron’s Second Home Survey and LandVest Index: 2013 a Stabilizing Market for Luxury Real Estate
Last month LandVest released our New England Luxury Market Index, showing a solid level of luxury real estate activity. After a strongly recovering 2012, 2013 numbers showed a modest drop in activity in 2013. Barron’s Penta magazine, released a survey of select luxury second home markets showing similar results. Median sales prices were down 3.6% on average with strong improvement in some of the markets hit hardest in the recession, and drops in other, smaller markets. The results across the 20 markets varied widely with almost half of the markets seeing increases in prices. Sea Island, GA, led the pack with a whopping 31.8% increase, as the development emerged from bankruptcy. Palm Beach, FL saw good improvement due, at least in part, to the attraction of no state income tax, a pattern LandVest is seeing in New Hampshire.
Penta noted the statistical anomaly: when the lower end of the luxury range is strong, the median price can fall despite stronger aggregate activity. LandVest has seen a similar recovery “from the bottom up” in New England. Barrons cited other signs of real estate strength including spec homes construction in Kiawah Island, SC, and a reduction in distressed sales in resort towns like Scottsdale, AZ, and Palm Springs, CA.