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Sales of $1 million-plus homes in 2015 surged 32 percent year-over-year in Austin, which is experiencing a boom in tech and entertainment as the home of the SXSW Festival; 31 percent in Fort Lauderdale, which benefits directly from its proximity to the perennial luxury hub of Miami; and 30 percent in Seattle, which has achieved gold status as a tech mecca. These increases — some of the largest of any cities in the nation — earn them standout status as entry-level luxury real estate markets as revealed by the new Luxury Market Report released recently by the Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program.


$5 Million+ Category

In the $5 million-plus category of home sales, California cities dominated the Top 10 list, earning five of the top spots, with Southern California leading with six of the top 10 spots and four of the top five. The exclusive Southern California beachside destination of La Jolla was a clear frontrunner, doubling its sales in this range from 2014 to 2015. Meanwhile, Florida claimed five of the top spots.


$10 Million+ Category

Newport Coast, one of the newest California coastal communities to join the $10 million-plus top 20, experienced a massive 175 percent increase in luxury sales more than $10 million. Florida added two newcomers to the list, Wellington and Lake Worth. Outside of New York, Beverly Hills continues to hold the top position for sales more than$10 million. Combining all cities that made the list in Los Angeles County, there were 96 unit sales more than $10 million, an increase of 17 percent in 2015. A stand out for luxury home sellers was the star-studded Pacific Palisades, Calif., commanding a 95 percent ratio of list to sales price.


Overall Luxury Market Summary for 2015

Across all price categories, Florida elevated its coveted position as a top destination for the real estate elite, recording double-digit growth in Miami, Naples and Palm Beach and adding newcomers Lake Worth and Wellington, which placed in the Top 20 list for $10 million sales for the first time.

Tech epicenters in the Bay area posted only modest gains in the number of closed sales as demand outstripped supply in 2015.  San Francisco closed 57 percent more units than the previous year at $10 million-plus (11 units in 2015 vs. seven units in 2014) but declined 13 percent in sales of units priced $1to $5 million, posting a mere 3 percent gain in sales of $5 to $10 million. “Some cities in the Bay area have a 42-day supply of inventory that has left many affluent buyers empty-handed and pushed down potential sales gains,” says Mike James, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, San Francisco Peninsula and North Bay areas.

The ski markets presented a mixed picture: Aspen made the top six list of luxury home sales both in the $5 million-plus and $10 million-plus categories. Vail recorded a strong showing, but another perennially popular ski destination, Park City, ranked fifth in the nation in both active listings more than $1 million and more than $5 million, yet it did not make the top 20 in either sales category.

Overall, more than 50 percent of the Top 20 cities for luxury home sales across all price categories experienced an increase in activity and more than 40 percent met or exceeded the 90 percent mark of list to sales price. All Top 20 cities with the largest increases in sales of homes more than $1 Million revealed list-to-sales-price ratios of 90 percent or higher, demonstrating robust demand and that sellers are commanding close to asking price in key luxury markets nationwide.

The full Coldwell Banker Previews International list of the Top 20 Best Performing U.S. Cities in Luxury Real Estate by price points of $1 million-plus, $5 million-plus and $10 million-plus, and the high-net-worth consumer survey results can be viewed here.

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