Every year we select locations to highlight as Markets to Watch. This year change is underway and we take a look at some top performers, others that are beginning to transition, and a handful of under-the-radar locations that are emerging.
On track for another record with sales up more than 3 percent, Austin’s luxury patina shines ever brighter. In October, the medium home value in Barton Creek increased to $1.02 million, making it the city’s first million-dollar neighborhood. Austin’s charms include no income tax to win over newcomers, but music and tech might be tops.
Bozeman might seem like a sleeper on this list, but with ranches, the Yellowstone Club and Big Sky country it’s an under-the-radar hangout for demi-billionaires and billionaires.
Brooklyn, New York
No longer second best! Buyers are making Brooklyn a first choice. Median prices in the most expensive neighborhoods hit the $1 million mark. Israelis, Chinese and Western Europeans also gravitate here. It’s no surprise this New York City borough is No. 2 on Urban Land Institute’s Markets to Watch.
By August, the Chicago area recorded as many luxury sales as in all of 2016 or 2017. Sales of $1 million-and-up properties set a record in the third quarter with a 19-percent increase over 2017. According to RE/MAX, luxury is booming in the west loop area. Upscale suburbs trail the city. Lots of new condos and stunning new buildings open doors to more urban opportunities in a market that hangs in the balance.
Few cities have charted a post-recession course as strong as Dallas and the city remains Urban Land Institute’s No. 1 location for overall real estate prospects in 2019. But the dramatic post-recession price increases are over, say economists. Moderating prices and adjusting inventories are positive indicators that that a move back to a normal market is underway.
Real estate’s Rocky Mountain high isn’t over yet. Denver continues to rank in the top group on many lists. In the upscale bracket, a shift toward balance is underway with the inventory of $1 million-plus homes at about seven months. Year-over-year prices are up on average 9.29 percent. Boulder remains a sweet spot for luxury, ranking 10th among cities and towns with at least 10 neighborhoods considered million-dollar.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Projections call for appreciation as high as 10 percent this year. Nevada was the fastest growing state, with new platinum communities; forward-looking, innovative architecture; and spectacular views capturing the attention of buyers looking for lifestyle and tax relief.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Coastal South Carolina and Georgia are ground zero for demographic shifts and the growing ability among the affluent to live wherever they want — a trend just taking off. New developments including Palmetto Bluff add to demand for the Hilton Head region.
Moving toward balance. A long-awaited uptick in homes on the market is one of several hints of a market shift. Median prices reached a record high this fall, and homes still sell quickly. Still the inventory of homes for sale is one of the lowest in the country. Upper tier and move-up brackets are less competitive.
D.C. continues to be in the top group on watch lists but Amazon’s recent announcement makes real estate in Northern Virginia much more interesting. What the prospect portends for current homeowners is uncertain, but sure to make this a market to watch in 2019.
Park City, Utah
No longer just a ski hangout, this Salt Lake neighbor is luxury’s newest player. The most desirable neighborhoods see a shortfall of inventory. Land prices increased by 25 percent with the highest number of sales occurring at Promontory. Opportunities abound: new projects at The Canyons, a large expansion of Deer Valley, a $4 billion renovation of the Salt Lake airport and a bid for the 2030 Olympics.
Wikimedia Commons / Don Lavange
Beaches and skiing, does it get any better than that? Hipsters meet old money here. Ranked among the top 20 for entrepreneurs, the city has a growing tech industry and one of the best foodie scenes in the Northeast. Look for more new construction. Prices will continue to ease upward as more people discover this hidden gem.
Santa Barbara, California
Opportunities for buyers in many California locales continue to increase as markets shift. Median prices in Santa Barbara in November were down more than 25 percent, which is good news for buyers. The area remains a prized luxury refuge and lower prices open the door for newcomers to enjoy one of the most unique locations in the U.S.
The city’s iconic waterfront is being reimagined with a vision to increase cultural programming and urban amenities. Median prices have been increasing steadily, up 25 percent since 2014. New construction means more inventory with more on the horizon. Agents report steady and growing interest in individuals from high tax states.
Happier times are ahead for buyers in Seattle with active listings up by 41 percent. Even though inventories are still slim, it’s a good indication the frenzy is over. Closed sales in November were down 28 percent. Homes continue to appreciate but the increase has slowed to 5 percent. For buyers and sellers this is definitely a market to watch. The city still is in top groups in many rankings, but the frenzy is over.
Wikimedia Commons / Jeff Gunn
Canadian Baby Boomers and Millennials came together and turned up the heat on the luxury condos in 2018; single-family home sales decreased by as much as 44 percent. While the foreign buyers tax has reduced sales to overseas buyers, it’s also opening new opportunities for locals. Local buyers will continue to drive demand for condos here.
Luxury’s top performers in 2018. Not only are residences in demand, but new resorts are raising the bar for luxury and reinvigorating current markets. New developments in Turks and Caicos, including the ultra-indulgent Gansevoort Villas, turn up the heat on interest in the Caribbean. Easy reach from the U.S. and private enclaves generate new interest in the Bahamas. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is seeing new resorts and other regions along the Sea of Cortez are seeing new development. Mandarina in Nyarit is the site of One & Only’s first collection of private homes. Owning a private island continues to be an ultimate purchase and the Bahamas is ground zero.
Austin Board of Realtors
Michael Saunders, Founder and CEO Michael Saunders & Company
Anthony Hitt, President and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas
Aleksandra Scepanovic, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Ideal Properties Group
National Association of Realtors
Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Kirkland, Washington
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Unique Homes Magazine.
Inventories, demand, new construction, urban renewal, untapped potential and changing business opportunities. All of this and much more vary greatly from region to region, market to market, and submarket to submarket. We took it all into account as we determined which 18 places most warrant keeping an eye on in 2018.
By Camilla McLaughlin
Atlanta, Georgia — Midtown is on fire, the result of extensive redevelopment, and local experts believe downtown will become equally vital. Buckhead is still a locus for the high end, but new upscale buildings bring luxury to revitalized city neighborhoods. Look for more upscale communities in the suburbs as well.
Austin, Texas — Along with Atlanta, Austin is setting the pace for a new age for cities in the south. Technology, pharmaceutical and biotech industries coupled with a unique lifestyle bring newcomers. Not to be discounted is Texas’ status as a no-income-tax state. Californians will continue to look favorably on this city.
Boston, Massachusetts — New
ultra-luxury buildings have buffed Boston’s luxury patina. And the redevelopment of neighborhoods is creating more upscale addresses. Prices in the greater Boston area reached a new high in October with a $568,000 median. A steady influx of foreign investors and slightly more balanced inventory are expected to drive the market into 2018.
Charleston, South Carolina — This city’s ascendancy to the luxury elite is undeniable. Christie’s ranks Charleston fifth, ahead of Paris and Sydney, on its Luxury Thermometer, based on demand and growth. Antebellum classics in historic sections still captivate, but enclaves outside the city or on the water also capture attention. Food, authenticity and waterfront — is there a more compelling combo?
Charlotte, North Carolina — Forecast to be a top housing market in 2018, Charlotte offers urban perks with renewed neighborhoods, new towers and major sports teams without the big-city hassle. Investors, developers, retirees and millennials are all taking notice. An international airport and a temperate climate place this city in the major league.
Darien, Connecticut — Experts anticipate interest in suburban towns with easy access to major metros to grow this year, and Darien is a good example. Homes that are priced right and close to the water sell quickly. Recent ultra sales in nearby Greenwich bring more high-end focus to Connecticut suburbs.
Las Vegas, Nevada — Not too
long ago, some predicted that it would take decades, if ever, for Las Vegas to bounce back from the recession. Today, it tops Realtor.com’s list of the best housing markets for 2018. While a few segments still play catch up, luxury in Las Vegas is back full force with new ultra-lux properties in a range of prices. Architecturally, many are innovative showstoppers.
Maui, Hawaii — More visitors return to Maui than any other Hawaiian island. The number of private jets on the tarmac at Kahului Airport, condominiums asking $25 million and a recent $40 million home sale attest to Maui’s luxury charisma. Montage Residences Kapalua Bay with $54 million in sales in 2017 set the bar for resort residences.
“We have seen value increase, but what we have seen of significance is the number of luxury home sales in our marketplace has really grown year over year, each of the past three years,” says broker Peggy Hoag.
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota — More than Super Bowl LII adds to hubbub in downtown Minneapolis. The boom includes a new 120-block downtown neighborhood anchored by a new stadium, home to the Vikings, and a five-block Wells Fargo mixed-use complex. Offering a higher quality of life at an affordable price, Minneapolis tops Urban Land’s outlook for the Midwest.
Nashville, Tennessee — Once considered a second-tier city, this music hub is now a real estate superstar. Nashville was one of eight metros showing inventory gains in October. Buyers responded, making days on market in November among the
lowest in the country. Nashville appears on several markets to watch this year, making it more than a good bet for 2018.
New York City’s Northern New Jersey suburbs — Developers are eyeing submarkets adjacent to major metros, and towns in Northern New Jersey are in their sights. Already, the region is home to some of the priciest ZIP codes in the country. Manhattan is less than 30 minutes away, and estates here greatly appeal to celebrities thanks to lifestyle and privacy.
Newport Beach, California — Slim inventories make tear downs prized properties here. Developers look for properties to tear down and build new product that appeals to high-end clients who can come in and customize. RE/MAX broker Jeff Grice said more agents are
working with these builders, and his brokerage recently listed a property in the process of being rebuilt for $8.8 million that sold within 11 days. “I foresee this getting bigger and bigger in 2018,” he says.
Orlando, Florida — Florida attracts more international buyers than any other U.S. state and more than Mickey Mouse makes this city a top destination for global buyers in Florida. New luxury enclaves are being developed including more properties in Lake Nona by noted architects.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Inventory is the story here, but one of more rather than less inventory as new luxury rentals and residences come online in Center City. For single-family residences, demand still exceeds supply. Slow and steady
describes a continued influx of newcomers to the city, the second greatest among U.S. secondary markets.
Portland, Oregon — A slim inventory has pushed prices up by almost 10 percent, but low housing prices compared to Vancouver and San Francisco bring newcomers, as does a growing tech presence. Luxury here is on a steady growth path. “We have seen value increase, but what we have seen of significance is the number of luxury home sales in our marketplace has really grown year over year, each of the past three years,” says local broker Peggy Hoag.
San Diego, California — Luxury is not new here, but the cachet of this Pacific star continues to expand. There is no better testimony than the inclusion of San Diego on Christie’s list of
the top 10 fastest growing luxury markets. Luxury has expanded downtown with artful new towers and large-scale developments include North Embarcadero Esplanade.
San Jose, California — The heart of Silicon Valley led the country in price growth with a year-over-year price increase of 19.2 percent in October with 76.3 percent of homes selling above list price. But don’t expect any cooling here until inventory pressures are relieved with more homes in the market.
Seattle, Washington — It’s no surprise Seattle leads ULI’s list of markets to watch. At year end, the typical home was snapped up in just 10 days, making it the fastest market in the country. Upscale properties are in demand thanks to international interest and home-grown tech wealth.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com
With recently released U.S. Census Bureau data showing that suburban population growth outpaced city growth in 2016, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2017’s Best Small Cities in America.
To help Americans put down roots in places offering good quality of life and affordability,WalletHub’s analysts compared more than 1,200 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 across 33 key indicators of livability. They range from housing costs to school-system quality to restaurants per capita.
Best Small Cities in America
1. Princeton, NJ
2. Lexington, MA
3. Leawood, MA
4. Milton, MA
5. Brentwood, TN
6. Los Altos, CA
7. Carmel, IN
8. Needham, MA
9. Holly Springs, NC
10. Littleton, CO
For the full story, and the entire list of best small cities, visit WalletHub.com.
Offering seasonal tastes and gifts to shoppers in the run up to the big day, these markets provide a delightful experience that contrasts to the usual high street madness that is Christmas shopping in the UK.
Research by the Nabma ROI team has shown that Christmas markets bring significant benefits to the towns that host them — generating more than £250 million in visitor spending at the markets, as well as positively impacting spending in other stores within the town. They can also have a positive impact on the local property market.
“There are many factors that make a town or city a desirable place to live and this includes the range of amenities. Once a location establishes itself as offering an enticing Christmas market each year, that becomes part of the overall attraction to the area — and the more attractive an area, the more success those investing in its property market can enjoy,” says Jean Liggett, the CEO of Properties of the World.
Jonathan Stephens, the CEO of Surrenden Invest, agrees.
“Homes by Christmas markets always attract keen interest at this time of year, whether they’re investment properties or those for sale to owner-occupiers,” he says. “Christmas markets give these properties a little something that other homes don’t have and many buyers are keen to take that into account when making their purchase.”
In light of the arrival of Christmas markets on the UK scene once more, we’ve included a round-up of the top properties near each market. We’ve even thrown in a couple of examples across the Channel, for property buyers looking for a French take on the festive season.
Of course, for some, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a good helping of snow. The Christmas market at Courchevel offers a snowy winter wonderland for shoppers looking for beautiful decorations and seasonal delicacies.
Property buyers looking to pick up a home in Courchevel will enjoy these luxurious ski apartments available through SkiingProperty.com: 14 two-bedroom apartments with communal pool, just 10 minutes’ walk from the nearest shops and slopes. Prices start at £660,591.
Photo courtesy SkiingProperty.com
London offers a range of Christmas markets, from Winter Wonderland to the stalls of the South Bank. This year, Hampstead Village will host its first Christmas fair, transforming the entire high street into a magical Christmas experience.
Those looking to pick up property as well as presents should check out Four 5 Two from Bellis Homes: 13 superb, balconied apartments with park views in a prominent Hampstead location. Prices start at £1.1 million.
Photo courtesy Four 5 Two
With an extensive market in front of the town hall that attracts millions of visitors each year, and a large ice rink for seasonal frolics, Manchester certainly can’t be accused of not getting into the Christmas spirit.
When it comes to homes near Manchester’s Christmas markets, it has to be Danforth Apartments from Properties of the World, just minutes from the city centre: 113 stylish homes within the village-like environment of Fortis Quay. Prices start at £124,995.
Photo courtesy Properties of the World
Already a mecca for shoppers, Birmingham ups its game each December with the largest German market located outside of Germany or Austria. Mulled wine, craft beers and Christmas crafts are the order of the day, as visitors soak up the festive atmosphere.
Property investors can enjoy the well-located B5 Southside development from Surrenden Invest: contemporary rental apartments just five minutes’ walk from New Street Station. Prices start at £155,000.
The recently renovated and re-opened Piece Hall in Halifax will this year host a spectacular Christmas extravaganza, including a carefully hand-picked festive market packed with local Yorkshire retailers and gourmet food providers.
Property investors need look no further than the nearby Martins Mill from Property Frontiers: a selection of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments in a stunning, 6-story converted mill. Prices start at £64,950.
Photo courtesy Property Frontiers