with sales of homes valued at $1 million and above, which accounted for 16 percent of their total sales.
California: In January of 2008, Newport Beach achieved an all-time record with the sale of a $30 million home. In the fourth quarter of 2007, Pacific Union in San Francisco sold 33 residences for more than $3 million each, almost double the number for the same quarter in 2006. “All our high-end properties ($10 million and above) are selling for more than they would have a year ago,” says Jeffery Hyland of Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills. Hyland explains that there is too much money and too little luxury inventory.
New England and Eastern Seaboard: “In our market, the specialty property or the generational asset, well-priced, is eminently saleable,” says Robert Borden, President of LandVest. “They are sold at record prices sometimes and notwithstanding what is reported in the general media.” In 2007, LandVest achieved state record sale prices for single-family homes in Vermont ($8.5 million), New Hampshire ($9 million), and Maine ($10.5 million). Lila Delman Real Estate in Newport, Rhode Island, reports that the company’s dollar volume is up 41 percent from 2006 to 2007, with an average sales price increase of 18 percent over the same period.
Florida: In Palm Beach, sales have remained steady, with the number of single-family homes sold increasing by 12 percent in 2007 (compared to 2006) and the average price of a single-family house rising nearly 16 percent (compared to 2006) to $5.3 million in 2007, according to Brown Harris Stevens. “We, too, continue to see growth in the luxury market,” says Tom Bringardner, President of Premier Properties of Southwest Florida, Inc. “The number of sales and dollar volume of sales over $3 million in Southwest Florida including Naples, Marco Island, and Bonita Springs was up over 2006 results. In 2008, the number and dollar amount of our escrow deposits has been increasing, showings are increasing, and I believe these are both leading indicators of pent-up demand.” Premier Estate Properties in Boca Raton sold a $19-million Delray Beach oceanfront estate, as well as the highest-recorded sale of land in Manalapan Beach for $11 million. David Omler of Paradise Properties of Brevard in Satellite Beach near Cape Canaveral also bucked the Florida trend in which some brokerages have reported a two-thirds drop in total sales. Omler’s company sales are up 6 percent over 2006, and in the past year, he acquired four small companies. “We’re not Palm Beach or Boca Raton, where every home is a million-dollar home,” he says. “In 2007, however, I sold the most million-dollar homes in company history, and the activity for this market since the first of the year is like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
Midwest: In St. Louis, over the past six months, a total of 76 homes priced at $1 million and above sold, with an average of 107 days on market. The list-to-sales price ratio was 94 percent. “While purchasers remain cautious about the economy and