Cheap Chic: Home-Price Erosion Hits the $5 Million-Plus Market
A slice of the good life — the really good life — has gotten a lot more affordable lately. From Miami to Beverly Hills, homes with bowling alleys, theaters, steam rooms, heated decks, six-bay garages and other luxury must-haves are sitting on the market for at least twice as long as they did a year ago, and many sellers are doing what was, until recently, unthinkable: slashing prices. “Sellers are listening to offers they wouldn’t have considered before,” says Anita Bigelman, a broker/owner at Harding Realty in Miami. “We just sold a house for $10.5 million that was listed for $12 million. Before, that would have never happened.”
After seeming impervious to the main market’s woes of the past two years, homes in the $5 million-plus market have come down an estimated 10% to 15% in the past two quarters, and they are likely to shed another 10% or more over the next 12 months, according to Housing Predictor, a Destin, Fla., company that crunches data on 250 U.S. regions. “The high-end market is the fortress of the real-estate asset class, and the inner sanctum has been breached,” says David Darst, chief investment strategist at Morgan Stanley.
The homes featured in this story give a sense of just how far your real-estate dollar will go now at various pricing levels from $5 million to more than $50 million. You’ll clearly get more than you would have even a few months ago, but with some further price declines likely, bargain hunters will want to proceed with caution.