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Redfin: High-end home prices soar in Q2, outpace rest of market

Redfin: High-end home prices soar in Q2, outpace rest of market

By Ron Trujillo/

Luxury home price gains outpaced those of the overall market during the second quarter for the first time since 2014.

And two of the three best-performing luxury markets – considered the top 5% of sales – were in California, according to a Redfin report.

Luxury home prices increased an impressive 37.4% to $3.51 million in Irvine, the best performance in the nation. Irvine’s high-end home price gains were almost six times more than the rest of the market in the Orange County community (up 6.5% to $850,000).

Long Beach was the nation’s third best-performing luxury market, with a 25.4% increase to $1.7 million during the second quarter compared to a year ago. Long Beach had an average price gain of 8.3% to a more modest $521,000 for the overall market during the second quarter.

Irvine and Long Beach are benefiting from the tech economy, Orange County real estate agent Karl Stenske says.

“With technology companies continuing to move into the area, bringing high-wage jobs, we are seeing the related increase in demand impact high-end housing prices,” he says.

The upper-end housing market has been affected by a lack of inventory nationwide, but little competition exists for the highest-priced homes, says Nela Richardson, chief economist of Redfin.

“After five consecutive quarters of double-digit inventory growth, the number of million dollar-plus homes for sale dropped by 9.4%,” she says. “Yet despite the strong uptick in prices, the luxury market is not nearly as competitive as the rest of the market. Only one in 50 luxury homes sold above list price in the second quarter, compared to more than one in four homes in the bottom 95 percent.”

Feature photo of Long Beach marina by A.G. Baxter/Shutterstock. Photo of Irvine skyline by Lagunatic Photo/Shutterstock. Calif. has hottest markets

Eleven of the nation’s top 20 hottest markets in September were in California – and seven of the top 10 were in Northern California, according to

San Jose was the hottest marketing, followed by San Francisco and Vallejo, which held the top spot in August.

San Diego, Stockton, Santa Rosa, Sacramento and Modesto finished in the fifth through ninth spots, respectively. Only Fort Wayne, Ind. (No.4) and Detroit (No. 10) were the only out-of-state cities that could crack the top 10. ranks cities based on the days on the market and price appreciation.

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