What $1 Million Buys In Homes Across The U.S.
Just depends on where you are looking.
You may get lucky if you're in the Midwest. Due to stagnant job growth in the northern part of the region, and layoffs in the auto and manufacturing industries, median home sales prices are down more than 4 percent across the region from fourth-quarter 2005 to fourth-quarter 2006,
A silver lining in the current housing slump? A million-dollar home may be within your reach.
Just depends on where you are looking.
You may get lucky if you're in the Midwest. Due to stagnant job growth in the northern part of the region, and layoffs in the auto and manufacturing industries, median home sales prices are down more than 4 percent across the region from fourth-quarter 2005 to fourth-quarter 2006, according to National Association of Realtors (NAR). For now this means homes way above the million-dollar mark can be yours for less.
These dips, however, does not necessarily mean steals are available everywhere. Experts say the market may remain soft but the recovery time will be quicker than in slumps past.
"As home sales moderate, overall home prices will be essentially flat this year," says Lereah, NARs chief economist. "The good news is that inventories remain well below the levels experienced during the last housing downturn in the early 1990s, and supplies are close to balance in many areas."
Good Deals, Pricier Finds
In the Indianapolis area, where many homes were down an average of 5 percent according to the NAR, one will find a 1912 mansion boasting 11,000 square feet of total space, and 18 rooms, including formal dining rooms and parlors as well as seven bedrooms.
A car park must be as elegant as the autos it holds. These fit the bill.
But other areas are seeing growth, which means your money won't get you as far.
In New York, where the NAR says median home prices in the five boroughs have grown between 18 percent and 27 percent in the last year, $1 million nets an entry-level 1,125-square-foot apartment with two bedrooms in Greenwich Village. Take heart, however; the building allows pets.
Across the country, in Portland, Ore., there was an 11 percent increase in home prices last year. There, $1 million nabs a 3,600-square-foot home with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a detached parking garage and a walled-in front yard.
For that same cost in Oklahoma City, a market improving at 7 percent, buyers can expect quite a bit more for their money. Here, a brick English Tudor-style home with 4,480 square feet of space, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two fireplaces and a two car garage can be had.
In the market for a seven-figure home but not sure where to look? Real estate agents say that within a city or metropolitan area, the neighborhoods with the fastest housing value growth are generally outside neighborhoods not known for being posh.
In Charlotte, N.C., which grew at an 8 percent clip last year despite a Southeast regional slump of -3.7 percent, homes breaking into the million-dollar range are popping up quickest in the north end of town, as opposed to the traditionally well moneyed south end.
"The southern part of Charlotte is growing, but not as fast ... a lot of money is moving north towards the [city's] lakes," says Francine Dupont, a broker at Dupont Real Estate, an affiliate of Keller Williams. "Parcels in the northern part of Charlotte, which were $100,000 and $200,000 three years ago, have doubled, and homes that were $500,000 and $600,000 are over a million."
This is indicative of what some are seeing nationwide. As luxury homes continue to pop up in cities like Charlotte, where job creation is strong, there is something of a geographic refocusing. Luxury homeowners from higher-priced markets move to take advantage of better affordability and as a result the luxury sectors in those higher priced markets experience a softening -- more homes are available with fewer resident buyers.
The result? Neighborhoods quickly climbing in value, set to be filled with million dollar homes in the next five years, gain at the expense of higher priced areas where homeowners are worried about selling their home.
But don't be surprised if on your next seven-figure house hunt, you find less domain for your dollar. Because the overall market is tightening, buyers aren't as loose with their money as they were when any property they bought was almost guaranteed to appreciate in value. Now, according to home builders there is an increasing emphasis on quality per dollar as opposed to size per dollar. In other words, the era of McMansions may be coming to a close.
In past years, builders could throw together a large house, slap a $1 million price tag on it and expect the property to sell. A sign that new luxury constructions are of a higher quality grade? They're being built smaller, according to research from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
"The size of houses has peaked," says Gopal Ahluwalia, NAHB's vice president for research. "People are beginning to make trade offs. Square footage is getting smaller in upscale homes, but ceiling heights are getting higher, for example."