Written by John Egan
In the San Francisco, CA, metro area, many homes worth at least $1 million don’t actually fall into the luxury category. In fact, it’s almost a luxury if you can buy a home in the country’s most expensive housing market that’s valued at less than $1 million.
The story is similar in the neighboring San Jose, CA, metro area. Other West Coast markets like Los Angeles, CA, and Seattle, WA, also have relatively high shares of homes worth $1 million or more. Along the East Coast, the number homes in markets such as New York City, NY, and Boston, MA, hovers around 10 percent.
But what about the $1 million-plus inventory in markets between the East and West coasts — a vast stretch of the U.S. often referred to as “flyover country”? Where would you find the most homes worth at least $1 million in the more than two dozen states that aren’t on the East Coast or West Coast (or in Hawaii or Alaska)?
That distinction goes to the Denver, CO, metro area. A LawnStarter review of data from the Redfin real estate brokerage shows nearly 3.4 percent of homes in the biggest region in the Rocky Mountains are valued at $1 million or more.
Through the first 10 months of 2018, more than 1,800 homes and condos in the $1 million-and-above category were sold in the Denver area for a total of $2.75 billion, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. Here are two examples:
• In the Denver suburb of Greenwood Village, a nearly 16,300-square-foot mansion — complete with seven bedrooms and 11 bathrooms — sold for $5 million in October 2018.
• A four-bedroom, seven-bathroom condo in Denver’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood encompassing more than 5,100 square feet commanded almost $2.65 million in October 2018.
“The luxury market in Denver has continued to be strong, even while inventory has increased across the metro area,” says Jill Schafer, a broker associate with Denver’s Kentwood Real Estate. “The sales volume this year is at a record high for properties priced over $1 million in the 11-county metro area. And luxury homes are selling faster than ever, with the median days on the market at 39 in October.”
That activity is being buoyed by the growth of high-paying jobs in the Denver area and strong interest in high-end neighborhoods, Schafer says. Through October, about 5 percent of 2018’s home sales in the Denver area were single-family homes priced at $1 million or more.
Schafer says a number of factors are pushing up the number of $1 million-plus homes in the Denver area, including the scarcity of land in luxury neighborhoods, the rise in construction costs and increased demand generated by high-income workers.
“With prices increasing over the years, it is no surprise that there have been more and more million-dollar-plus properties sold,” says Andrew Abrams, a broker associate with Denver’s Vision Real Estate.
Based on LawnStarter’s analysis of data from Redfin, here are the 12 non-coastal markets in the U.S. with the biggest share of homes worth at least $1 million.
#1 Denver, CO
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 3.36%
#2 Austin, TX
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 2.86%
#3 Portland, OR
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 2.50%
#5 Phoenix, AZ
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 2.28%
#6 Nashville, TN
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 2.22%
#7 Chicago, IL
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 2.15%
#8 Dallas, TX
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 1.87%
#9 Las Vegas, NV
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 1.59%
#10 Houston, TX
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 1.57%
#11 New Orleans, LA
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 1.41%
#12 Salt Lake City, UT
Share of homes valued at $1 million-plus: 1.23%