The Houston Assoication of Realtors’s most recent monthly report shows that sales of homes listed at $500,000 and higher are down 8.7% year over year. This gives the impression that the luxury market is suffering along with the recent oil slump – but Realtors are telling another story.
Nancy Almovodar, founder of Nan & Co. luxury residential brokerage, says that near half of her listings are sold off-market. This can skew HAR’s sales data, and mask what’s really going on. “I haven’t seen any impact from low oil,” Almovodar said. “It hasn’t slowed down at all.”
One promising sector of the luxury home market are condominiums, said Kristina Houston, a Realtor with Nan & Co. and Highrises.com. As Baby Boomers become empty-nesters and begin to retire en masse, many of these “active adults” ages 55 and older are looking for an easy-to-maintain, lock-and-leave lifestyle, Houston said. Many of these condo buyers have done well for themselves over their career and are able to purchase a luxury condo from the sale of their single-family home, she said.