Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Luxury Liners


Luxury not selling

Sales of all Triangle homes have been off 28 percent through the first nine months of the year. But sales of luxury homes -- those $500,000 and above -- are off 66 percent, according to a Triangle Area Residential Realty report that tracks the luxury market through Sept. 30.

The market for homes above $1 million, albeit small, is particularly shaky. At least 121 homes priced above $1 million were sold during the first nine month of 2008. That's down 28 percent from last year. At the same time, the number of million-dollar homes listed for sale grew 59 percent -- more than twice the growth rate of all listings.

"Developers kind of were convinced that we were Atlanta and that we were going to have this massive influx of people who were going to buy $1 million housing," said Stacey P. Anfindsen, an appraiser a Birch Appraisal Group of Cary, who prepared the report. "That's the bet that they made. And they lost."

In Fallonia's neighborhood, this translates to 4 unoccupied speculative monoliths and at least 4 unsold but occupied overthetoppers. In addition, two are currently being readied for the market, one other avoided foreclosure by selling for a $500,000 loss.

The greatest mystery is the unoccupied owner built mansionette (you can't be a mansion on less than .5 acres, can you?) nearby. Best guess is that by not occupying until after the new year, the gargantuan property tax increase is avoided a little longer. A little troublesome considering every one on the street got whopped, except the most expensive house out there.

Is there any wonder why these massive replacement homes are seen with mixed feelings in older neighborhoods?