Feb 15, 2022 - News

Austin's ultra-luxury homes in demand

Illustration of a real estate for sale sign with a fire emoji on it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Austin is out-Dallasing Dallas on the real estate front.

Driving the news: Sales are jumping for $10 million-plus homes, per a new report by real estate brokerage firm Compass.

By the numbers: Real estate agents did at least $189 million in sales involving at least 11 such homes in the Austin area in 2021.

  • That's one more than in Big D, which saw 10 such transactions in 2021 in the Metroplex.
  • Los Angeles recorded the most ultra-luxury sales nationally, with 628 over $10 million.

Don't worry: When Elon finally does settle on a house, he can pay all cash.

Of note: There are actually a lot more ultra-luxury homes that trade hands each year; the Compass stats are for MLS listings and don't include off market ones.

  • As many as 75% of ultra-luxury properties are sold off-market due to concerns about "privacy on many different levels," Compass real estate agent Dara Allen tells Axios.
  • The privacy concerns include "security, personal, fiscal and just the need for discretion."

What they're saying: While most $10 million-plus properties on the market are found around Lake Austin, downtown condos and large-lot suburban homes in guard-gated communities are now earning the showy price-tag.

  • "The prioritization of more square footage, larger lots, luxury amenities, and privacy is sending buyers as far out as Spanish Oaks and Dripping Springs," Allen said. "This is commonly credited to work-from-home. People are spending more time at home and need space for sometimes even multiple home offices.
  • "Moreover, sellers are still holding tight despite their homes being worth more than they ever have been, and buyers are coming from surprising places" — such as Canada, northern states like Illinois, and southeastern states like Georgia, she added.

What's next: Compass forecasts 20% year-over-year appreciation in the luxury market, with strong demand from the main feeder markets of California, New York, Chicago and Florida.

The bottom line: It's not just the middle-class and low-income folks finding the Austin real estate market is red hot.

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