In NYC, number of $1M-plus sales are down 13.5%

December 28, 2012 12:00PM

The luxury home market in the United States has made a comeback of sorts, but New York went against the trend, with a 13.5 percent year-over-year decrease in the number of luxury home sales, the Wall Street Journal reported. Even so, prices of units over $1 million were up to the current average of $2.37 million.

The number of nationwide sales of homes priced at $1 million and above rose by 9 percent to a four-year high, according to DataQuick MDA, a real-estate data firm that tracks public records in the 98 largest metro areas. This trend was attributed to more confident buyers and more realistic sellers, strong foreign demand, steep drops in the number of home listings, and a more welcoming home-financing market due to lower mortgage rates.

Atherton, Calif., had the highest luxury home prices in the country, with the prices of units above $1 million averaging  $3.77 million.

Though the national  numbers show a positive trend, the market is still recovering from the extreme lows of the recession. During the first nine months of the year, sales volume of U.S. properties over $1 million  were about half of what they were in at the peak of the housing boom in 2006. Lending standards are still conservative. Banks generally require at least 20% down payments, excellent credit and are thoroughly scrutinizing a borrower’s income and the property appraisal. [WSJ]– Hiten Samtani