San Francisco’s median sales price is now $1 million. Between April and June, a record number of houses and condominiums sold for $1 million and over: the pricey properties made up a large portion of the region’s overall sales, the Associated Press reported. Six of the Bay Area’s nine counties also set records for the number of residences sold for more than $2 million. The recent records have sparked assertions that the Bay Area market is joining the real estate ranks of New York City. Brokers and analysts attribute the increase to the rapid growth of Silicon Valley’s tech industry as well as the 49 square-mile city’s limited housing supply. Although many buyers work in technology, Asian investors and retirees from other major cities are also buying homes.
The percentage of homeowners is declining in Philadelphia. From 2000 to 2012, the number of owner-occupied homes dropped from 59.3 percent to 52.2 percent, a Pew Charitable Trust survey found. The decline contrasts with the years before: between 1990 and 2000, the homeownership rate fell only 1.5 percent. The limited economic benefits of homeownership may be a contributing factor, according to Philly.com. On average, home values suffered an 18 percent decrease in the city and a 22 percent decrease in suburban areas between 2007 and 2012. An even bigger cause is an influx of new, young residents, who are opting to rent rather than buy. So although the actual number of homeowners remains the same, a rising number of new residents is causing the percentage to drop.
Cleveland’s City Council approved a $700 million mixed-use development on the Lake Erie waterfront, an area currently occupied by industrial buildings and mostly fenced off. The development would add more than 1,000 apartments to the downtown area, which has seen a population increase of 88 percent since 2000, the Wall Street Journal reported. The project also calls for office and retail space. Developers are beginning to target the waterfronts of smaller cities, because they offer low prices and high potential profits. Cleveland is following in the footsteps of cities such as Baltimore, Seattle and San Francisco, which have already embraced their waterfronts.
Houston’s housing market is heating up, with inventory levels dropping and demand rising. Of 23 national metro areas, the city saw the largest decline in housing inventory over the past year, the Houston Business Journal reported. The single-family housing stock fell 13 percent between 2013 and 2014, to 17,065 homes from 19,595. The housing shortage is a result of a rising population that is fueling demand. As a result, homes are selling more quickly and prices are climbing. Houston homes are spending a median of 17 days on the market, making the city the fourth fastest-moving market in the country. Additionally, the median home sales price rose to $215,000 in 2014 from $192,500 in 2013, a 12 percent jump. Now homebuilders are ramping up their pace to take advantage of the hot market.
A Las Vegas compound where singer Michael Jackson lived from 2007 to 2009 was listed for $19.5 million. Owned by philanthropist Aner Iglesias, the 24,000-square-foot home is situated on 1.7 acres. The property features 12 bedrooms, a 74-seat medieval chapel, recording studios and a secret underground tunnel, which Jackson used to avoid helicopter paparazzi.
Model Heidi Klum sold her 12,300-square-foot, faux-European mansion for $24 million. Klum and then-husband Seal purchased the property for $14.2 million in 2010, and the house was listed in late June for $25 million. Built in 1999 on 8.5 acres, the eight-bedroom, 10-bathroom home features a courtyard with fountain, library with a bookcase from Napoleon’s country home in France, infinity pool, formal rose gardens and rolling greens for golf putting.
Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Cy Young–award winning San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum listed his four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom mansion for $3.995 million. He purchased the 11,000-square-foot home in 2012 for $3.4 million. The property features an indoor basketball court with retractable batting cage, theater room with bar, pool with two waterfalls, whirlpool spa, sun deck and built-in grilling station.
The late singer-songwriter John Denver’s home hit the market for $10.75 million. Built in the early 1970s, the 6,000-square-foot home features six bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, four wood-burning fireplaces, an outdoor swimming pool and a guest house that Denver used as a recording studio. The sprawling 7.6 acre property also boasts luxurious mountain views.