America’s Richest Home Market Rebounds

Once the home of wild Hippie partying, America’s richest home market is making a come back in luxury housing sales. Marin County, California just north of the scenic Golden Gate bridge is America’s richest housing market based on highest average net worth and it’s seeing a revival in luxury home sales.

Marin County

As Marin rebounds from recessionary all-time low home sales, it hasn’t been without a battle since luxury homes in Marin saw their values drop by 70% from the markets peak.

Sixty-five homes sold for more than $1-million in April, accounting for a 63% jump over March, according to sales figures tabulated from MLS records for the entire marketplace. The threshold marks a major improvement for the luxury home market, battered by the economic downturn and double-digit high unemployment in California.

The most expensive sale in Marin County was a five-bedroom, seven-bath 8,000-square foot estate in Tiburon selling for $7.8 million.

“Sales have been strong in the entry level market in Marin County and throughout the Bay Area for some time, and now it appears that the mid and upper end of the market is rebounding as well,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Bay Area.

Tiburon California Home

Fewer foreclosures and distress home sales account for the improvement as bankers withhold foreclosures from the market in efforts to drive home values higher. In Southern Marin, which includes scenic Sausalito adjacent to the Golden Gate 25% of the inventory priced above the $2-million range were in escrow in April, an increase of 18% over a year ago.

The rich still like their tax credits, the market shows as the upper income bracket took advantage of the federal government’s move-up buyers credit, which ended April 30th. Although the credit primarily helped to produce a surge in home sales for first time buyers, the incentive also acted to drive a rise in the higher end market with a special $10,000 California tax credit.

However, a series of hurdles remain for the troubled high-end market, which has seen more difficulty than many other sectors of the housing market due to a lack of easily available mortgage financing.