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12 Most Expensive U.S. Cities for Luxury Real Estate

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The U.S. housing market struggled during the spring as the coronavirus took hold. But it bounced back handsomely throughout the summer and fall, according to a recent report from MyAffordableLuxury, a lifestyle blog focused on the luxury market.

The report, citing Realtor.com, said that the median listing price in the U.S. was $350,000, up 12.2% year-over-year through October.

The luxury market has also had a good year, the report said, as wealthy people have been less affected by the pandemic.

Many well-to-do buyers headed for the suburbs, bidding up suburban luxury property and leaving the top luxury markets, New York and San Francisco, to deal with sluggish sales and discounted prices at the high end.

The report noted, however, that luxury markets are not equal, even in the country’s most expensive cities. Stark differences exist between New York and San Francisco alone, and become more pronounced when compared with other markets across the country.

“What will buy you a luxury property in Memphis, Tennessee, for instance, might not even be enough to buy you a proper one-bedroom in Manhattan,” the report said.

To find out what makes a truly luxury property in some of the largest cities in the U.S., MyAffordableLuxury researchers analyzed the top 10% of listings on Redfin and Zillow. Each listing had a price of at least $500,000, which the report said is a widely accepted definition for luxury property.

They then ranked all cities — 51 in total — based on the highest threshold necessary for a home to be labeled locally as luxury property. Markets that fell well below the $500,000 mark were excluded from the ranking.

See the panel (above) for the 12 cities with the most expensive luxury markets in the U.S.

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