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Barron’s Cover | SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2011
Best Places for Second Homes
By STEVEN M. SEARS AND MARK VEVERKA
As prices of luxury homes rebound, we rank 15 stunning settings.
When Barron’s called the bottom of the market for expensive second homes just about a year ago, some folks wondered what kind of caviar we’d been eating.
Prices of high-end homes had sunk 20% from their 2007 peak, and vacation homes were doing even worse, with some markets off 40%. America’s mainstream housing scene was getting pounded by foreclosures, and anxious pundits were warning of a double-dip recession.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but we were right.
Home prices in moneyed enclaves from Beverly Hills to Aspen to Greenwich climbed more than 10% last year, according to data from realty brokers and other experts and conversations with local residents. Though the rebound has been lumpy, the general uptrend looks to be firmly in place.
Two years after the worst of the financial crisis, the rich have dusted themselves off and resumed some serious discretionary spending. Both sales volume and prices are clearly on the rise for luxury vacation homes, one of the greatest indulgences of all. Prices for the majority of the 15 locales in our annual ranking of best places for second homes climbed in 2010, sometimes dramatically.
In seeking out and ranking these havens, we looked for beauty, comfort, convenience, a range of lifestyles and — always the paramount criterion at Barron’s — value. We wanted prices that had clearly hit bottom and were either rising or ready to rise.
The price of paradise is about to go up. After two down years, sales are gaining strength in the serene and lovely towns of Wailea and Makena. Sales volumes in these adjacent locales rose 35% last year, and total dollar volume vaulted 135%. While the median home price is $1.7 million, the asking prices for the several oceanfront homes listed for sale in Wailea and Makena range from $5.7 million to $22 million. In all, there are 53 homes on the market. One of the best values is Makena Place, a gated community of just 10 homes on five acres at the ocean’s edge. You’ll get outstanding views of the Pacific Getting to truly sandy beaches requires a five-minute walk, so remember to pack the flip-flops.
Median 2009: $1.5 million
Median 2010: $1.7 million
CLICK HERE TO SEE WAILEA/MAKENA LUXURY HOMES FOR SALEEcoBroker, Realtor(S) Meghan Clair of Coldwell Banker-Wailea Shops Office specializes in assisting Buyers find THE BEST South Maui Oceanfront and Luxury Investments.
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