By STEVEN M. SEARS
Prices of luxury real estate are finally starting to rise, as bargain hunters swoop in. Some of the best deals are in second homes with pricesoff as much as 40%.
AT LONG LAST, THE MARKET FOR LUXURY REAL estate is coming back to life.
Prices for primary residences, which plunged at least 20% from the peak in 2007, appear to have bottomed. In some of the snappiest locations, scattered bidding wars are breaking out and prices are turning upward.
There’s nothing like a stabilized economy and a huge rebound in stocks to send folks looking for the perfect manse. The return of hefty Wall Street bonuses hasn’t hurt, either.
With all that in mind, and with summer just around the corner, Barron’s sized up the market for upscale second homes, one of the greatest luxuries of all. We scoped out dozens of deluxe enclaves across the country, speaking with brokers, homeowners and others. Our conclusion: Now could be an excellent time to buy.
Prices are way down — 40% off the peak in some locations. Seemingly at or near bottom, they are starting to attract the first wave of bargain hunters — and not just families in need of R&R. Hard-nosed investors also are on the prowl, says Jan Reuter, head of residential real estate at U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management: “We’ve seen an uptick in buying in just the last couple of months.”
1. Maui Consistently rated the “Best Island in the World” by travel experts, this Hawaiian beauty underwent a growth spurt during the past decade that some critics bemoaned as excessive. But the southern coast, anchored by the hamlet of Wailea, has weathered it all well. One of the first master-planned resort communities in the nation, it’s a balanced blend of understated gated communities, luxury resort hotels, three excellent golf courses, a tennis center and, of course, several crescent sandy beaches. Wailea has 500 single-family homes, and their views are stunning: lush, verdant hills, brilliantly blue ocean and, after the steamy sun showers, rainbows over the horizon.
Median Price: $1.5 million
Drop From Peak: 27%
Neighbor: Oprah Winfrey
Visit www.LuxuryGreenRealEstateMaui.com to see ALL Wailea/Makena Property for Sale
Realtor (S), EcoBroker
Coldwell Banker Island Properties
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