What a $1 million home looks like in different markets from Les and Elaine

The $750,000–to–$1 million price range is the hottest part of the housing market, according to data released Monday. But what $1 million buys you in, say, San Francisco, is a lot different from what it can purchase in Peoria, Ill.

Preowned houses in that price range — which in many areas encompasses the “McMansion” market segment — seem to be selling quickly. While existing-home sales rose 3.2% overall in January 2014, they were 13% higher for homes in the $750,000–to–$1 million range.

But Redfin agent Mia Simon said the luxury homes that sell the fastest now aren’t the same, sprawling McMansions — those relatively ostentatious and relatively new homes targeting emerging upper-middle-class buyers — that used to be in demand.

“If you look at the appreciation trend over the past 10 years, the homes that were walkable saw the greatest appreciation, far eclipsing the McMansion homes that were popular in the past,” she said, indicating that buyers want to be able to walk to the grocery store and other local businesses, if not to work.

Here are the 10 cities with the priciest luxury-level housing in the fourth quarter:

Rank City Average Luxury Sale Price
1 Miami Beach, Fla. $8,337,000
2 Los Angeles $4,808,000
3 San Francisco $4,668,000
4 Boston $3,380,000
5 Irvine, Calif. $3,180,000
6 Kirkland, Wash. $2,506,000
7 Bellevue, Wash. $2,435,000
8 Huntington Beach, Calif. $2,426,000
9 Washington, D.C. $2,402,000
10 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. $2,353,000
Source: Redfin

Unlike other housing markets, areas with the highest volume of luxury-home sales aren’t driven by factors like the stock market or low interest rates.

“In Silicon Valley, the reasons mainly is job creation,” she said.

But you probably won’t be buying a McMansion in New York, San Francisco or Boston. “The idea of a McMansion is not really available at the million-dollar price point” in higher-end markets, said Simon. “I would say the price point to get that type of home would be around $4 million and above.”

Simon said Redfin has sold three condominium units costing between $900,000 and $1.1 million, near downtown Palo Alto, Calif., over the past three months. They ranged in size from 900 to 1,100 square feet.

See what McMansion’s look like today here

Elaine                                                     
DRE #00598428
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed

“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”

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