Mason and Deerfield Township buyers snapped up nearly $40 million in luxury homes last year, according to local data out this week.
The Luxury Market Report, released by Mariemont-based Comey & Shepherd, shows less than a five percent change in median sale prices for homes in this area priced at $500,000 and up.
In Mason and Deerfield Township, median sales prices for luxury homes declined from $650,000 in 2010 to $620,000 in 2011.
The number of transactions in that lofty price range dipped from 71 sales in 2010 to 57 sales in 2011. Total sales fell from the $50.4 million in luxury homes purchased in 2010 to $39.7 million in 2011.
As Lisa Bernard-Kuhn reports, it continues to be a buyer’s market for high-end homes across the region.
“There was a softening in prices last year,” said Scott Nelson, CEO at Comey & Shepherd Realtors. “Sellers were a little more realistic and ready to negotiate, and buyers continue to press the advantage they have in the market place.”
Since the housing market’s peak locally in 2005 and 2006, higher-end homes and condos have seen values slide by up to 30 percent in some neighborhoods, said Nelson.
Each year, his firm tracks 16 areas in Southwest Ohio where most of the high-end homes are sold: Amberley Village, Anderson Township/Newtown, Downtown/Over-the-Rhine, East Walnut Hills, Clifton, Hamilton Township/South Lebanon, Hyde Park/Mount Lookout, Indian Hill, Loveland/Symmes Township, Mariemont, Mason/Deerfield Township, Montgomery, Mount Adams, North Avondale, Terrace Park and West Chester/Liberty townships.
This year, Comey & Shepherd expanded the report to include five markets in Northern Kentucky: Fort Mitchell, Fort Thomas, Bellvue/Covington/Newport, Villa Hills and Union.
Last year, those combined markets accounted for 440 sales of homes priced at $500,000 and up, nearly flat from the 446 sales posted there in 2010, according to Comey & Shepherd’s annual report.
Sales rose in 13 of the 21 markets tracked. The biggest gain was in Hamilton Township and South Lebanon with 16 sales compared to 8 in 2010.
Overall, Indian Hill posted the most luxury home sales with 66 closings.
Median sales prices, meanwhile, dropped year-over-year in 17 of the markets tracked. The median price is the mid-point of all sale prices.
Downtown and Over-the-Rhine saw the biggest decline. The median sale price there fell nearly 36 percent to $500,000 from $778,750 in 2010. Mount Adams saw the biggest gain, with the median price rising 18 percent to $696,500 from $590,000.
Looking ahead, Nelson said the luxury market is poised for a slightly stronger recovery this year.
“Consumer confidence is returning, and the market has come into focus from a pricing standpoint,” he said. “I think we’ll perform better this year and begin to see prices level out.”
Comey & Shepherd real estate agent Bud White agrees. In the first three months of the year, he said he’s seen activity pick up at his higher-end listings.
“I think prices have begun to stabilize at this point, and I wouldn’t expect to see the continued erosion of prices that we have,” he said. “I think prices are about as low as they are expected to go.”