Sales of $1 million homes are booming, even as overall sales have sputtered this year.
It's further evidence of how the nearly six-year economic recovery has favored the wealthy. Those with epic stock portfolios, superb credit and cash to spare are snapping up estates, pied-a-terres and beachside cottages. Some of this shopping spree comes courtesy of the Standard & Poor's 500 climbing an additional 13 percent this year, while mortgage rates had slid below 4 percent and made it much easier to borrow.
The real estate brokerage Redfin recently reported that sales of properties costing more $1 million climbed 9 percent year-over-year, based on data from the July to October quarters. Overall sales slipped 1.2 percent.
These luxury homes are ascendant even though they represent less than 3 percent of the market. More than 60 percent of the U.S. homes sold in November cost less than $250,000 — and their sales have tumbled over the past 12 months, the National Association of Realtors said last week.
But as this slideshow of homes from Realtor.com reveals, what $1 million gets you can vary drastically across the country. In St. Louis, it can secure a Beaux Arts mansion. In Atlanta, it's enough for a charming craftsman. In Boston, it covers a two-bedroom condominium.