Back in the old days — like, two years ago! — a million-dollar real estate deal was something special. Million-dollar sales did not happen often. They were reserved for only the very top …
Back in the old days — like, two years ago! — a million-dollar real estate deal was something special. Million-dollar sales did not happen often. They were reserved for only the very top end of the market. They brought celebrations in real estate offices, prestige for both buyers and sellers, and press releases to the media.
In many of this region’s communities, they happened a few times a year.
Now they happen every week.
The million-dollar sale is so routine it’s almost commonplace, as both prices and buying power continue an unprecedented surge.
A decade ago, $500,000 would buy the picture-perfect, middle class family home in Barrington, and $1 million would buy a nice estate overlooking the water. Today, many of those nice family homes are now million-dollar properties, and the luxury estates start at $1.5 million and climb from there.
Matt Antonio, broker with the Chart House team of Keller Williams, is a numbers guy. He researched the recent history of million-dollar sales in Barrington. Looking at the last three 12-month cycles (summer of 2018 to 2019; 2019 to 2020; and 2020 to 2021), reveals a 250% explosion in the number of million-dollar sales in Barrington.
In the cycle from 2018 to 2019, there were 19 total transactions of $1 million or more. In the next 12-month cycle, there were 30. In the last 12 months, there have been 49, with 35 of them occurring between $1 million and $1.5 million. It’s the new sweet spot for a fantastic family home.
“Not long ago, a million-dollar home was a real luxury home,” Matt said. “Now, in our markets, a million-dollar home can be a really nice, upper middle class home that’s in good shape in a great neighborhood.”
Matt and his team at Chart House have found there is still a dividing line in the market — somewhere north of a million dollars. “We see a lot of today’s modern families, with dual incomes, professional people with healthy incomes, they’re willing to buy homes up to $1.3, $1.4 million … That’s a common stopping point. When you get above that number, that’s where you start to see the scales tip. That’s where you see a more significant piece of property, a bigger home, an exclusive location … and that’s where you start to see a different kind of buyer. That’s where the buying pool gets a lot smaller.”
The market is fluid, and it’s also intelligent. Prices have surged in response to the forces of supply (little) and demand (lots), but they’ve also recognized the expanded buying power of the modern family. It’s not unusual to find a young family with two high-income earners, both bringing home robust six-figure incomes. With that sort of cash flow, the million-dollar purchase can be comfortably within reach.
So the million-dollar sale is still special — it’s just not as unique as it used to be.