This is the first of a regular video blog series we’re launching, called “Perspectives”. In this first episode, Jon Mand and John Lenihan will be sharing some market information and trends that they are seeing from the perspective as Louisville’s #1 luxury real estate firm.
2013 was really a breakout year for the Louisville market and I think the real story is that the recovery is here. Wherever you look, there are stories about the improvement in real estate, but everyone is looking at it as early in the recovery cycle. For our market, across a wide range of indicators, we are seeing activity that rivals the peak from 9 or 10 years ago. The total market sold nearly 15,000 homes in 2013, an increase of 15% from 2012. Putting that number in perspective, the Louisville market bottomed out in 2011 with just under 11,000 home sales after reaching a peak of 15,200 homes in 2006 so we are within just a few hundred sales of the peak reached in 2005 & 2006.
The recovery hasn’t been evenly distributed across the market, and for the second year in a row we’ve really seen the high-end segment lead the way and outperform the overall market by a wide margin. Sales of homes above $400k were up nearly 27% in 2013 after a 21% increase in 2012. The increased volume of high-end sales has also pulled the average and median sale prices for Louisville to their highest levels in the last 10 years.
The level of active listing inventory is at the lowest level we’ve seen in 10 years and we’re poised to enter the spring with unseasonably low number of listings. We’re starting to see the market shift in favor of the sellers with multiple offers and properties selling the first day on the market occurring more and more often.
As inventory levels have decreased we’re beginning to experience price appreciation within certain sub-markets. The average selling price per square foot for high-end homes (above $500k) increased 6.6% last year to $192psf after nearly 4 straight years of decline putting it within 6% of the high of $204 that was reached in 2008.
While the number of sales for the overall market has improved by 36% since 2011, the high-end market has improved by 54%.
Another bright spot has been the ultra high-end of $1MM+ home sales. This is an very thin segment in the Louisville market and it really took a dive during the recession dropping from a high of 53 sales in 2007 to a low of 17 sales in 2010, a reduction of over 2/3rds! However, 2013 was a great year for our clients in this price range as we saw 43 transactions completed and the momentum has carried over with great activity so far this year.