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Market hot, too, for expensive homes in Reno

By John Seelmeyer
Published: Last Updated on
luxury real estate

Million-dollar homes in Reno are selling faster these days than a year ago, although sellers of those top-end homes still can’t expect that they’ll fly off the market quite as quickly as less-expensive houses.

Newcomers moving from regions with more-expensive housing — the San Francisco area, for one — are providing some of the fuel for the upper-end market.  But not all of it.

The Reno-Sparks area saw the sale of 330 homes priced at $1 million or more during 2020 — 326 of them in Reno and four in Sparks, says Gary MacDonald, president of the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors.

The high-priced homes in Reno were on the market an average of 83 days before they came under contract.  That means they sold about two weeks more quickly than a year earlier, when more expensive homes were on the market of average of 98 days.

In Sparks, where last year’s four sales of million-dollar homes are such a small number that statistics easily can be skewed by even one unusual deal, the average time that expensive homes were on the market last year was 210 days compared with 180 days in 2019.

By comparison, homes across all price ranges in Reno and Sparks recently have been under contract an average of about 30 days after they were listed for sale, reflecting a very hot market.

The Realtors group has noted that the supply of existing homes listed for sale has been very tight in recent months, while demand has been strong as workers move here for jobs in the vibrant local economy.

Among the million-dollar homes that sold last year, the median price in Reno was $1.3 million.  That’s down a sliver from the median price of $1.35 million a year earlier.  In Sparks, the median of the four upper-end home sales last year was about $1.2 million, compared with $1.05 million in 2019.

Buyers in the market for upper-end homes today have their pick of 102 luxury properties listed for sale in Reno and Sparks.

As the price of all housing in the region has pushed upward — the median sales price of an existing home in Reno was $500,000 in December — homes carrying a million-dollar price tag naturally will become more common.

MacDonald says some of the support for million-dollar homes in Reno comes as the region continues to attract buyers from more-expensive California markets.

The median price of a single-family home in the Bay Area late last year stood at $1.7 million. That’s more than three times the median price in the Reno-Sparks area. At that, a family in San Francisco could sell an average-priced home in California, buy one of the more expensive homes on the market in Reno and still have cash left over.

MacDonald notes, however, that the upper-end market also is fueled by professionals from elsewhere who began working remotely with onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and now have decided to live in amenity-rich communities such as Reno and Sparks.

“Buyers are coming from all over the country and the world,” he says.

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