Luxury Real Estate is Booming, Fueled by All-Cash Offers

Luxury real estate sales increased more than 2% in the first quarter of 2024 – its largest year-over-year gain in three years.
April 28, 2024
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Real estate today is a tale of two markets:

  • Luxury real estate, defined as homes in the top 5% of their metro area by value, is thriving
  • Meanwhile, the rest of the market is stagnating due to high-interest rates and low inventory

According to Redfin, in the first quarter of 2024, luxury real estate sales increased by 2%, while overall real estate sales decreased by 4%. The divergence between the luxury and overall real estate markets is due to interest rates and supply.

Interest rates

With mortgage rates at 7.89% for a 30-year fixed loan, most home buyers are finding prices are out of their budget. On the other hand, home buyers interested in the luxury real estate market are less susceptible to the high rates since they are more often than not purchasing homes in all-cash deals. According to Redfin, nearly half of all luxury homes sold in the quarter were purchased in all-cash deals.


The overall supply in the real estate market is down because many homeowners are locked into low rates from the past. If they were to sell and buy elsewhere, they would pay higher interest rates until they can refinance. Since wealthy homeowners are more likely to buy their next home in an all-cash offer, they are less worried about trading out of a low-rate mortgage like most Americans and can sell now. According to Redfin, the number of luxury homes for sale increased 13%, while the overall real estate market experienced a 3% decline.

As luxury real estate thrives, the rest of us wonder if we'll ever be able to afford a home that doesn't include a side of ramen noodles for dinner.

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