Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Million Dollar Houses are Boring

Million dollar houses are a non-event these days. Marin has more than its fair share which makes it a rather blasé place as far as houses are concerned. Not so long ago a million dollars was a lot of money, but not anymore.

I'm blogging this article only because after this housing bubble plays out it will be astonishing to many (but humorous to the rest of us) to look back at it.

As one commentor on a blog put it, "the price is a matter of opinion but the debt is real".

Some choice quotes:
"For the first time, there are more than 1 million owner-occupied homes in the United States worth $1 million or more, according to a Census Bureau survey published late last month."

"Once a symbol of unusual wealth, million-dollar dwellings now seem like a dime a dozen in some places. San Francisco alone has more than 20,000 of them. There are another 46,000, or so, in Orange County, Calif."

"The surge in high-end prices has happened quickly. The Census Bureau’s 2004 American Community Survey found 1,034,386 homes worth at least $1 million in 2004, compared to 595,441 in 2002 and only 394,878 in 2000."


Blogger Cole Kenny said...

Great blog. I have a chart on my site with the Million-Dollar home numbers for California for each year since 1988. You can find it at this link. Also, I've posted a Housing Bubble poll on my site. The more participants, the more interesting the results. Cole @ The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble

Sep 28, 2005, 5:31:00 PM  
Blogger marine_explorer said...

Agreed, with 80%+ of the homes in Marin, there's nothing special to distinguish from many other local communities. In fact, some regions have notably more character, such as Berkeley. It's sort of telling that many $1M+ homes in Marin were originally built for low-median income familes; why do we suppose well-paid professionals want such homes? Despite the prices/incomes, there's even a drabness to towns like Ross.

On another note, have you ever seen stats on the volume or percentage of properties bought by investors during this bubble (for Marin)? That might suggest the degree of future price instability.

Sep 29, 2005, 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

Marin used to be rather "blue collar" and home to a lot of artists and hippies. Well, some are still around but the transmogrification to "generalized yuppiedom" is remarkable.

Sep 29, 2005, 3:45:00 PM  

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