Luxury-home sales are picking up in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley after nearly two years of high inventories, but there's still a number left on the market. The upscale cities combined have sold slightly more than 200 homes priced at $1 million or more.
The most expensive home sold in both cities since January went for $4.6 million. Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, where the majority of the luxury homes in East valley are located, have about 774 home listed for $1 million or more.
The most expensive listing in Paradise Valley is $8.9 million for a 10,000-square-feet home. Scottsdale's most expensive home is listed for $35 million for a 25,000-square-foot home.
"The luxury market has clearly improved since the war (with Iraq) started and has been even better since the war ended," said Jonathan Wainwright, partner in Scottsdale-based Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes. "The real black cloud fear of the economy seems to have waned a lot."
Home buyers in that price range rely on discretionary income and stock market returns, he said.
Coldwell Banker agents Walt Danley and Anthony Nicholas have sold six homes priced at $2 million or more since January in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Danley has another five luxury home deals in the process.
Danley has been selling luxury homes for 27 years and said the luxury housing market will continue to improve, but gradually. "The real estate market in north Scottsdale and Paradise Valley is a good investment," Nicholas said. "Compare our housing to Southern California, the value is here."
"There are so many homes on the market for any price range. The ones that are selling are good homes priced well."
Homes are selling near or at their list prices, agents say. Home buyers can get a sense if the home is priced right based on comparable sales prices in an area, but is limited because the homes are custom built.
"View, elevation, privacy and location; all those things really do play a factor in it," Nicholas said.
Myra Hansen and her husband, Craig, worked together to build, decorate and furnish a 9,500-square-foot home that sold in Troon North for $4.6 million within three weeks.
"I wouldn't say that the market is better or worse than nine months ago," said Craig Hansen. "It's about the same."