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Number of million-dollar homes in US surges as prices rise

The million-dollar home is no longer such a rare species.

The number of U.S. homes valued at $1 million or more increased by 400,702 this year, the largest annual rise since the housing price recovery began in 2012, according to a new study by real estate research firm Trulia. Slightly more than 3 million homes nationally, or 3.6% of the total, are worth at least $1 million, up from 3.1 percent last year and 1.5 percent in 2012.

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Not surprisingly, many of the freshly minted million-dollar units are in California, which already boasts the most in the country. The San Jose and San Francisco metro areas have the largest shares of $1 million homes and also notched the biggest increases over the past year.          

Meanwhile, 29 cities and towns joined those with a median home value of $1 million or more this year, bringing the total to 201. Nineteen municipalities joined the million-dollar club last year.

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They include San Jose, California, whose median value rose from $930,900 to $1.09 million; Fremont, California ($966,000 to $1.13 million); Burbank, California ($845,700 to $1.01 million); Newton, Massachusetts ($977,200 to $1.07 million); and Shelter Island, N.Y. ($903,500 to $1.15 million)          

Trulia Senior Economist Cheryl Young attributed the big jump to widespread home price increases in recent years, with the median national home price climbing 7.6 percent the past year to $220,100. The median, or midpoint, of all home prices is up 45.3 percent since 2012. Housing demand has been strong while supplies are low, driving values higher.          

“Home values have been escalating… And at about $1 million, there’s even greater appreciation,” she says.

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Of the roughly 15,100 larger neighborhoods around the country analyzed by Trulia, 838 have median home values of $1 million or more and about two thirds of those are in California. Nearly 30 percent of California’s neighborhoods have a median home price of at least $1 million, the most by far of any state. New York, Florida and Washington followed.          

The 10 metro areas that posted the largest increases in share of $1 million homes the past year:

San Jose, California

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 55.7 percent

Share, October 2018: 70 percent

San Francisco

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 67.3 percent

Share, October 2018: 81 percent

Oakland, California

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 24.9 percent

Share, October 2018: 30.7 percent

Honolulu

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 16.2 percent

Share, October 2018: 19.8 percent

Orange County, California

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 17.2 percent

Share, October 2018: 20.2 percent

Los Angeles

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 17.5 percent

Share, October 2018: 19.6 percent

San Diego

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 11.8 percent

Share, October 2018: 13.8 percent

Seattle

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 11.4 percent

Share, October 2018: 13.3 percent

Ventura County, California

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 8.9 percent

Share, October 2018: 10.5 percent

Long Island, N.Y.

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 8.8 percent

Share, October 2018: 10.1 percent

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