Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The Number of Million-Dollar Homes in the U.S. Has Doubled in Four Years

There are more than 2 million homes in the U.S. worth more than $1 million

They have their own word for million dollar listings in San Francisco: Listings.

There were 190,000 homes worth at least $1 million in the San Francisco metropolitan area in May 2016, or 57 percent of the city’s housing stock. That’s three times the amount from May 2012, and the highest share among the 100 largest U.S. metros, according to a report published today by Trulia.

Nationwide, the number of million-dollar homes doubled to 2.2 million over that time, driven by increasing values in a handful of big cities. As the chart below shows, 10 metropolitan areas make up two-thirds of the million-dollar homes captured by the data.  

In San Francisco, the median home price increased by 67 percent from March 2012 to March 2016, according to estimates from Zillow, rising to just over $806,000. (Zillow makes its historical home price data a little easier to surface than Trulia; both websites are owned by the same parent company.) Median home prices in Las Vegas, which has 6,600 million-dollar homes, increased 76 percent over the same period, landing at $203,000. There could also be artificial factors influencing home values within a narrow range. New York City’s mansion tax, a 1 percent surcharge that kicks in on homes sold for $1 million or more, gives buyers a reason to stop bidding at $999,999—even though that kind of money hardly buys a mansion in New York City anymore. 

You can learn a little more when you drill down within metropolitan areas, said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. For instance, there are parts of San Mateo, Calif., where the share of million-dollar homes has increased by eight or nine times—increases that reflect the appeal of neighborhoods that are accessible to high-paying jobs while offering housing stock that’s conducive to families.

The raw numbers still have some shock value. Los Angeles had the largest total of million-dollar homes, according to Trulia, with 291,000. 

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