10 Off-Beat Cities Named Best Places to Retire

10 Off-Beat Cities Named Best Places to Retire
U.S. News & World Report | REALTOR® Mag News | October 22, 2018

Retirees may want to head to Lancaster, Pa. The town earned the top spot in U.S. News & World Report’s list of 2019 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. Lancaster’s housing affordability and its residents’ high rank for their happiness, helped it to bump Sarasota, Fla., from the number one position this year.

U.S. News & World Report evaluated the country’s 100 largest metro areas to see how well they met retirees’ expectations, such as in housing affordability, desirability, health care, and overall happiness. “Deciding where to retire is a big decision,” says Emily Brandon, senior editor for retirement. “The Best Places to Retire offers a way for future retirees to make a more informed decision based on what matters the most to them. Whether that be housing affordability, access to quality hospitals, or the desirability of a place in general, the rankings offer a comprehensive list that can point people in the best direction for their needs.”

This year’s top 10 best places to retire are:

  1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  2. Fort Myers, Florida
  3. Sarasota, Florida
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  6. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  7. Nashville, Tennessee
  8. San Antonio/Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  9. Lakeland, Florida

Source: “100 Best Places to Retire in the USA,” U.S. News & World Report (October 2018); REALTOR® Mag News 102218

Fast-Paced Luxury Sales Raise Entry-Level Price Point

Fast-Paced Luxury Sales Raise Entry-Level Price Point
realtor.com | August 10, 2018

House 1058It’s a good time to be selling high-end real estate: The luxury market is posting a record number of sales, and 19 major areas also saw double-digit gains in July, according to realtor.com®’s 2018 Luxury Home Index. The index measures the entry-level luxury price tier, which is the top 5 percent of residential sales among 91 U.S. counties.

In 49 of the 91 markets analyzed by realtor.com®, the luxury tier had an entry point of at least $1 million. The number of sales at or above $1 million climbed 12 percent over the last year, realtor.com® reports.

“The strong economy is bolstering demand for luxury homes,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “They are selling fast and demand for these homes has pushed the entry-level price point to more than $1 million in half of the markets studied. Although there are some pockets of weaker performance, we’ve seen double-digit price growth in 19 markets for the first time in four years.”

Luxury homes are selling faster, too. The median age of inventory in the 91 luxury markets tracked was 108 days in July, down 11 days or by 9.3 percent year over year, realtor.com® reports.

The fastest-growing luxury market in July: Sarasota, Fla., which continued to hold onto its top spot on realtor.com®’s list. Luxury sales prices in Sarasota have risen 21.2 percent since last May. Half of all luxury homes there have also sold within 157 days, which is 21 days faster than a year ago. Rounding out realtor.com®’s list of the top five fastest-growing luxury markets in July were Queens, N.Y.; Maui, Hawaii; Santa Clara, Calif.; and Boulder, Colo. Each of the cities posted a yearly growth of between 13 to 16 percent.

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Source: “Luxury Housing Sets New Records,” realtor.com® (Aug. 9, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine Online 081018