D.R.: Priciest homes still selling | VailDaily.com

D.R.: Priciest homes still selling

Don Rogers

The ski towns have been islands immune from the housing woes across normal America.

A New York Times story Wednesday offers clues why. The upshot is that we’re not suffering the same dip in sales or prices because we’re rich.

The Times analyzed sales records and found two patterns. The story for regular homes is the slump. But for the highest end, it’s still going strong. In New York, Boston, Houston, Seattle and even to a degree, Denver. Oh, and us.

The Los Angeles, San Franciso, San Diego and Las Vegas super rich are not sharing in the bounty, so the rich-getting-richer scenario is not complete.

Still, none of the markets surveyed by the Times show the average-priced homes doing anything but sagging.

And some observers do see this trend as further evidence of them and us.

There is that, certainly. But I’m not so sure the wealthy are recession proof, just maybe a bit more resistant than you and I who live by paychecks we earn.

The high end generally is holding up on the housing front, but it just may be they simply are lagging in the same cycle. The California coast might be leading the rest into their next dip is all.

The current pattern does fit the suspicion that the wealthy have been favored in economic decisions of late, particularly tax breaks that don’t seem to have helped the mainstream much.

Right or wrong, the assessment can lead to change. The wealthy do have a lot of political power. But the vote rests with the “us” if we’re ever stirred to use it.

The subprime scandal mostly has hurt the poorer property owners who were sucked in. No doubt, though, there’s some of that in the high end, too.

There’s a whole ‘nother class of buyers for our expensive homes, too, and that helps keep this part of the real estate market afloat. Our high-end homes actually are bargains compared to places like London, Moscow, Sydney. Bargains. That means foreign investors.

Seems to me that these buyers would be smarter gobbling up our middle- and lower-end properties.

Real estate in America is the opposite of gravity. Here, what goes down must also go up, way up.

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