Luxury real estate market expanding

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RENO, Nev. - (KOLO) The luxury housing market in Northern Nevada has grown substantially over the past year.

"What we're seeing with affluent consumers today is that we know they're very globally-minded, that they love real estate, and that they're looking for a lifestyle," said Stephanie Anton of Luxury Portfolio International. "Its not just about a home and it's not just about a shelter decision. They want to live in places where they can bring their families and have wonderful experiences, so a place like Reno, like Lake Tahoe makes a lot of sense for the affluent consumer today."

Dickson Realty serves all levels of the real estate market, but has agents who specialize in the luxury sector.

"We look at luxury as a million dollars or more; that sort of defines who that client is," said Nancy Fennell, President of Dickson Realty. "But I think luxury is a very local term; what is luxury in our market is certainly very different from what it is in San Francisco. I think that is what has doubled that market this year from last year; what people can get for their money here."

The local luxury market is a small one - less than 2.5%. But it's playing an important role in the market as a whole.

"These clients are business owners, they bring jobs to the community, they eat out, they are very philanthropic," Fennell said. "A lot of these are local homegrown families, which we love. They've been successful in their business, they're moving up, so they're also loosening up that inventory which is much tighter. Ninety percent of sales in all of Reno-Sparks are under $600,000 so we have a lot of agents that specialize in those price ranges and that's where the bulk of all sales are right now."

There's a shift in that market toward more rural areas.

"The North Valleys, Fernley, the backside of the Industrial Park, all these areas are going to be large-growth areas for what we think of as affordable housing," Fennell said.

And while these days it's a little easier for buyers who can compete in the higher-end markets, times are always changing.

"it's the yin and yang of real estate," Fennell said. "We will have too much inventory and prices will go down and when that is absorbed, then we will have too little and we're just in that too little in the under $500,000 range right now."

In the meantime, a little patience can pay off.

"We can match you with the perfect person and the right neighborhood; that's a neighborhood specialist," Fennell said. "It may take a little longer but we always get the house."