Redfin: Luxury home sales up 61%, quadruple pre-pandemic growth

A Redfin analysis shows U.S. luxury home sales nearly quadrupled compared to growth during the three months ending Feb. 29, right before the COVID-19 crisis officially turned into a pandemic. The report found that during the three months ending Nov. 30, luxury home sales surged 60.7% year-over-year, “the biggest jump since at least 2013.”

“Low- and middle-income Americans aren’t out of the woods when it comes to this recession. Affluent Americans are out of the woods.”

Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist

The report divided all U.S. residential properties into five price tiers based on Redfin estimates of the homes’ market values and found the increase also is the highest compared to lower-priced homes.

Luxury home sales significantly outpaced the 14.8% increase of mid-priced home sales and the 6.8% uptick in affordable home sales this fall, as America’s wealthiest homebuyers reaped the gains of an uneven, “K-shaped” economic recovery.

The report found that after plunging around 30% in the spring, sales of affordable homes improved during this timeframe alongside the U.S. unemployment rate, “but growth in this segment still pales in comparison to growth in the luxury tier,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist. “Low- and middle-income Americans aren’t out of the woods when it comes to this recession. Affluent Americans are out of the woods.”

The 49 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas all experienced at least double-digit year-over-year growth in luxury home sales during the three months ending Nov. 30.

The top five were Newark, NJ, sales of luxury homes increased 101.6%; followed by West Palm Beach, FL, up 97.1%, San Antonio, TX, up 82.4%; Riverside, CA and Jacksonville, FL both up about 80%.

As affluent homeowners sell their homes and move, they feed the supply of luxury homes. Demand for second homes also soared, up 100% year-over-year in October, surpassing the 50% increase in demand for primary homes.

During the three months ending Nov. 30, the number of luxury homes for sale climbed 2.3% year-over-year, while the supply of homes in all other price tiers declined. New listings of luxury homes jumped 31.5%, more than double the growth of any other price tier.

In addition, the luxury-home supply will likely continue to expand aided by builders who will increasingly focus on luxury homes, said Fairweather.

York Traditions to become a holding company

Pennsylvania state-chartered York Traditions Bank has notified the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities of its intention to form a bank holding company under the name Traditions Bancorp, Inc.

If approved by the regulators, the $648 million asset community bank will seek shareholder approval at its annual shareholder meeting in April 2021.

Formed in 2002, York Traditions Bank operates six full-service branch offices and a loan production office servicing businesses and individuals in South-Central Pennsylvania.

Upon approval, shareholders will exchange each share of their common stock of the bank for one share of common stock of Traditions Bancorp, the company said. The process will turn York Traditions Bank into a wholly owned subsidiary of Traditions Bancorp.

The company announced the transaction will not change the bank’s leadership structure. The same people who serve on the board of directors of York Traditions Bank also will serve as directors of the holding company board.

Chairman of the Board Michael E. Kochenour, President and CEO Eugene J. Draganosky, and Treasurer and Secretary John D. Blecher will serve as executive officers of Traditions Bancorp as well.

“We are excited about this next step in our strategic evolution as a growing financial organization,” said Draganosky. “This reinforces our position as an independent community bank. A holding company will provide greater flexibility in carrying out business activities including the ability to raise capital. Following its formation, we expect that Traditions Bancorp, Inc. will begin to trade on the OTC Markets with a ticker symbol to be determined.”

Additional information reportedly will become available in the bank’s proxy statement scheduled for distribution to the shareholders on or about March 8, 2021.

Coldwell Banker’s Inclusive Ownership Program welcomed 10 new firms in 2020

The Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC brand recently announced it is celebrating the ten new brokerages that joined the company since the launch of its Inclusive Ownership program in February 2020 to foster diversity and inclusion in real estate. Structured as a franchise the program aims “to increase representation of women, minority, LGBTQ+ and veteran entrepreneurs in the real estate industry,” according to the company.

“I am extremely proud to welcome these 10 new brokerages to the Coldwell Banker brand. I am confident Coldwell Banker will be the place where these businesses find long-term growth and success,” said M. Ryan Gorman, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. “I also believe adding this group and future Inclusive Ownership firms will enhance Coldwell Banker’s long-term performance, as we benefit from diverse perspectives. Personally, I have found our newly established mentorship program to be mutually beneficial.”

As part of the program, during the critical first two years of business, each of the following ten new Coldwell Banker brokerage affiliate owners will not pay an initial franchise fee.

Coldwell Banker’s Inclusive Ownership Program welcomes 10 new firms in 2020

Other benefits include financial incentives to support diverse business owners; up to $100,000 of funding, royalty fee rebates, education, and mentorship; membership and conference registration for an industry partner group of choice, such as the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.

Many of the newly affiliated owners have decades of real estate experience and expertise gained independently serving their local communities, the company said. Others are first time broker-owners from all backgrounds.

A full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage founded in 1906, Coldwell Banker operates a network of over 94,000 affiliated sales professionals.

“I’m excited and willing to do whatever it takes to bring more Black broker-owners to the brand, because the real estate industry is long overdue for a change,” said Booker Pickett, broker-owner, Coldwell Banker Pickett Fences Realty, and first Black owner to be part of the Inclusive Ownership program. “I’m proud to be part of a company that prioritizes home ownership and wealth generation for all people, especially those who have historically been left out of those opportunities.”

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