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Palm Springs is well known for its sizzling temperatures, but it’s quickly gaining a reputation for its hot luxury housing market. 

Realtor.com data from the third quarter of this year points to surging price growth among the top five percent of listings in Riverside County, home to resort cities such as Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Desert Hot Springs. In fact, Riverside County ranked first in the top 20 US markets gaining the most price momentum in the third quarter compared to the first quarter, logging a 30.2 percent increase. 

The region’s luxury listing price entry point hit $1,922,000 in the third quarter, up 1.3 percent from the first quarter and 31.5 percent over the same period last year. Remote workers who were once restricted to the Los Angeles metro area are now looking to Palm Springs and other desert cities that offer luxury single-family homes on large lots, some with swimming pools or golf course access.

Compared to Los Angeles, where the luxury listing price entry point is an eye-popping $7,990,000, premium properties in Riverside County are a relative steal. The report notes that “the bright spots are in the outlying markets,” while urban areas including Los Angeles have seen a luxury home price cooldown.

The nation’s most populous county recorded a 32.1 percent decline in its luxury listing price between Q1 and Q3 2020. Although home prices spiked 66.9 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, which concluded March 31st just as COVID-19 cases were beginning to rise, by the end of the third quarter, they were up 34.8 percent — impressive growth, but not quite as stellar as the first quarter’s performance.

Economic Data Analyst Nicholas Bedo explains that “luxury price growth has recovered,” with 83 of the 95 luxury markets tracked by Realtor recording year-over-year price gains in the third quarter, compared to only 25 markets in May when stay-at-home orders were still in place across several states.

“Luxury housing is performing well overall, but the hotspots are shifting,” concluded Bedo. Other cities listed among the top-performing luxury markets in terms of price growth included Monmouth, NJ, Summit, CO, Cape May, NJ and Jefferson, CO.

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