At the High End, a Bit More Money Yields Lots More Home; 14 Acres and an Orchard…Is Time to Storm the Castle?…Kenneth Rosen, chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, says it is a "very good time to be a buyer at the high end."


Three years into the housing bust, steep discounts are emerging in the market for high-end homes, which had been the real-estate industry’s last redoubt until now. Despite the budding economic recovery, demand for pricey properties is falling as potential buyers struggle to come up with money for big down payments and find it difficult to qualify for large mortgages. With buyers dropping out and homes languishing on the market, sellers are beginning to capitulate, cutting prices to move their properties.The result: Buyers with lots of cash, or access to it, can find great deals. Not all million-dollar homes are castles, especially in coastal markets. But price drops and relatively small bumps in budget are landing shoppers the kind of amenities—kingly bathrooms, stables, gates—that were once beyond reach.
By Nick Timiraos and James R. Hagerty

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