260,000 people in Buncombe County, NC—Asheville. That is 60,000 households, low which perhaps 40 are in the nationwide top 0.1% with an income of 1.6 million a year or more. That is, I am told, the range in which one should perhaps start thinking about whether one wants an 8,000 square-foot house as one of one's items of conspicuous consumption. And such things sell slowly. So the thing that amazes me is not that the inventory of houses priced at more than two million in Asheville is twice annual turnover, but that 16 houses sold in that price range in grater Asheville last year. It's an index of plutocracy:

Candace Taylor: A Growing Problem in Real Estate: Too Many Too Big Houses: "Baby boomers and retirees built large, elaborate dream homes across the Sunbelt—only to find that few people want to buy them.... Elaborate, five or six-bedroom houses in warm climates, fueled in part by the easy credit of the real estate boom. Many baby boomers poured millions into these spacious homes, planning to live out their golden years in houses with all the bells and whistles. Now, many boomers are discovering that these large, high-maintenance houses no longer fit their needs as they grow older, but younger people aren’t buying them.... The problem is especially acute in areas with large clusters of retirees. In North Carolina’s Buncombe County, which draws retirees with its mild climate and Blue Ridge Mountain scenery, there are 34 homes priced over $2 million on the market, but only 16 sold in that price range in the past year, said Marilyn Wright, an agent at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Asheville...

#noted #2019-10-17