Several markets where high-end home prices haven’t skyrocketed are dense population centers that people left during the pandemic, when remote-work options allowed folks to live farther from their big-city jobs.

These already high-priced housing markets meant there wasn’t much room for prices to grow, especially given buyers’ ongoing affordability challenges, points out Hannah Jones, a senior economic analyst at Realtor.com.

For instance, Seattle’s luxury home price threshold rose by around 24%, less than half the increase for luxury homes in general.

“In a place like Seattle, luxury prices, especially—but home prices overall—kind of settled down during the pandemic because people were moving out of these large coastal cities,” Jones says. “So it makes sense that they didn’t see that same pandemic price hike.”

It also comes down to supply and demand: As well-paid office workers gained the freedom to work remotely during the pandemic, demand surged in areas away from the nation’s dense, coastal population centers. That meant luxury prices in these cities didn’t see the same upward pressure as in more suburban and rural metros.

But there are also several smaller and medium-sized cities where luxury prices have stayed more stable than the rest of the country. Many are in the Midwest, where home prices have been historically lower.

In Toledo, OH, for instance, you can get a luxury home for less than the national median price of $430,000. The most expensive 5% of home listings in Toledo start at $336,000. That’s right—you can find sprawling houses, on sizable lots, with classic Midwestern charm—all with affordable price tags.

We also found minimal luxury home price growth in cities such as Tulsa, OK, and Wichita, KS.

“These places didn’t see that same pandemic boom in prices all around,” Jones says. “So it makes sense that they haven’t seen the same kind of four-year luxury price growth.”

The initial economic conditions in these cities—and a potential lack of speculative investment—might have insulated them from the broader price fluctuations, Jones adds.

Or, in some of the markets on our list, the slower luxury price growth might be driven by affordability seekers rather than high-end buyers.

For example, home shoppers flocked to Stockton, CA, over the past four years, fleeing the exorbitant housing prices of neighboring cities like San Francisco. In Stockton, median home prices rose by close to 60%, while luxury home prices grew only by about 19%.

“People were moving from areas often looking for affordability within California, but they weren’t looking for the luxury homes there,” Jones remarks.

So what does this all mean for homebuyers today? It depends on your individual circumstances and the market you’re shopping in, but luxury homes might be relatively more affordable than they were before.

Here’s a look at the 10 cities that have seen the most stable luxury prices over the past four years. We included only the single city with the lowest luxury price growth per state, to ensure geographic diversity.

115 homes were listed above $2,972,500 in Washington, DC as of April 2024. Kristina Blokhin – stock.adobe.com

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $2,995,900+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $2,972,500+
Increase: -1%
Number of listings above $2,972,500 in April 2024: 115

18 homes were listed above $335,700 in Toledo, OH as of April 2024. Getty Images

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $324,670+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $335,700+
Increase: 3%
Number of listings above $335,700 in April 2024: 18

24 homes were listed above $998,450 in Winston Salem, NC. Getty Images

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $938,888+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $998,450+
Increase: 6%
Number of listings above $998,450 in April 2024: 24

34 homes were listed above $895,858 in Wichita, KS as of April 2024. Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $765,000+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $895,858+
Increase: 17%
Number of listings above $895,858 in April 2024: 34

18 homes were listed above $1,004,188 in Stockton, CA as of April 2024. Getty Images

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $849,003+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $1,004,188+
Increase: 18%
Number of listings above $1,004,188 in April 2024: 18

21 homes were listed above $749,900 in Suffolk, VA as of April 2024. Peter B13/Wirestock Creators – stock.adobe.com

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $632,765+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $749,900+
Increase: 19%
Number of listings above $749,900 in April 2024: 21

31 homes were listed above $1,219,167 in Tyler, TX as of April 2024. LMPark Photos – stock.adobe.com

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $1,022,273+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $1,219,167+
Increase: 19%
Number of listings above $1,219,167 in April 2024: 31

47 homes were listed above $1,300,000 in Tulsa, OK as of April 2024. SeanPavonePhoto – stock.adobe.com

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $1,068,488+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $1,300,000+
Increase: 22%
Number of listings above $1,300,000 in April 2024: 47

54 homes were listed above $814,638 in Tallahassee, FL as of April 2024. Jacob – stock.adobe.com

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $669,443+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $814,638+
Increase: 22%
Number of listings above $814,638 in April 2024: 54

81 homes were listed above $2,912,450 in Seattle, WA as of April 2024. Nate – stock.adobe.com

Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2020: $2,350,000+
Most expensive 5% of listings, April 2024: $2,912,450+
Increase: 24%
Number of listings above $2,912,450 in April 2024: 81

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