Luxury home market in Omaha sets record

Amid the dismal housing market picture across the country, Omaha's luxury housing market is taking off.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 3:38 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - While many families are struggling to buy a home due to higher mortgage rates, realtors say the luxury housing market in Omaha is flourishing.

Jerry Kleidosty is building a luxury home in Happy Hollow. The single-family residence will be nearly 5,000 sq. ft. with an unfinished basement -- and a large price tag to match.

“Can it be a 7-figure home? Absolutely, probably,” he said.

With mortgage rates at a 21-year-high, many might assume fewer people are buying million-dollar homes. However, Todd Bartusek, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway, says the opposite is true in Douglas County.

“The luxury house market is fantastic,” he said. “The luxury market is stable enough typically to overcome the high interest rates.”

Bartusek says in July alone, 18 seven-figure homes closed in Douglas County, setting a record.

He says the people buying luxury homes usually have at least one factor in common: age.

“I would say a 7-figure buyer on average is probably in the 40ish range,” he said.

Bartusek says the group that’s getting hit hardest in the current market is the “move-ups,” or people buying or selling existing mid-range homes.

“Existing houses in that $400-to-800,000 range, some of those houses are being passed up at times by new construction,” he said. “The first-time homebuyer market is still moving very well.”

Bartusek advises anyone who hopes to buy a home to start saving as early as you can.

“Try to save so you have a bigger down payment,” he said.

Kleidosty said, that’s what he did, and it’s paying off.

“You move on to a new chapter and this is part of the chapter right here,” he said.

Bartusek says at the first of 2023, the average price for existing homes in Omaha was around $302,000. At the end of July 2023, it was about $351,000.