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Where’s the hottest luxury real-estate market in the U.S.? It’ll surprise you

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The San Juan Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Washington state long cherished for its remoteness and simplicity, is now the hottest luxury real-estate market in the country.

The priciest 10% of the area’s real-estate market rose faster last year than any other U.S. county, according to Realtor.com. The median home value in San Juan County is now $444,300, up from $377,600 in 2014, according to real estate marketplace Zillow. Right now there are four homes priced at $15 million or higher for sale, including one for $20 million.

Former Amazon.com executive Rick Ayre, the owner of the $20 million house, says the price reflects the property’s distinctiveness. Near San Juan Island’s main town of Friday Harbor, it is 8,000 square feet on 98 acres and features 765 feet of waterfront, a runway, three ponds and an indoor pool. Ayre bought the slightly curved house in 1999 for around $6.3 million and spent about $3.5 million renovating it. Even with minimal landscaping (“you can’t own the land,” is his philosophy) the garden alone cost about $1 million because of the fencing and irrigation.

Source: Marketwatch