After a scorching four years, the luxury real-estate market may be cooling off.
Sales of homes for $1 million or more fell 20 percent in the fourth quarter compared with those in the third quarter and posted their worst year-on-year growth since 2011, according to the CNBC Luxury Real-Estate Report, conducted by Redfin, a real-estate brokerage and research firm.
There were 14,834 homes sold for $1 million or more in the major markets covered by Redfin. That was down from the 18,435 million-dollar homes sold in the third quarter and up only slightly from the 13,589 homes sold in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Sales of homes priced at $5 million or more were also weak, falling 10 percent in the quarter.
"We're seeing sales of luxury homes continue to taper," said Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin. "The top of the market is losing steam."
Of course, weakness is all relative in the luxury housing market. Prices continued to climb for high-end homes, with prices up 2 percent year over year, to an average of $1.79 million. And inventory fell in the fourth quarter, with the number of million-dollar-plus homes for sale falling 23 percent in the quarter.