Across the world, luxury-home sales get a reality check

WASHINGTON — The global luxury housing market lost some of its sheen last year as financial markets became unsettled and many wealthy buyers began to look for less expensive homes.

“The return of realism,” is how Dan Conn, chief executive of Christie’s International Real Estate, described the high-end market that stretches from San Francisco to Singapore.

Sales in a sector whose average home prices start at $2.2 million slowed in 2015, increasing by 8 percent, half its 2014 pace. The decline most likely reflects stability rather than weakness, according to a report released Thursday by Christie’s.

Properties in London and Hong Kong are sitting on the market longer. On average, homes sold for prices 19 percent below the original asking price, compared with 14 percent below the asking price in 2014. The number of luxury-home sales in the often sizzling Manhattan market dipped 5 percent last year. Falling oil prices led sales in

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