From Mykonos to Malibu, these vibrant international resorts offer picture-perfect settings for luxurious wedding ceremonies and once-in-a-lifetime celebrations
The world’s most enchanting wedding destinations tend to have certain characteristics in common: they’re usually warm and sunny, they have great food and cultural attractions, and they’re relatively easy to get to. While some couples find that renting an estate for family and friends simplifies a destination wedding, others choose a locale that’s en route to an exclusive honeymoon spot. The 10 resorts noted below have their own local color and character, making them ideal for different types of wedding festivities, from the exotic and adventurous to the traditional and serene.
New York-based event planner and wedding expert Joseph St. Cyr, President and CEO of Joseph Todd Events, says that choosing the right place is the key to planning an unforgettable event. “Start with the look and feel you’re after,” he advises. “White linen and bare feet on a Hawaiian beach is a different vibe than a black-tie wedding at an Italian villa.” Each of these luxurious international locales offers the promise of an unforgettable wedding that’s well worth the extra mile.
Paradise Island, Bahamas
Paradise Island is nestled just across the water from the city of Nassau in the Bahamas. It’s family friendly and lively—one of its resorts was the site of the movie Casino Royale—yet its pace is unhurried. Formerly a private estate belonging to a Swedish industrialist, the island is home to a cluster of historic residences. Its newer houses tend to blend modern amenities with classic seaside architectural features. As a destination, Paradise Island has a feeling of delightful remoteness but is easy to reach. “When selecting your dream destination, be sure to consider the travel involved for your guests,” advises St. Cyr. “A direct flight with a short ground transportation hop is always a win.” A non-stop flight to Nassau followed by a ferry ride to Paradise sounds just about right.
To obtain a marriage license in the Bahamas, the happy couple must provide government-issued photo identification such as a passport and reside in the Bahamas for 24 hours prior to the date of the marriage license application. Additional requirements and advice about organizing a wedding ceremony in this picturesque Caribbean destination are available from the country’s Weddings and Honeymoon Unit of the Ministry of Tourism.
When selecting your dream destination, be sure to consider the travel involved for your guests.
Joseph St. Cyr President and CEO of Joseph Todd Events
Mexico’s spectacular beaches draw swimmers and surfers from all over the world. Its unique mix of ancient ruins, sophisticated cuisine, and natural beauty make it a top choice for wedding planners as well. The coastal city of Tulum is known for its 13th-century Mayan archaeological sites—and one of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches in the region. In honor of the local surrounds, couples may choose to be married by a Shamen or incorporate ancient Mayan rituals into their wedding celebration, such as the groom gifting the bride a muhul (gold chain), listones (wooden hair barrettes), as well as a traditional sleeveless dress called a huipil in order to take a temazcal traditional purification bath prior to the ceremony.
Direct flights from New York City to Tulum are just under four hours, and the city has an array of superb restaurants, five-star and boutique hotels that are ideal venues for a dreamy destination wedding. Luxurious venue options include the boutique hotel BeTulum which is ideally situated between the rainforest and the ocean, the eco-friendly Jashita Hotel located directly on the beach, and the new ultra-luxe Nest Tulum hotel.
Malibu and California’s sunny and not-too-humid climate are hard to beat, and weddings here at any time of year are apt to be idyllic. Known for surfing and for its modern beachfront architecture, Malibu also hits many of the right notes for a destination wedding. It’s beautiful, convenient, and has “locavore perks like California wines,” as St. Cyr puts it. Its regional specialties can spark great ideas for day trips and adventures or souvenirs and gifts for the wedding party.
Couples must apply for their marriage license in person at the County Clerk’s office and provide proof that both parties are single. Malibu offers numerous luxurious options for wedding venues including Calamigos Ranch in Malibu wine country and the 75-capacityStone Manor Estate in the Malibu Hills.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a great destination for couples who love sports. Known for its golf resorts as much as for its beaches, the Dominican Republic allows wedding parties and guests to play on world-class courses in the tropical sun. Private enclaves such as the exclusive Puntacana Resort and Club on the eastern tip of the country offer proximity to the beach, and access to the highly rated Tom Fazio-designed Corales Golf Course.
Couples choosing to marry in this picturesque beach destination must bring a number of documents prior to the wedding ceremony. These include a sworn declaration stating that they are both single and eligible to marry, a valid passport, and a copy of a foreign birth certificate that has been translated into Spanish.
Encourage your guests to make the most of their stay by planning a few optional activities.
Joseph St. Cyr President and CEO of Joseph Todd Events
The Greek islands are hard to top when it comes to wedding locations. One of the best known, Mykonos, has an irresistible combination of culture, food, sandy beaches, and ocean views that combine to cast a romantic spell on visitors from all over the globe. Mykonos has historical sites stretching back several millennia and spectacular beaches in equal measure, so it’s worth making schedules flexible enough for some spontaneity. “Encourage your guests to make the most of their stay by planning a few optional activities,” says St. Cyr, “and be sure to leave enough free time for them to explore on their own.”
In order to marry in Mykonos, the couple must place a notice announcing the wedding in a local Greek newspaper and foreigners must provide an official translation of their birth certificates. Luxurious wedding ceremony options include five-star boutique hotel Kivitos amnd Mykonian Royal, a luxurious hotel located above a reserved section of Elia, one of Mykonos’ famous beaches.
Hawaii offers American travelers the fun of a Pacific adventure without the need for a passport. For those on the West Coast, Hawaii is about six hours away on a direct flight. The islands that compose Hawaii are spread across 1,500 miles in the Pacific Ocean and are home to an astonishing array of plants, wildlife, and climates. A variety of beaches that cater to surfers as well as swimmers plus volcanoes, jungles, mountains, and canyons await, making Hawaii a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
In a location with so much to explore, St. Cyr recommends helping guests get their bearings. “Go the extra mile, which they have done for you,” he says, “and provide your guests with welcome-bag goodies including sweet and savory local nibbles, water, sunblock, and the wedding-weekend schedule.” Kahuku in particular is an especially lovely setting for a wedding. Its ocean vistas provide a scenic backdrop that’s both laid-back and exquisitely beautiful.
White linen and bare feet on a Hawaiian beach is a different vibe than a black-tie wedding at an Italian villa.
Joseph St. Cyr President and CEO of Joseph Todd Events
Porto Cervo, Italy
Porto Cervo offers visitors a particular variety of la dolce vita, with a leisurely pace that sets it apart from the vibrant metropolises of Milan and Rome. Yet it has everything that makes Italy the world’s romance capitol: the cuisine, the poetic language, and the beauty of the Sardinian coastline make Porto Cervo an ideal wedding destination. Established as an enclave for the the 1950s jet set by Prince Karim Aga Khan, Porto Cervo remains the premiere resort on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda.
Home to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, it remains a favorite of serious sailors from all over the world, and offers plenty of sights and adventure for those who prefer to remain on land, including the Maddalena Archipelago National Park and the Museo Nivola. Foreign couples intending to marry in Sardinia must bring birth certificates that have been translated into Italian, an Atto Notorio declaration from their home country which states that there are no impediments to prevent the couple from marrying, as well as a Nulla Osta which states that the couple is free to marry in Italy and must be obtained locally.
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Like Hawaii, Puerto Rico offers US citizens a refreshing change of scenery without the need for a passport. While Old San Juan is steeped in colonial charm, the island’s tropical rainforests and extraordinary biodiversity appeal to nature lovers of all types. Fajardo, Puerto Rico is about a four-hour flight from New York City and offers outdoor activities and pure relaxation in equal measure. The El Yunque National Forest, where hikers will find waterfalls and spectacular plant life, is about 10 miles away and serves as a popular wedding venue location in the Fajardo vicinity, as does El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel.
County Cork, Ireland
For couples who crave adventure in cooler climates, Ireland offers a green, rugged landscape dotted with castles and cliffs—as well as some of the best seafood in Europe. While the cultural mecca of Dublin attracts scores of tourists, some of the quieter pockets of this picturesque country are breathtaking. County Cork at the southern tip of the island is home to numerous attractions including the famed Blarney Stone and the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world. Visitors might even hear Irish spoken here in one of Cork’s Gaeltacht regions. Wedding parties can find both grand historic houses and fairytale cottages for hosting family and friends, such as Hayfield Manor and Castle Martyr Resort.
Couples may choose to incorporate traditional Irish rituals into their wedding ceremony for added local flavor including handfasting, where the couple is tied together to symbolize their union (handfasting is also the origin of the phrase “tying the knot”), as well as incorporating horseshoe trinkets throughout the ceremony, a traditional symbol that bestows good luck upon the couple.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport’s Gilded Age mansions are a must-see for architecture lovers, and the city itself is every bit as charming as the colorful boats that line its busy harbors. In addition to having a fascinating history, Newport is a sophisticated foodie mecca as well as a destination that’s quite easy to reach from New York, Boston, or Philadelphia. Newport’s spectacular coastline is the ultimate backdrop for a summer wedding, and the city offers plenty of excursions for visitors to enjoy. Its grand coastal estates were designed to hug the shoreline in order to maximize water views and provide a completely secluded escape.
*Fuente: LuxuryDefined, Christie’s International Real Estate
The Roaring Twenties are no longer a distant murmur in this striking collection of homes that evoke the glamour, grace, and architectural ingenuity of the Jazz Age
turn to a golden era of opulent living as Luxury Defined presents its collection of fine homes that evoke the Jazz Age exuberance and the glitz, glamour, and style of 1920s’ architecture. Gone are the speakeasy, the flapper’s beaded dresses and cloche hats, the collegiate “Oxford bag” trousers, and wasp-waisted suits. But the iconic architecture of, what F. Scott Fitzgerald dubbed, the “age of miracles, the age of art, and the age of excess” will never go out of vogue. Whether the style is Art Deco, Moderne, Bauhaus, Neo-Georgian, Spanish Colonial, or Mission Revival, you will see simplicity and richness of design, clean lines, warm-toned palettes, lavish textures, and visual grace notes as refreshing to contemporary taste as they were to the Gatsbyesque residents of that excessive, often turbulent, but ultimately glamorous epoch of the 20th century.
Splendid Chateau (1927)
Westmount, Quebec, Canada
The spirit of post-WWI affluence and style lives on at this château-like manor in a leafy enclave of Montreal. Built in 1927, the four-story, seven-bedroom residence commands 8,000 interior square feet and nearly half an acre of tranquil wooded grounds. The interior architecture harks to the splendor of the past: nine-foot ceilings and mahogany floors, crafted millwork, wainscoting, and coffered ceilings. A library with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks the garden. Fireplaces warm the grand salon and dining room, which seats 16 comfortably. Creature comforts include an elevator, gourmet kitchen, numerous fireplaces, wine cellar, bar, billiard room, sauna, and gym. There are ample accommodations, seven bedrooms including staff quarters and a master suite complete with fireplace, dressing room and boudoir/office with a private terrace with breathtaking views of Montreal.
Casa Espanol (Mid-1920s)
Long Beach, California
Buster Keaton shot silent movies in Long Beach, and he would feel at home in this classic,three-bedroom Spanish Colonial hacienda, restored to its mid-1920s’ grandeur. The interior’s earthy palette uses cream and tan walls accented with dark wood tones, with custom fresco hand-painted crown moldings and ceilings, burnished wood floors, and Spanish tile throughout. The sensational amenities include a gourmet kitchen, separate kitchenette, laundry room, powder room, and library/den. French doors off the formal dining and living room open to the courtyard’s resplendent garden with waterfall, pond, and seating area surrounding a fire pit. Upstairs, the three bedrooms all have individual balconies and cedar walk-in closets. The garage includes superb guest quarters above.
Riverfront Grandeur (1920)
James Island, Charleston, South Carolina
This star of this elegant waterfront home is a breathtaking front-row panorama of Charleston’s Stono River. Adding to the splendor is a deepwater dock with a 30-foot floater, eight-ton boat lift and a dry slip, all serviced by a generator, water line, and boat shed. The ornate 4,560-square-foot interiors have retained all of their 1920s opulence. A study with cypress built-ins adjoins the family room and formal living room with fireplace. The covered patio with Jenn-Air grill is just off the eat-in kitchen with Wolf appliances and a wet bar. The second floor’s master suite has a large walk-in closet and a lavish spa bathroom. The third and fourth guest bedrooms look out upon enchanting views of the river.
Rationalist Villa (1928)
Benimàmet, Valencia, Spain
This traditional Valencian villa was built in 1928, during the Spanish Rationalism period, when clean lines, geometric forms, and structurally defined spaces were paramount. Renovated in 2008, the residence features a multi-tiered façade and original Art Deco elements such as ornate stained glass finishes, beautiful mosaic-tile floors, and decorative beamed ceilings. There are five bedrooms, formal reception rooms, and luxury amenities including a wine cellar and lower-level recreation area for entertaining in style. The mature landscaped garden is an oasis of serenity complete with spaces for alfresco entertaining, including a unique paella cooking area.
Mediterranean-Revival Manor (1923)
San Antonio, Texas
Built in 1923, this Mediterranean Revival is distinguished by its exquisite proportions and craftsmanship. Evoking a Gatsbyesque grandeur, a gated entrance opens to a long driveway that winds past close-cropped lawns to arrive at sumptuous Neoclassical-inspired checkered terraces and a grand foyer. Arched sliding pocket doors open onto a library with outdoor access, a dining room, and a formal living room with a detailed fireplace and adjoining sunroom. The large-scale kitchen offers restaurant-grade appliances and a butler’s pantry. A grand staircase ascends to a spectacular living area that opens onto a balcony revealing enchanting views of the parklike grounds, replete with a canopy of trees and specimen plants. Seven classically appointed bedrooms and five bathrooms comfortably accommodate owners and overnight guests.
Villa Hoogenoord (1923)
Doorn, Utrecht, Netherlands
Villa Hoogenoord was built in 1921 on three quarters of an acre of landscape-sheltered grounds in the pastoral, Medieval province of Utrecht. Behind massive wooden double doors, roomy, light-filled interiors await, especially the 645-square-foot living room, with its monumental tiled fireplace and half-round sunroom. The dine-in kitchen is an epicurean’s dream with a fireplace, wainscoting, and a coffered ceiling. The upper floor has a balcony revealing a pastoral perspective at the front of the house. The central hall accesses three bedrooms (two with a balcony) and the luxe master suite. A detached stone outbuilding provides a cozy living space with underfloor heating, kitchen, sauna, and parking garage. In addition to glorious grounds, this exclusive estate enjoys proximity to the historic center of Doorn, famous for the eponymous castle that was home to the last German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II.
*Fuente: Luxury Defined, Christie’s International Real Esate
Expert insight on trends shaping the luxury residential real estate market from Christie’s International Real Estate’s 2016 white paper, Luxury Defined
The global prime property market continued on a steady growth trajectory in early 2015 after several post-global-crisis years of price appreciation and booming sales.However, shifting economic dynamics and financial-market volatility created a paradigm shift in the second half of the year and into 2016 across many luxury housing markets internationally.
Skyrocketing home prices and record-breaking luxury sales volumes that captured headlines worldwide in recent years were abated somewhat in 2015 and 2016. After starting 2015 at the same breakneck speeds that characterized 2014, volatile financial markets and related geopolitical uncertainty caused international luxury real estate market growth rates to finally begin to slow.
Many of the world’s prime property markets plateaued in late 2015 as a result of macroeconomic factors that caused softening across the world’s financial markets: the slowdown in China’s economy, the drop in oil and commodity prices, and the unrest in Russia/Eastern Europe and the Gulf regions. The confidence and buying power of many high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) were impacted. Despite these factors, meaningful pockets of the world’s most affluent continue to turn to luxury real estate as a safe and tangible wealth-storage asset. The volatility of real estate is, indeed, substantially lower than that of the stock market as observed in a 14-year comparison of the S&P 500 and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. HNWIs are likely to continue to invest in property because it can weather changing economic cycles, creating long-term value and superior risk-adjusted returns.
Luxury Housing Sales Return to Historic Norms
Global economic issues resulted in a small contraction in the number of billionaires, according to Forbes (1,810 billionaires, down from a record 1,826 in early 2015), the first drop in this ultra-affluent population set since 2009. Some of this shift in international wealth can be attributed to the impact of the strong US dollar and the concurrent drop in other more commodity-tied currencies, which had both a positive and negative impact on different markets, hampering inbound investment in some and attracting new interest in others. “The greatest impact in the luxury real estate market has been the fluctuation in global financial markets over the last year,” says Alex Head of First Team Real Estate in Orange County, California. “In our market this is having a positive effect as foreign buyers are seeking the tangible investment real estate allows, with the added benefit of the security of the U.S. dollar.”
Second-home resort markets saw on average a 10% increase in year-on year luxury home sales
Despite a slowdown in the second half of the year, the 2015 international prime property market was characterized by steady overall growth. Across our more than 100 surveyed luxury housing markets worldwide, million-dollar-plus home sales grew by eight percent over 2014, a decline on the 16 percent jump recorded in the prior 12-month period, yet still solid levels of overall growth.
Luxury property sales in the world’s top global economic hubs—Hong Kong, New York, and London—plateaued in 2015 and into 2016, despite several outlier top sales. While prices have continued to increase, demand at the top end of the market has begun to level off but without pointing toward an overall collapse or lack of confidence in the luxury market. On the contrary—as evidenced by Hong Kong’s record-breaking $194 million top sale, ultra-affluent investors continue to recognize the longterm value in the purchase of prime property in prized international cities.
Beyond the big three, many top-ranking US housing markets experienced more normal levels of growth in luxury home sales as compared to prior years. San Francisco, which recorded explosive growth in year-on-year luxury home sales of 62 percent and 19 percent in 2013 and 2014 respectively, saw a 12 percent jump in 2015. California’s flourishing economy also resulted in stable gains across many of the state’s other luxury housing markets. Million-dollar-plus sales in Los Angeles grew by five percent annually, with transaction volumes soaring at mid and low luxury price points, and remaining consistent at the upper echelons (82 sales above $10 million in both 2015 and 2014). Despite a drop in Canadian buyers due to exchange rate pressures, “Coachella Valley’s high-end market inspires optimism,” says Harvey Katofsky of HK Lane Real Estate in Palm Springs, adding that his firm’s sales for 2015 were better than 2014.
Low interest rates, a weaker euro, and lower-than-peak property prices prompted many HNWIs to consider the purchase of a second home in prime European destinations. “The strong US dollar has brought Americans back into the market,” explains Michael Baynes of MaxwellStorrie-Baynes in Bordeaux. In Paris, luxury sales jumped by more than 20 percent in 2015, the first significant uptick in three years. Much of the resurgence has been fueled by American and Middle Eastern buyers, who comprise 27 percent of overseas buyers, up from 16 percent in 2012. “The sales increase was due to the return of newly confident buyers attracted by prices at 2011 levels, down 20 percent from their peak,” says Charles-Marie Jottras of Daniel Féau Conseil Immobilier, who adds that Paris is now one of the least expensive European economic hubs for luxury property.
Luxury housing markets worldwide recorded an 8% annual increase in million-dollar-plus home sales
Despite much media attention on the reduced buying power of HNWIs in oil-money-dependent markets, many astute Middle Eastern buyers continue to purchase prime property overseas, transferring a portion of their equity into illiquid assets in safer currencies and thereby leveraging against any devaluing of their own currency. Much like savvy Asian investors who were “saved” by their geographically diversified equity and property portfolios during the 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis, the acquisition of prime property abroad remains an important portfolio strategy for many ultra HNWIs based in turbulent home-country markets. Geographical diversification for these affluent individuals is more important than ever.
Australia and Canada—both commodity-dependent countries that experienced rapid declines in their respective currencies over the past 12-24 months—have witnessed brisk growth in their major prime property markets. Sydney’s million-dollar-plus sales were up by 15 percent and Toronto’s by a whopping 48 percent in 2015. Growth was not consistent countrywide, however. The differences can be attributed to two key variables— affluent buyer demand and inventory levels—that strengthened sales in some cities and obstructed growth in others. In Canada for example, cities with strong international appeal, most notably Victoria, Vancouver, and Toronto, continued on an upward trajectory, whereas luxury property sales in oil-money-dependent Calgary slowed. “Strong governmental, banking and investment systems, favorable migration trends, leading educational institutions, and stable employment have all caused our market to defy the impact on other marketplaces that are experiencing declines in sales volume and average prices,” observes Chris Kapches of Chestnut Park Real Estate in Toronto.
Compounded by the challenges posed by global financial market turmoil, growth in several prime property markets is also being stymied by local market issues. Many prime property buyers in London postponed purchases due to concerns of a mansion tax proposed by the Labour Party in the lead up to the UK’s General Election (May 2015). Despite Labour’s defeat, the anticipated post-election rebound in sales failed to materialize. Although prices remained relatively steady, London’s prime property sales ended down four percent year-on-year. Changes to stamp duty land tax for properties above £1.5 million that took effect in late 2014 along with a further three percent stamp duty on additional properties are among the causes. “These changes have understandably impacted the luxury London market at every level as people take stock and take longer to make decisions,” says Lulu Egerton of Strutt & Parker. “However, they have not stopped buyers purchasing our very highest quality properties as London remains a fabulous city to invest in and a very attractive place to live. Prices have gradually been adjusting to absorb the extra taxation and are now at a stable level.”
Commodity dependent countries Canada and Australia have both witnessed brisk growth in their major prime property markets
Other markets that saw significant annual sales declines were also burdened by imposing factors led by government intervention in the market. Cooling measures introduced between 2011-2013 in Hong Kong to curb price speculation continue to impact prime property sales. Luxury property transactions in 2015 dropped by more than 12 percent in total during the year and have continued on their downward slide in early 2016, registering their lowest month since 1991 this January.
How “millenipreneurs” (affluent millennial entrepreneurs) and other emerging buyers are influencing the prime property market
Up-and-coming homebuyers including high-income workers from the burgeoning tech sector and “millenipreneurs” are spurring a resurgence in prime residential markets across the globe.As part of our Luxury Defined 2016 report on the international luxury residential market, we explore the property markets that are attracting emerging buyers and how young HNWIs are reshaping the luxury residential landscape.
The Rise of the Millennipreneur
The health and pricing of luxury real estate markets are not always internationally fueled; the spending habits of local entrepreneurs also have an influence. Increasingly, where affluent millennial prime property buyers are to be found, so too are what Scorpio Partnership recently dubbed “millennipreneurs” —those of the millennial generation (born between 1980 and 1995) and active in entrepreneurship. Many of the “comeback” markets that have seen an uptick in sales transactions are also seeing an increased interest from affluent millennial and entrepreneurial buyers, particularly in the lower-mid luxury tiers.
Although these “millennipreneurs” frequently purchase homes in urban destinations, some are also choosing traditional resort markets with world-class lifestyle offerings as their primary residence. Today’s digitally connected business world is enabling HNWIs to employ lifestyle pursuits while still maintaining their globally connected entrepreneurial ventures.
Destinations such as Jackson Hole are seeing an uptick from these buyers. “Historically reserved for the understated wealth of iconic families like the Rockefellers or global leaders like former World Bank Chair Jim Wolfensohn, our luxury home buyers are now expanding beyond the historic demographic with a different type of buyer,” says Julie Faupel of Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates in Wyoming’s picturesque town of Jackson Hole, which saw year-on-year luxury home sales increase by 45 percent. “Still understated, Jackson has a new appeal to 30-something angel investors and dotcom sensations, as well as entrepreneurs and business owners with young families that are telecommuting in order to raise their families in this mountain destination.”
Rising prices, limited inventory, and a flurry of low-mid level luxury home sales in major urban areas have also pointed toward this new phenomenon: local buyers moving to outer boroughs if not out of the city altogether seeking a lifestyle arbitrage. In Toronto, outer suburban areas and commutable cities as far away as Collingwood are flourishing thanks to buyers armed with a windfall of disposable income from their million-dollar-plus Toronto home sales. “As it is becoming increasingly expensive for many buyers to purchase in urban markets, many families and empty nesters are moving to the Southern Georgian Bay area where they are able to purchase more affordable homes in all price categories without sacrificing quality of life,” said Diana Lea Berdini of Chestnut Park Real Estate.
The phenomenon is not simply limited to urban pockets and smaller cities on the global hub fringe. High-end property markets in coastal communities are also witnessing this phenomenon. New Zealand’s North Island northeastern coastline has seen an influx of city dwellers who are purchasing luxury coastal properties after selling a high-value Auckland home. Million-dollar-plus home sales in the area have almost tripled over the past three years. Interestingly, this lifestyle arbitrage is at times being fueled by HNWIs who are flocking to areas once seen solely as second-home resort markets. Advances in technology, communication, business attitudes, and transportation are enabling HNWIs to live and work where their passions are best aligned.
In New York, the arbitrage is evident in much closer confines. As trendier Manhattanites migrated to upand-coming areas of Brooklyn, the prices of closer-in areas like Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and more recently Williamsburg, have ascended to the point that Manhattan is at times being viewed as a lower-priced luxury home alternative. Recent commentary has noted the move from Williamsburg to the Upper East Side, for example, as buyers seek out more affordable per-square- foot pricing and the convenience of Manhattan living.
*Fuente: LuxuryDefined Christie’s International Real Estate
We reveal the star properties that have reached and surpassed the stratospheric $100-million mark
ices at the apex of the global prime property market are driven by the rarity, uniqueness, and quality of a residential offering.In 2015, US$100 million was the new “billionaire benchmark” for the world’s most unique and luxurious homes. This year, contrary to media reports questioning the staying power of such high-priced real estate, there has been an increase in the number of $100 million trophy homes on the market. Indeed, there have even been a fair few—including the $455 million Bubble Palace, $200 million Playboy Mansion, and four other Christie’s International Real Estate listings—that have surpassed it.
As reported in Luxury Defined 2016, we reveal the list of the world’s most expensive homes for sale.
The World’s Highest Priced Properties Offered For Sale as of May 1, 2016
US$50 million+ publicly reported individual residential listings worldwide
|LIST PRICE||PROPERTY||LOCATION||COUNTRY||TYPE||FIRST LISTED|
|$500 million||Nile Niami Bel Air Spec Home||Los Angeles, California||United States||Spec Home||2015|
|$455 million||Le Palais Bulles/”Bubble Palace”||Côte d’Azur||France||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$385 million||18 Carlton House Terrace||London||United Kingdom||Single-Family Home||2013|
|$330 million||Odeon Tower Penthouse||Monaco||Monaco||New Development||2016|
|$200 million||The Playboy Mansion||Los Angeles, California||United States||Single-Family Home||2016|
|$195 million||Gemini||Manalapan, Florida||United States||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$159 million||Le Palais Royal||Hillsboro Beach, Florida||United States||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$150 million||“Mon Reve”||Los Angeles, California||United States||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$140 million||Briar Patch||Hamptons, New York||United States||Single-Family Home||2014|
|$135 million||Trousdale Estates Compound||Los Angeles, California||United States||Spec Home||2015|
|$128 million||Island Road Estate||Hong Kong||China||Single-Family Home||2016|
|$125 million||Rancho San Carlos||Montecito, California||United States||New Development||2014|
|$125 million||258-acre Bel Air Canyon||Bel Air-Holmby Hills, California||United States||Land||2015|
|$125 million||Palazzate||Barbados Riviera||Barbados||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$125 million||Fifth Avenue Compound||New York, New York||United States||Compound||2015|
|$120 million||Fifth Avenue Duplex||New York, New York||United States||Single-Family Home||2016|
|$120 million||The Park Bel Air||Los Angeles, California||United States||Land||2015|
|$115 million||2 Carlton House Terrace||London||United Kingdom||Single-Family Home||2014|
|$108 million||Las Varas Ranch||Goleta, California||United States||Ranch||2016|
|$108 million||Palais Venetien||Cannes||France||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$106 million||Allaman Castle||Geneva||Switzerland||Single-Family Home||2011|
|$105 million||Waterfront Residence||Theoule-sur-Mer, Côte d’Azur||France||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$105 million||No. 1 Twelve Peaks||Hong Kong||China||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$100 million||Isle de Ronde||Grenada||Grenada||Land||2013|
|$100 million||Sycamore Valley Ranch||Los Olivos, California||United States||Single-Family Home||2015|
|$100 million||Islas Cayonetas||Las Perlas Archipelago||Panama||Land||2015|
|$100 million||King’s Point Estate||Great Neck, New York||United States||Single-Family Home||2015|
Gallery of The World’s Most Expensive Homes for Sale in 2016
Waterfront Residence, Theoule-sur-Mer, Côte d’Azur, France
The Playboy Mansion, Los Angeles, California
Islas Cayonetas, Las Perlas Archipelago, Panama
Fifth Avenue Duplex, New York, New York
Sycamore Valley Ranch, Los Olivos, California
Le Palais Bulles/”Bubble Palace”, Côte d’Azur, France
Briar Patch, Hamptons, New York
Isle de Ronde, Grenada
*Fuente: Luxury Defined, Christie’s International Real Estate
Shifts in the global economy are influencing prime property buyers, presenting once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for some and challenges for others
High-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) are becoming increasingly global in their investment outlook. Extensive fluctuations in global exchange rates—the US dollar hit a 10-year high in mid-2015 after climbing from an all-time low just four years earlier—have presented exceptional opportunities, as well as challenges, for buyers seeking to acquire prime property outside their resident country.
As part of Luxury Defined 2016, our annual report on the prime property market, we explore the impact of exchange rates on the cross-border movements of important buyer groups and examine how currency-strong buyers may benefit from exchange rates that are positioned in their favor.
Gateway US markets such as Phoenix and Miami, where overseas buyers were a steadying post-financial crisis force, have seen the number of international buyers trending down as the rising dollar made US luxury homes more expensive.
Overseas buyers now comprise 35 percent of luxury sales in Miami, a nine percent decrease from 2014. “This reflects the financial uncertainties of countries whose residents have historically been active purchasers of South Florida real estate,” says Ron Shuffield of EWM Realty International. “Despite the downward trend, affluent foreign buyers continue to purchase property in Miami as a currency hedge and a safe store of wealth.”
Although many of our 100 surveyed markets reported decreases in buyers from oil and commodity-dependent countries including Russia and Canada, there has been limited dropoff in Chinese buyer interest.
Wealth has grown fivefold in China since the beginning of the century and Chinese nationals now make up eight percent of the global UHNWI population. After years of widely reported capital outflows, the country’s slowing economy has yet to have significant impact on the global luxury real estate market, with most brokers reporting an increase in Chinese buyers and only a few observing a slight dropoff.
Amid this headline-grabbing national turmoil, Chinese buyers are still purchasing prime property at top prices across the globe. 2015’s highest price residential sales in several important markets (Sydney, Hong Kong, Seattle, and the New York Adirondacks, among others) were sold to Chinese nationals or recent emigrees. And wealthy Chinese nationals aren’t just buying real estate—they are also purchasing art at the top end of the market. A$170 million Modigliani painting, sold at Christie’s in November, went to a Chinese art patron.
A declining euro is also presenting opportunities for affluent second-home buyers in Europe as well as several destinations in the Caribbean. “2015 saw a boost to the market from American clients who are starting to reinvest thanks to the strengthening of the dollar,” notes Zarek Honneysett of Sibarth Real Estate in St Barths.
*Fuente: Luxury Defined
A new report develops new benchmarks to better interpret and shed new light on the rarefied world of luxury real estate
Trophy’ has become the new buzz-word in luxury real estate. According to the latest issue of Luxury Defined—our just-released study on the global prime property market—more properties than ever before were both sold and listed for sale at US$100 million or higher in 2014. As the number of billionaires globally reached new heights, so too did the price benchmarks for their trophy homes, as the world’s most affluent focused more and more on acquiring “collectible” residential assets in prized locations across the globe. US$100 million is now firmly established as the billionaire benchmark for ultra-prime property.
At the more traditional luxury residential real estate price segments, the overall market experienced steady growth in 2014, with US$1 million plus home sales up by an average of 16 percent over 2013 in the 80 luxury residential markets surveyed for the report. After an explosion in urban luxury home sales growth in 2012-2013, the story in 2014 was that second-home resort markets were red hot, leading the growth in luxury property sales. ‘Jet set destinations’ soared 28 percent over the prior year, fueled by attractive investment opportunities, below market peak prices, and an emerging confidence that the market has bottomed and a recovery is well under way.
As millennials grow up and baby boomers transition into life as empty nesters, these buyers are increasingly seeking urban amenities. This helped fuel growth in high-value urban market sales, particularly in metropolitan cities, which jumped by 15 percent over 2013.
In the top global economic hub cities, Toronto ranked as the world’s ‘hottest’ luxury market in 2014, and was the only top city to see a faster year-on-year pace with a 37 percent increase in luxury home sales. London topped the list of the world’s most luxurious cities for prime property—measured by top sales prices, high average prices per square foot, and number of luxury sales—followed closely by New York.
“More than ever before, we are focusing on the purchasing patterns of ultra-affluent individuals — as well as what’s driving their investments across the globe — and why the acquisition of luxury real estate has become increasingly important to their portfolios,” notes Dan Conn, CEO, Christie’s International Real Estate. “Whether for safe storage of wealth, lifestyle upgrades or the pure passion of the investment, the intrinsic recognition of the sheer value of prime property ownership could not be stronger among these consumers.”
Titled Luxury Defined, the third annual edition of the research paper not only examines the world’s top 10 cities for prime property, but also analyzes an additional 70 key regional markets, exploring the dynamics and drivers shaping the globe’s high-end real estate market.