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
Nile Niami Bel Air Spec Home
Los Angeles, California
Le Palais Bulles/”Bubble Palace”
18 Carlton House Terrace
Odeon Tower Penthouse
The Playboy Mansion
Los Angeles, California
Le Palais Royal
Hillsboro Beach, Florida
Los Angeles, California
Hamptons, New York
Trousdale Estates Compound
Los Angeles, California
Island Road Estate
Rancho San Carlos
258-acre Bel Air Canyon
Bel Air-Holmby Hills, California
Fifth Avenue Compound
New York, New York
Fifth Avenue Duplex
New York, New York
The Park Bel Air
Los Angeles, California
2 Carlton House Terrace
Las Varas Ranch
Theoule-sur-Mer, Côte d’Azur
No. 1 Twelve Peaks
Isle de Ronde
Sycamore Valley Ranch
Los Olivos, California
Las Perlas Archipelago
King’s Point Estate
Great Neck, New York
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
London topped the list of the world’s top “luxury” housing markets and Hong Kong edged out New York to claim the second spot in this year’s Luxury Defined Index rankings
om recent stock market fluctuations to the shifting fortunes of emerging market buyers, the global prime property market traversed a challenging geopolitical and economic landscape in 2015 and into 2016.
The annual Christie’s International Real Estate Index, which synthesizes and compares luxury housing metrics, reflects these developments and acts as a measuring stick for the global luxury market. The Index forms part of Luxury Defined 2016, an in-depth study of more than 100 prime residential property markets worldwide.
The Index ranks the world’s 10 top property markets under two performance measures:
The Luxury Index rates the relative “luxuriousness” of primary market cities with at least one million residents (see the latest Luxury Index rankings below).
The Luxury Thermometer assesses the “health” of the million-dollar-plus market and compares international primary and resort housing markets.
London Tops the World’s Most Luxurious Cities for Prime Property:
2015* Luxury Index Rankings
2) Hong Kong
3) New York
4) Los Angeles
8) San Francisco
*Luxury Index rankings are based on data for the period January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. The Index aggregates local market metrics measuring market record sale price, average price per square foot for luxury homes, number of sales over $1 million, percentage of listings over $1 million, average price for luxury home sales, percentage of international and non-local homebuyers, and percentage of secondary home sales.
Highlights from this year’s Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Index include:
With more prime property listings than any other city, as well as the world’s second most expensive residential sale in 2015 ($141 million / £92 million), London retains its position as the most luxurious property market worldwide. In spite of slower growth due to new taxes on prime property purchases, the city continues to attract strong domestic and international buyer demand. London has topped the Luxury Index for four years running.
Even with negative annual overall sales growth and pressures from a decline in mainland Chinese capital outflow, Hong Kong narrowly edged out New York to place second in theLuxury Index. The harbor city posted the world’s top residential sale in 2015 ($194 million / HK$1.5 billion).
Miami achieved a local record sale ($55 million for a new-build penthouse), which offset declines in overseas and cash buyers, ensuring a solid performance in the Luxury Index. New luxury stock and slowing buyer demand evidenced in late 2015 and early 2016 however, is likely to move it down in next year’s rankings.
Singapore joined our Index rankings after showing signs of an uptick following several years of declines due to government cooling measures. Singapore knocked Dubai—where pressures from declining oil prices and an oversupply of luxury properties caused price and sales volume declines—out of the world’s top 10 luxury markets.
*Fuente: Luxury Defined http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/market-insights/ranking-the-worlds-top-performing-luxury-property-markets
From the collective insights and experiences of our expert international real estate affiliates, we have crafted a snapshot of luxury home buyer preferences in 2015. This is what luxury is today…
1 | LUXURY IS… SO MUCH MORE THAN LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Traditionally prominent addresses and prized ZIP codes are no longer the defining baseline concept for luxury homes. HNWIs are expanding the borders of traditional luxury locales, and are willing to pay a premium in emerging luxury areas if the amenities and lifestyle offerings are right. The evolution of high-end commercial real estate is also driving this phenomenon.
– “As certain areas of London become more accepted (The City, Battersea, Vauxhall, White City/Hammersmith, Earls Court, Shoreditch), we are finding domestic and international purchasers more open to areas traditionally outside their comfort zone. This is due to gentrification driven by increased residential development and improved infrastructure.” Lulu Egerton of Strutt & Parker, London
– “After being priced out of the traditional luxury areas, younger and international affluent buyers have embraced non-traditional areas such as Kowloon Island, where new developments are offering high-quality services and amenities.” KS Koh of Landscope-Christie’s International Real Estate, Hong Kong
2 | LUXURY IS… CONSCIOUS LIVING Owning a home that doesn’t negatively impact the community—and one that can even bring positive meaning—is attractive to wealthy buyers. The demand for more sustainable and healthy environments has placed greater emphasis on knowing where and how products are manufactured, and has fueled a trend toward conscious living.
– “The essence of the Cayman Islands lifestyle is derived from the beauty of our water and weather, and from the alignment of sustainable architecture with the natural landscape. In the luxury market, these elements remain a priority for discerning buyers who value creative vision and thoughtful design as a way of enhancing their lifestyle.” Jackie Doak of Provenance Properties, Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands
– “Luxury-home buyers are looking for houses that are energy-efficient as well as environmentally conscious in construction and amenities.” Walt Danley of Walt Danley Realty, Paradise Valley, Arizona
– “Affluent buyers are increasingly looking for close proximity to a vibrant community rich with cultural offerings and outdoor activities, as well as opportunities to volunteer and make a difference.” Michael Saunders of Michael Saunders & Company, Sarasota, Florida
3 | LUXURY IS… EXPERIENTIAL
Today’s new wealthy consumers are more informed, more globally exposed, and more sophisticated than previous generations. Baby boomers in particular are now “less materialistic and more experiential,” noted Cognizent in a luxury retail trend study. And HNWIs are being led into the luxury experience by prestige brands such as Christie’s. “The worlds of high-value art, education, travel, luxury goods, and architecture are colliding,” observes Dirk Boll, European Managing Director of Christie’s. “Our focus remains on serving our clients whenever and however they choose to connect with art. Increasingly they are connecting with art in luxury sectors such as architecture and travel, where the enjoyment extends beyond ownership and into experience.” This shift toward experiential luxury is similarly reflected in the amenity and lifestyle preferences of HNW home buyers.
– “Buyers are increasingly seeking to spend money on property features that could be described as ‘experiential’, such as a meditation garden or an outdoor shower.” Justine DeLuce of Chestnut Park Real Estate, Toronto
– “When economic imperatives aren’t driving things, there is a quest for meaning and a better life. The choice becomes: How is family life enriched by having access to amenities and lifestyle options that can be experienced every day?” Ruth Kennedy Sudduth of LandVest, New England
– “In Pebble Beach and Carmel, buyers are looking to harness some of the perceived slower tempo and quality-of-life priorities, especially when they select a property with provenance. It is not that the former owner has to be famous, or even widely known, but rather that the home has a history, a legacy and sense of presence that the new owner can honor as they create their own memories” Bill Mitchell of Carmel Realty Company, Carmel, California
4 | LUXURY IS… CONVENIENCE
The resurgence of urban downtown cores in many major cities and changing age dynamics are having a significant impact on the home-buying preferences of the world’s most affluent. As millennials grow up and baby boomers transition into life as empty nesters, many larger cities are witnessing a surge of affluent older buyers to urban areas. Residents of suburban areas are also increasingly seeing a preference for urban amenities.
– “Local empty nesters are opting to ‘downsize’ from large single-family homes into generously sized condo and townhome units, with many opting for developments that are within walking distance of offices, shopping, and restaurants.” Ron Shuffield of EWM Realty International, Miami, Florida
– “We have witnessed a trend of affluent buyers, generally aged 50 and above, selling the house in the greens and moving to town.” Michael Blaser of Wüst und Wüst, Zurich, Switzerland
– “Many baby boomers are downsizing and wanting to live near town for the convenience. They’re looking to be as close to city/urban living as the suburbs will allow.” Barbara Cleary of Barbara Cleary’s Realty Guild, New Canaan, Connecticut
– “Lisbon’s property market has been growing, fueled by demand from clients looking for new and modern buildings in the city center.” Rafael Ascenso of Porta da Frente, Lisbon, Portugal
5 | LUXURY IS… AGE-AGNOSTIC
Multigenerational travel (trips involving at least three generations) was dubbed the biggest trend for 2014 by a luxury travel industry report. As growth in this type of tourism increases, some prestige real estate markets, particularly those in resort destinations, are seeing increasing demand for luxury homes with spaces that have the flexibility to adapt to generational diversity and entertaining requirements.
– “Wealthy buyers are increasingly focusing on family spaces such as places for adult children or grandchildren and guesthouses for elderly parents.” Dub Dellis of Walt Danley Associates, Paradise Valley, Arizona
– “We are seeing a trend toward the purchase of upscale apartments in luxury vertical developments that offer multi-functional spaces for flexible entertaining.” Lucia Cavazos of Gerencia RED in Monterrey, Mexico
– “A wide array of amenities and entertainment for the entire family are increasingly a priority for affluent home buyers. This trend is especially noticeable in young families where homes with amenities for children of all ages has become a must. This has led to a rise in important new developments being built in the outskirts of Bogotá, even within Country Clubs.” Juan Carlos Corredor Muñoz of Julio Corredor & CIA, Bogota, Colombia
6 | LUXURY IS… ULTIMATE PRIVACY
The age of the smartphone and its pervasive social-media feeds has brought with it an increasing desire for privacy, particularly for high-profile and celebrity buyers of luxury homes.
– “Eye-grabbing street views, which take out-of-town tourists by surprise and which took precedence in the days of Gregory Peck and Greta Garbo, have morphed into a preference for longer-than-ever gated drives, security systems, and being out of the public eye as much as possible. Ostentatiousness has been abandoned in favor of subdued.” Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, California
– “A key characteristic of many of today’s highest-end listings is ultimate privacy and seclusion. Paparazzi-proof hideaways—such as Donna Karan’s ‘The Sanctuary’ with its private-island feel—are increasingly sought after by security-conscious buyers.” Katherine Baryluk of Regency International, Turks and Caicos
7 | LUXURY IS… COLLECTIBLE
“For today’s wealthy investor, acquiring and holding collectibles is akin to building a store of treasure,” notes a report from Barclay’s Wealth Insights. Trophy real estate is the ultimate collectible treasure. Like buying a prized sports team or high-value artwork, trophy residences can ignite the passions of ultra high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI). Many developers of ultra-luxury properties have baked collectible concepts right into their plans with limited-edition structures and one-off creations by highly regarded international architects and designers.
– “South Florida developers and globally recognized star architects are creating ‘works of art’ within many of Miami’s newest condo buildings. Buyers are being drawn to purchase third, fourth, or fifth homes here in order to own a unit in one of these iconic buildings.” Ron Shuffield of EWM Realty International, Miami, Florida
– “One-of-a-kind trophy homes are becoming the latest ‘must have’ for the world’s most affluent. Akin to owning a Warhol or a Bugatti, UHNWIs are increasingly seeking to own an architectural collectible, such as one of the 41 residences within the iconic Ten Trinity Square development by London’s River Thames. Discerning buyers see acquisitions of this kind as an opportunity to be a resident of a living piece of art and history.” Dan Conn, CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate
8 | LUXURY IS… TURNKEY-READY
Many buyers are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of a “just bring your toothbrush” property, outfitted with top-of-the-line accoutrements that amplify a luxury lifestyle. Brokers reported an increased interest in brand-new residences, with buyers happily paying a premium for security, concierge, and other luxury amenities.
– “The year’s top sale in Beverly Hills was a $70 million ‘spec’ home, purchased with all furnishings and appointments, including an extensive collection of wines in the 2,500-bottle cellar and a fully stocked $200,000 candy wall. Tired of the line ‘just bring your toothbrush,’ the agent even provided eight OralB 3D Braun toothbrushes as part of the deal!” Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, California
– “Many buyers are more insistent on immaculate condition of houses or apartments. They have little appetite for refurbishment or ‘a project’ and are willing to pay more to be able to move in straight away.” Lulu Egerton of Strutt & Parker, London
– “Responding to interest from buyers, a number of new ‘turnkey’ homes came onto the market in 2014, an emerging trend in St. Barths.” Christian Wattiau of Sibarth Real Estate, St. Barths
9 | LUXURY IS… A BLANK CANVAS
At the other end of the spectrum, some enthusiastic buyers are pushing the desire for newness to new heights. Impeded by lack of quality inventory, more and more ultra-affluent buyers wish to build their owntrophy homes from scratch.
– “One of the most interesting trends is that of purchasing a trophy property with an older home and tearing that home down. As the very best lots were some of the first developed in Jackson, we anticipate that trend to continue.” Julie Faupel of Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, Wyoming
– “The highest priced sale in 2014 was a $13 million estate. The property is set to be demolished and the owners will rebuild a new mega home.” Robert Greenwood of Regency International, Turks & Caicos
– “Due to the greatly constricted inventory in our market, we’re seeing significant new and custom construction for buyers who are seeking expansive, one-of-a-kind estates.” James Bruner of Fenton Lang Bruner & Associates, Jupiter Island, Florida
10 | LUXURY IS… UNDERSTATED
Luxury is no longer about brash displays of wealth, note many experts in our network. Instead, scaled-back, quality-over-quantity luxury will continue to be one of the key tenets behind many prestige property acquisitions.
– “Luxury buyers aim to be more discreet, less ostentatious. There is a trend toward architecture that blends into the topography of the area, not about everything being overtly expensive.” Justine DeLuce of Chestnut Park Real Estate, Toronto
– “Quality of amenities and lifestyle offerings are becoming more important to affluent buyers than the size of a home.” Emily Moreland of Moreland Properties, Austin, Texas
– We are witnessing a continuing shift from ostentatious displays of one’s wealth… to a more restrained expression of tasteful understatement.” Bud Clark of Willis Allen Real Estate, La Jolla, California
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.