• Luxury havens are not only seen in the Hamptons and the U.S.
  • Three resorts in Europe draw affluent crowds from around the world.
  • Europeans are not as interested in U.S. properties anymore.

I was recently in Barcelona for meetings with those who run Coldwell Banker companies across Europe and the Middle East, and I really enjoyed the vibrant city and the conversation surrounding luxury real estate.

Role of younger generations in the growth of luxury real estate

I had the opportunity to share my belief that luxury real estate will become an even greater world phenomenon. The transfer of wealth from older to younger generations worldwide will likely bring about a more mobile affluent crowd that has grown up going to school and working abroad.

These younger people will want homes in multiple locations since their experiences may have taken them to places all around the globe.

You may have seen the continuously updated report on realtor.com that showcases the web traffic and interest coming to the U.S. from abroad.

I love it.

Along with identifying the top 20 most attractive markets according to the international community, the report also offers a breakdown of which countries have the greatest interest in each. This report also allows American agents to better understand where they should spend their time and marketing resources when trying to attract foreign buyers.

I am as interested in U.S. luxury real estate as you are. I know that summer means the Hamptons are hot again; helicopters from Manhattan are common, and I just read an article that stated seaplanes are available for $400 an hour on demand.

The foreign luxury real estate market

Those of us working in luxury real estate should also become more aware of what is happening outside of the U.S.


I recently spoke with a friend who has been in real estate for a long time. During our conversation, I realized he had never heard of Marbella in Spain. It is the Malibu of Europe, and it is home to some of the world’s most affluent, including those from Russia, Morocco, France and the U.K.

Bassin D’Arcachon

We also spoke about Bassin D’Arcachon, which is on the rise as one of world’s most discreet luxury areas. Since the French Riveria has become very popular, Bassin D’Arcachon has been a top choice for affluent second-home buyers.

It is located about one hour from Bordeaux. Think of it as the European version of Outer Banks in North Carolina; it is on the Arachon Bay and also has good nightlife nearby. That secret luxury area caught the attention of many affluent people after famous French actress Marion Cotillard bought her home there.

Forte dei Marmi

A third luxury haven is Forte dei Marmi in Italy. Think of it as Beverly Hills with perfect spaghetti alle vongole. It has incredible shopping and is an enclave for the Russians. In fact, you’ll hear Russian being spoken more than any other language while you’re there.

The affluent are going home

There is another interesting trend involving the world’s affluent: They are beginning to return home.

Because of the rise of multinational companies, so many Europeans moved away and became very successful in other places. Over the last several years, many of them have begun purchasing luxury property back home in London, Paris and resort locations like Bassin D’Arcachon and Marbella.

It also seems like fewer Europeans are showing interest in U.S. real estate; it’s essentially the affluent French Jewish community and those from the U.K. who are still buying in Florida.

The Brits are also in France and Spain, as are affluent Germans and Swedes.

The French will usually buy second homes in France, Spain, Italy and Tunisia. Morocco used to be popular, but not so much anymore.

I enjoy sharing this information and hope it helps real estate professionals in their work with affluent clients. As the world continues to shrink, we must increase our global knowledge so we can be the best resource possible.

Laurent Demeure is the founder and CEO of Coldwell Banker France & Monaco.

Email Laurent Demeure.

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