This summer we’re looking at the state of the luxury agent and broker in today’s increasingly complex real estate market. In October, we’ll gather in Beverly Hills at Luxury Connect to share best practices, network and create a blueprint for the luxury agent/broker of tomorrow. Don’t miss it.
The 2018 luxury home market was initially riddled with uncertainty due to tax reform, tariffs and a predicted slow down in demand. However, all markets are local, and what happens in one geographic sector can be completely different than what happens another.
What defines luxury is also hyperlocal given varying price points, styles of homes and who the buyer audience is for properties in the are.
Are they move-up buyers, primary or secondary residences, purely vacation homes or simply trophy purchases?
In many areas of the country, 2018 has continued to defy expectations as buyers are deciding now is the time to pursue that dream property whether it is $1 million, $100 million or somewhere in between.
Income tax-free states like Florida are seeing a surge in luxury home sales as more buyers seek desirable weather and a better financial climate.
Whether today’s luxury buyer is seeking a more favorable tax shelter or something to accommodate their upwardly mobile and jet-setting lifestyle, there are certain trends that have emerged as what’s hot and what’s not.
Here’s a peek at what affluent buyers are looking for from leading luxury sources, such as Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Report Luxury in Review, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Luxury Home Report and Mansion Global.
1. Smaller properties
Today’s luxury buyer desires exceptional quality, but does not have to have thousands of square feet to show it off. They desire just the right size with thoughtful use of space and would rather have a better lot with breathtaking views.
2. Tech-savvy homes
In today’s there’s-an-app-for-that society, being at home is no exception. Modern luxury buyers want their home equipped with the latest technology to control everything from utilities, appliances, security, window shades and entertainment systems — all from the comfort of their phone.
3. Spectacular kitchens
Regardless of whether a luxury buyer cooks, a well-appointed and spacious kitchen with the highest quality finishes and state-of-the-art commercial-grade appliances is a must.
Having a grand island is also important as an ideal gathering space for everyday meals and entertaining. The kitchen is the crown jewel of the home, and in the luxury sphere, it must stand out.
4. Uniquely special
Today’s high-end buyers want a home filled with custom finishes and features that reflect their personality and taste.
Whether it’s custom-designed furniture, items incorporated into a home’s design from the owners’ travels or purchased elsewhere for a one-of-a-kind feel, they don’t want what everyone else has — so look for hand-crafted and specialty-sourced pieces.
Luxury homeowners want their home to tell a story when guests walk through it.
Whether it’s within the home or nearby, today’s luxury buyers want easy access to beaches, pools, fitness, spas and massage rooms.
Specialty rooms or living spaces tailored to interests like meditation rooms, sports courts or collection garages to house specialty cars are also of importance.
Proximity to private beach or country clubs that offer it all are also quite attractive for buyers relocating from another area as a way to be able to connect with other like-minded individuals.
1. Oversize, overdone and ostentatious
No longer does having a ton of square footage define a luxury home. Neither does over-the-top finishes that are too taste specific and perhaps outdated, such as swirled marble floors, walls of glass or custom mirrors or an abundance of garish metal-toned hardware.
The custom window or wall treatments that cost six figures to go with custom-made furniture pieces for the current owner may not mesh so well with another buyer looking to incorporate their taste and spin.
2. Inconvenient and far removed
Today’s luxury buyers crave convenience. They don’t want to have to travel unnecessary distances for shopping, dining or services, and the same goes for a commute to work or an airport.
An extra 10 or 20 minutes to get from a property to the main entrance of a gated community, for example, can negatively impact how buyers feel about the neighborhood and home. The same goes for proximity to amenities and activities they enjoy.
3. Lack of quality finishes
With luxury real estate, details matter. Today’s high-end buyers are attune to quality at every level and look closely at walls, ceilings, woodwork (or lack thereof), stair treads, railings and spindles.
They also pay attention to things like the quality of the kitchen cabinets, soft close drawers, pantry size, closets and storage throughout the home.
Buyers are easily turned off by properties that lack these features and display poor workmanship, especially in regards to upper-end new construction spec homes where short cuts are often taken by builders who overlook details that would make the difference.
Buyers typically perceive these homes has having inflated asking prices relative to the lack of quality being offered.
4. Functionally obsolete
Homes that have awkward or choppy layouts, wasted space, floor plans that go on and on, steep staircases and no elevator (or a way to put one in) are not perceived as in vogue by the luxury buyer.
Rather than trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, buyers are more apt to simply tear the house down and start over, particularly when it sits on a gorgeous lot with incomparable views and an unbeatable location.
5. Pie-in-the-sky overpricing
The luxury market is certainly one where pricing can defy logic as sellers believe there is a unique demand for what they have and what a hypothetical buyer may be willing to pay for.
Pricing far beyond the upper range ultimately leads to higher-end properties lagging on the market for quite a while, which can make them seem less desirable.
Thinking of bringing your team to Luxury Connect? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.
Cara Ameer is a broker associate and global luxury agent with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.