Luxury Buyers Are Spending Mega Bucks in These Markets

October 3, 2014

The high-end residential real estate market remains strong point and plays a big role in the housing recovery. Nearly half – 48 percent – of all wealthy consumers recently reported that they plan to purchase a luxury home within the next 12 months, according to a survey of consumers with a net worth of at least $5 million conducted by Coldwell Banker Previews International program and the Luxury Institute. For affluent individuals under the age of 35, the percentage of those planning to buy a luxury home in the next year jumps to whopping 81 percent. This group of affluent Millennials also reported the highest average purchase price of all age groups at $7.8 million, according to the survey. 

So where are luxury buyers’ targeting their home search? Coldwell Banker’s survey identified the following 10 U.S. cities as having the highest number of luxury home sales valued at $1 million or more during the last 12 months through June 2014:

  1. San Francisco: 2,485 (the number of home sales valued at $1 million-plus)
  2. Los Angeles: 2,170
  3. New York: 2,145
  4. San Jose, Calif.: 1,119
  5. Houston: 981
  6. Chicago: 972
  7. Naples, Fla.: 964
  8. Miami: 933
  9. San Diego: 927
  10. Washington, D.C.: 878

In the $10 million-plus sales category, New York, with 58 home sales valued at $10 million-plus and Beverly Hills, Calif., with 28 home sales of $10 million-plus led the pack.

What Are Luxury Buyers Looking For?

Location is no longer the top search criteria among luxury buyers, particularly the younger generations, according to the survey. With the ability to work remotely becoming an option for a growing number of people, only 25 percent of the under-35 age group indicate that location dominates their home search criteria. The under-35 group factors in lifestyle considerations instead, with 75 percent saying that dictates their choice of which home to buy, according to the survey.

The demand for eco-friendly homes is growing, too. Nearly one-third of all wealthy buyers under the age of 45 surveyed said a “green” or “LEED certified” home was more important to them than it was just three years ago. Twenty-one percent of all wealthy buyers say they want to purchase an eco-friendly home, a significant jump up from 7 percent in 2013.

Twenty-five percent of luxury home buyers also view a fully automated, high-tech home as a greater priority. For 37 percent of respondents under the age of 35 and 30 percent of those with a net worth of more than $10 million, safe rooms were also found to be a top priority.

Source: Coldwell Banker Previews International/Coldwell Banker (Oct. 1, 2014)