Mickey Alan Khan
A comprehensive study of the world’s affluent households by Luxury Portfolio International (LPI), the luxury marketing division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the largest global network of premier locally branded residential real estate brokerage firms, has revealed compelling metrics on the demand for residential real estate among the world’s wealthiest.
The study, “State of Luxury Real Estate”,
conducted by the Affluent Consumer Research Company, full-service market research and voice-of-the-customer organisation, focused on consumers in the top 1-5 per cent income bracket of 17 countries, representing more than 30 million households.
According to the report, of the 30 million-plus households represented, more than 15.5 million were in the market for residential real estate over the next three years.
Conversely, the report also revealed that demand for purchasing residential real estate by this sector far exceeds the number of sellers, with slightly more than 10 million looking to list their home for sale.
The more than five-million-home gap between those interested in purchasing and those interested in selling creates a seller’s market within the overall high-end residential real estate market. The implication of this lopsided market is near-term price increases and greater demand for new development.
Going by the report, while real estate prices vary dramatically from country to country, a viable luxury threshold is homes in excess of US $1 million. Of the 15.5 million consumers who indicated an interest in purchasing residential real estate, 66 per cent of that segment (10.3 million consumers) noted a desire to purchase a residence valued at US $1 million or more over the next three years.
The study finds that real estate is the leading investment category of the day, with luxury buyer sentiment a strong ‘buy,’ and a low inclination to ‘sell.’
It also reveals that one-quarter of global luxury buyers have an investment or a rental property in mind for their next purchase.
New construction in newly developed neighbourhoods is the number one global preference, and it commands the highest price among the luxury buyer segment, the study shows.
According to the report, the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted homes at all price levels, including the luxury sector, with trends borne from quarantining including adjusting to all members of the household working from home; a heightened need for self-reliance at home; and recognition that spontaneity brings a welcomed break. For the most part, all three circumstances can be addressed within a luxury home setting.
The study says international luxury buyers cite non-financial reasons to live abroad, with education and COVID-19 responses influencing their motivation for a golden passport, specifically for buyers in Mexico, India, China, and the post-Brexit United Kingdom.
Luxury buyers are planning for extended shelter-in-place scenarios for themselves, family and guests. Expectations are high that over the coming year, more time will be spent at home, with about half of luxury buyers seeking a residence with accommodations for long-term guests. Whatever their individual reason, the result is preparation for non-household members to shelter with them, the report highlighted.
It finds that the luxury customer is more interested in high-quality offerings and customer service than a low price. The ultra-luxury segment values brands that feature corporate citizenship, reputation and loyalty.i
“While real estate as an industry has had significant technological disruptors such as online agencies over the past few years, luxury buyers overwhelmingly prefer to work with a traditional brokerage firm. 70 per cent of luxury buyers noted as much, with 19 per cent noting they would work with an online agency.
“Luxury buyers are bullish on the residential real estate market. 45 per cent of those surveyed believe that it is getting stronger (more buyers), compared to 31per cent who believe that it is softer (these results are impacted by in-market, in-country specifics).
60per cent of affluent consumers expects an increase in their current home’s value, primarily in the 1 to 10 per cent range.
“50 per cent of luxury buyers believe that now is a good time to buy real estate, being the number one result in the survey, beating out stocks, private equity and gold, among others.
” More than one-half of ultra-luxury buyers (52 per cent) perceive their current home value to have risen by more than 10 per cent, perhaps incentivising them to trade up or add to their portfolio.
“As to an outlook for 2021, barring unforeseen economic or geopolitical issues, a record number of affluent households will be in-market to acquire, especially within the luxury segment,” the study stated.
Speaking on the report, the president of Luxury Portfolio International, Mickey Alam Khan, said: “It is clear that affluent residential real estate buyers see opportunities within their respective markets. We are noting a surge in buyers throughout many markets worldwide, where it continues to be a seller’s market in the luxury space vis-à-vis the previous year. We expect that trend to continue through 2021 – as well as the next couple of years — as buyers rush into the market. The ultra-luxury buyer perspective is that the current climate is getting stronger. In many markets, we see home values going up, and there is more interest in prime property.”
CEO of Affluent Consumer Research Co., the study’s author, and research partner for Luxury Portfolio International, Chandler Mount said: “Real estate is an increasingly sensible investment at a time when financial and alternative investments appear potentially disconnected from traditional success indicators, like revenue and profit.
“Many luxury buyers all over the world share this sentiment, and the implication is a lot of money flowing into real estate in the coming years.”
“Investment sentiment toward real estate is positive and outstrips other forms of financial investment. This bodes well for developers and resellers, along with sister industries, such as home design, art and furniture,” Khan stressed.