What’s Trending in Luxury Real Estate Worldwide? Privacy, Security, and Amenities
Luxury real estate market trends are constantly evolving as new features and technologies arise. Here are some of the latest trends in global luxury.
The changing tastes, priorities, and values of affluent buyers have an undeniable impact on the luxury real estate market. For top-tier buyers, luxury properties offer the best possible experience as these homes come with a wide range of features and amenities. When it comes to comfort and convenience, to entertainment and relaxation, only luxury real estate can meet affluent buyers’ high expectations. It is an investment, lifestyle enhancement, work of art, and status symbol all at once.
The Global Luxury Real Estate Market
Ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are key market segments for luxury real estate. This is also a small and elite group – there are only 392,410 UHNWIs in the world with a combined net worth of $41.8 trillion as of 2022, according to the Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report. The United States is home to the world’s largest population of UHNHWIs with 121,465 ultra-wealthy individuals followed by China (51,145), and Germany (19,870).
UHNWIs have an average of 3.7 homes. Primary and secondary homes account for 32% of their investment portfolio. When it comes to gender and asset allocation, UHNW women are three times more likely to invest in real estate and luxury goods than their male peers, with those two categories accounting for 13% of all their assets.
Nearly half of HNWIs have expressed intent to increase their portfolio in 2023. More specifically, 32% hope to increase their holdings of residential property, according to the Knight Frank HNW Pulse Survey. As a prominent segment of the luxury real estate market, UHNWIs have an undeniable influence on the demand for high-end properties around the world. They also have the power to shape luxury real estate market trends.
PRIVACY TRENDS IN LUXURY REAL ESTATE
Affluent buyers are concerned with privacy and security. They often look for properties with gated entrances, long driveways, guard houses, advanced security systems, and other safety features. They also appreciate home automation systems that allow them to monitor the property and control security systems with a few taps on a screen.
The Rising Demand for Secluded Properties
For many wealthy buyers, seclusion is the ultimate luxury. Luxury homes in remote locations offer peace and solitude. Some properties make it possible for busy homeowners to unplug and get off the grid without having to “rough it.”
Secluded luxury properties come with modern conveniences and lavish amenities, as well as the promise of complete privacy. These homes can range from lakefront property tucked away in an idyllic Western European village or a Brazilian eco-retreat with contemporary interiors. These may also include quiet hillside mansions and oceanfront homes within driving distance of Los Angeles.
Gated Communities and Exclusive Neighborhoods
Established neighborhoods and gated communities are some of the most desirable areas on the Westside of Los Angeles. These communities typically have security personnel, guarded entrances, controlled access points, surveillance cameras, and patrols. Living in these communities can create a sense of safety for affluent buyers, many of whom are public figures and high-profile individuals.
Since access is restricted to homeowners and authorized staff and guests, there is less traffic and activity within the community. This helps wealthy buyers avoid unwanted attention and solicitation. It also creates a sense of exclusivity.
Architectural and Landscape Design for Privacy
Affluent buyers are usually discreet and are willing to pay a premium for privacy. Luxury properties with large gates, spacious yards, and high walls and hedges can shield homeowners from street view and the neighbors. In addition to strategic landscaping, foliage, and other natural barriers, top-tier buyers may also prefer tinted windows and retractable roofs and awnings for added privacy from drones.
TRENDING SECURITY MEASURES
Technological Advancements in Home Security
Advanced home security is crucial to addressing complex security threats that HNWIs and their families regularly face. Smart home security systems powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) enables affluent buyers to address security challenges. The home security market is expected to grow by 34% from 2021 to 2026 in the US and Canada, according to data from Technavio.
Today’s luxury real estate market trends include automated security systems that are capable of detecting real-time threats, monitoring vast properties, and alerting homeowners, security personnel, and local authorities to suspicious activity.
Cloud storage is also expected to see more widespread use for home security due to storage capacity and ease of access. It is becoming an attractive alternative to SD cards and tapes, which can be easily destroyed or damaged.
Integrated Surveillance and Access Control Systems
Tech-savvy luxury homebuyers have come to expect voice control as a standard home feature. 42.7% of American adults used a smartphone to use voice assistants in 2022, according to Insider Intelligence. Integrating Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Echo with a home security system makes it more convenient for homeowners and security personnel to monitor certain rooms and areas without having to physically walk through the property. Smart locks, smart alarms, video doorbells, motion sensor-triggered lighting, and other voice-activated systems can be easily controlled from a central dashboard.
Security Staff and Services in Luxury Residences
HNWIs work with security advisers to develop investigation strategies and preempt any security issues that may arise, making sure that they are capable of addressing them before they even surface. Security advisers conduct thorough but discreet assessments to ensure safety on the property. Professionally trained security staff can carry out strong intelligence and investigations to help clients address more direct security issues on the property and within the immediate vicinity.
AMENITIES REDEFINING LUXURY LIVING
Extravagant Indoor Features
When it comes to indoor features, entertainment rooms have long been popular among affluent buyers. Home theaters, game rooms, and indoor bowling alleys and basketball courts are highly coveted among buyers who love to host gatherings. Wine cellars, cigar rooms, and showroom-style garages with custom displays and lighting appeal to hobbyists and serious collectors.
However, many wealthy buyers have also been leaning towards simpler but more functional indoor features. Flex rooms and spaces have become one of the most pervasive luxury real estate market trends over the last few years.
Modern luxury flex spaces refer to areas that can be easily converted and used for a variety of purposes. These spaces go beyond the average bonus room with custom upgrades. A flex room could be a place to do yoga, meditation, or office work — the possibilities are endless.
Outdoor Recreational Facilities
Outdoor living areas and entertainment spaces also appeal to affluent buyers, particularly when the property is located in a scenic environment. Rooftop terraces, summer kitchens, outdoor seating, fire pits, swimming pools, and hot tubs are fairly standard for luxury homes.
Seamless indoor-outdoor living is a growing trend in luxury real estate. Homes with oversized windows, glass walls, and skylights bring the outdoors into the living room, kitchen, or bedroom. Saltwater pools and cold plunge pools have also become fashionable.
Smart Home Technologies
The number of smart homes around the world is expected to exceed 400 million by 2024, according to Statista. Not only does smart home technology make luxury living more convenient, it can also help boost productivity and promote wellness among homeowners.
Smart home technology can help support remote work and learning through voice-enabled devices and augmented reality. It can also create a healthier living environment with improved indoor air quality, UV light disinfection, and touch-free surfaces.
Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Features
Wealthy buyers have shown increased interest in greener and more sustainable living spaces. According to a Knight Frank HNW Pulse Survey, 46% of HNWIs said that environmental considerations affect their investment decisions to some extent. They ranked their priorities in order of importance:
- Reducing carbon emissions through operation
- Minimizing embodied carbon (i.e. emissions associated with materials and construction processes)
- Minimizing waste of resources
- Minimizing consumption of resources
Moreover, UHNWIs have the following criteria when considering investing in property:
- Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and heat pump (57%)
- Opportunities for green refurbishments (33%)
- Sustainable materials and embodied carbon (30%)
Luxury real estate market trends have come to reflect these environmental considerations. Many luxury homes come with solar panels, LED lighting, LEED certification, and water conservation and recycling systems.
GLOBAL HIGHLIGHTS FOR LUXURY REAL ESTATE
Real estate is all about location, and luxury homes are located in the world’s most coveted locations — whether they’re on the beach, on top of a mountain, or overlooking the city. However, the world’s greatest cities and travel destinations are constantly changing. A smartly designed mixed-use development or revitalized downtown can turn an up-and-coming community into a desirable location.
Out of 100 prime real estate markets around the world, 85 saw positive price growth, with Dubai (44%) and Aspen (28%) in the lead, according to Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index (PIRI 100).
The index defines prime real estate as the most expensive and desirable properties in a certain location. These properties belong to the top 5% of each market in terms of value. It also defines prime markets as having a significant international buyer profile.
Luxury Home Sales and Prices
Super-prime properties valued at US$10 million+ are at the very top of the market with 2022 sales remaining 49% higher compared to 2019 though lower than the 2021 total. The cities of Los Angeles, New York, and London had the highest numbers of super-prime property sales in 2022. London and New York dominated the ultra-prime market, which includes properties valued at US$25 million and higher.
The sunbelt and snowbelt resort markets are a popular choice among HNWIs for wealth preservation, early retirement, and hybrid work arrangements. Sun and ski locations are up 8.4% and 8.3%, respectively. These resort markets outperformed average prime market growth in 2022. There is also growing diversity among buyer nationalities in prime markets in France, Italy, and Spain.
LUXURY REAL ESTATE MARKET FORECAST
Changing Real Estate Laws and Regulations
- Measure ULA (United for Housing LA), also called the new mansion tax, imposes a 4% tax on Los Angeles properties listed at or higher than $5 million but not greater than $10 million. The mansion tax goes up to 5.5% for real property sales valued at or above $10 million. The mansion tax took effect in April 2023. The City of Los Angeles is facing two lawsuits to get ULA thrown out.
- San Diego and Chicago are also considering imposing a mansion tax. The San Diego Housing Federation has proposed a real estate transfer tax requiring property owners to pay an extra 1.75% to 2.25% on property sales above $2.5 million. The proposed Bring Chicago Home Ordinance will raise real estate transfer taxes on residential and commercial properties over $1 million.
- Canada has banned foreign individuals and corporations from buying residential properties for two years. The ban was passed by Parliament in June 2022 and took effect in January 2023. The Foreign Home Ownership Ban prohibits non-Canadians from purchasing homes directly or through trusts, partnerships, and other entities. However, non-Canadians who have a valid claim on residential property due to death, divorce, or separation are exempt from the ban.
- Australia began imposing higher fees for non-resident buyers in 2022, doubling the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) application fee for foreigners applying for permission to buy property in the country.
Global Mobility and Investor Visa Programs
An increased desire for mobility has also become a priority for HNWIs following the coronavirus pandemic, which had many governments imposing stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions. Hybrid and remote work made it possible for more individuals to live in other countries without sacrificing their income, creating a digital nomad boom and increased global mobility. While wealthy investors have always enjoyed a great deal of global mobility, there is increasing demand for second passports, golden visas, and property-led investor visa schemes in countries like Spain, Portugal, and Turkey.
The Knight Frank Attitudes survey found that 13% of UHNWIs plan to acquire a second passport or citizenship. The trend is expected to create disruptions in outbound countries and increase the demand for residential properties and office space in destination markets. However, taxation, social security, and labor laws in outbound countries can make it challenging for HNWIs to bring employed staff with them to destination markets
There is increasing competition among governments to attract wealthy real estate buyers and investors from other countries. The United Arab Emirates is offering long-term visas to investors, entrepreneurs, startup owners, and their immediate family members while Italy has rolled out a tax incentive for HNWIs with overseas income.
Luxury Branded Residences
Luxury branded residences are private residential properties that result from a partnership between a prestigious brand and a real estate developer. In this type of partnership, a brand grants the developer a license to market and sell residential units incorporating their brand name, logo, and design. In the case of hotel brands, they may also manage and service the residential properties as part of a rental program.
Real estate consultancy Knight Frank estimates that there are more than 400 branded residences around the world as of 2022. The majority of branded residences are aligned with hospitality brands like Aman, Four Seasons, One&Only Resorts, and Ritz-Carlton while others carry luxury brand names like Armani, Porsche, and Versace.
The global market for these luxury properties continues to expand with international buyers willing to pay 39% more for branded residences. Many brands and developers are also looking to grow their portfolios by identifying new locations for HNWI growth.
London-based real estate services company Savills predicts that the demand for the branded residences will remain robust in key cities like Los Angeles, New York, and London. These cities are major education and business destinations with world-renowned universities, cultural attractions, and opportunities for investment among HNWIs. The company also anticipates branded residence market growth in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City, which are poised for a strong increase in wealth over the next five years.
Lastly, Savills expects to see increased demand for second homes in accessible resort destinations and remote locations. The demand will be primarily driven by buyers who are focused on flexible work and wellness. These resort destinations include traditionally expensive markets like Palm Springs as well as travel getaways like Bali and Phuket.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LUXURY REAL ESTATE MARKET TRENDS
Locate your next investment property and grow your portfolio with the help of a luxury real estate expert. If you’re looking for a new home in Greater Los Angeles, award-winning Realtor Joyce Rey is ready to assist you.
With nearly 50 years of experience in the real estate industry, Joyce Rey works with celebrity clients, professional athletes, Fortune 500 executives, and other HNWIs. Known for her work ethic and negotiation skills, she has amassed over $6 billion in sales to date, having represented some of Southern California’s most distinctive properties.