What Do Luxury Buyers Want?

previews-logo-jpg-2Coldwell Banker® recently convened a small group of sales associates and broker/owners to find out what they see as top-of-mind concerns for today’s buyers. The results are intriguing. Here’s a quick overview.

The panel noted a surprising trend away from the expected downsizing-to-condominiums among baby boomers. Instead, the 50-to-70 year olds are taking advantage of the small-house market, with greater accessibility, single-level living, and the privacy afforded by single family homes. Where multiple levels can’t be avoided, elevators are increasingly finding their way into new home design.

On the other hand, younger buyers, primarily in their 30s and 40s, are still going big. New affluence and dynamic technology allow them to choose lifestyle over location, with a primary residence offering all the bells and whistles of quality of life, and a secondary residence more convenient to the workplace. Nontraditional spaces–converted lofts, barns, and churches–continue to appeal to these buyers.

The panel also noted an ongoing blurring of the boundary between inside and out. Outdoor living, dining, and even sleeping areas are more popular and lavish than ever. They also mentioned the increased use of unusual building materials–metals, glass, porcelain, and manufactured materials of exceptional quality. Improved durability, lower maintenance, and reduced environmental impacts are attractive to buyers along with the aesthetic appeal of combining unexpected materials.

New residents are also influencing the housing market as they arrive with their own requirements. For example, some Chinese and Middle Eastern buyers expect a house to have a second kitchen and many buyers want accommodations for an extended family.

Some panelists observed the “off-shoring” of residences, with attractive benefits for those who move, for example, to the Caribbean, Bermuda, and countries in the Eurozone.

Finally, two familiar features were added to the list: dual closets and dual offices. When it comes to closets, bigger is better. And when it comes to offices, two is better than one–no matter the age of the homeowners.

You can read the full report in Previews Inside Out.