‘Trophy’ has become the new buzz-word in luxury real estate. According to the latest issue of Luxury Defined—our just-released study on the global prime property market—more properties than ever before were both sold and listed for sale at US$100 million or higher in 2014. As the number of billionaires globally reached new heights, so too did the price benchmarks for their trophy homes, as the world’s most affluent focused more and more on acquiring “collectible” residential assets in prized locations across the globe. US$100 million is now firmly established as the billionaire benchmark for ultra-prime property.
At the more traditional luxury residential real estate price segments, the overall market experienced steady growth in 2014, with US$1 million plus home sales up by an average of 16 percent over 2013 in the 80 luxury residential markets surveyed for the report. After an explosion in urban luxury home sales growth in 2012-2013, the story in 2014 was that second-home resort markets were red hot, leading the growth in luxury property sales. 'Jet set destinations’ soared 28 percent over the prior year, fueled by attractive investment opportunities, below market peak prices, and an emerging confidence that the market has bottomed and a recovery is well under way.
As millennials grow up and baby boomers transition into life as empty nesters, these buyers are increasingly seeking urban amenities. This helped fuel growth in high-value urban market sales, particularly in metropolitan cities, which jumped by 15 percent over 2013.
In the top global economic hub cities, Toronto ranked as the world’s ‘hottest’ luxury market in 2014, and was the only top city to see a faster year-on-year pace with a 37 percent increase in luxury home sales. London topped the list of the world's most luxurious cities for prime property—measured by top sales prices, high average prices per square foot, and number of luxury sales—followed closely by New York.
“More than ever before, we are focusing on the purchasing patterns of ultra-affluent individuals — as well as what’s driving their investments across the globe — and why the acquisition of luxury real estate has become increasingly important to their portfolios,” notes Dan Conn, CEO, Christie’s International Real Estate. “Whether for safe storage of wealth, lifestyle upgrades or the pure passion of the investment, the intrinsic recognition of the sheer value of prime property ownership could not be stronger among these consumers.”
Titled Luxury Defined, the third annual edition of the research paper not only examines the world’s top 10 cities for prime property, but also analyzes an additional 70 key regional markets, exploring the dynamics and drivers shaping the globe’s high-end real estate market.