Luxury real estate buyers: is this what you want?

PUBLISHED ON Mar 13, 2020

Sprawling houses with tennis courts and indoor pools, among other ostentatious features, once constituted the benchmark for luxury properties. But not any longer. Luxury homebuyers now prefer smaller and manageable square footage with modern amenities based on wellness and technology.

Wellness has come to mean more than spas, pools and exercise rooms. The latest trend constitutes of green design and eco-friendly homes. Buyers are also willing to sacrifice square footage for in-town locations near all the action.

Here are the property types and features that the affluent seek based on a recent report by Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.

Modern and move-in ready homes

According to Coldwell Banker’s survey of 22 luxury real estate firms around the world, wealthy home shoppers prefer modern residences – both design-wise and in construction age.

While some may favor renovations of older or historic properties which tend to retain a higher land value, younger buyers prefer new builds with open-concept floor plans that support contemporary interiors.

Nearly 80% of the surveyed agents said buyers want flowing layouts with easy, informal transitions. Meanwhile, about 70% of respondents said that new-construction homes have risen in popularity over the past year.

Luxury homebuyers show little tolerance for outdated designs, even when it may have been built relatively recently. Existing condos, even built 10 years ago, are required to be extensively renovated for new interiors.

Home automation

When it comes to home technology, 81% of the surveyed agents said their clients seek smart homes.

The definition of a smart home in 2020, goes beyond automated lighting and smart temperature control. Homebuyers want every aspect of living to be seamless.

This may include smart security systems, wireless sound systems and electric car docking stations.

Smart home tech has evolved from the convenience-focused applications to experience-focused integration of components into daily living and energy efficiency.

“I think we’re seeing more multifunctional spaces because people want ease of living. With everyone working on laptops and being so mobile, I’ve found that many of my luxury listings must have home automation that calls for purpose and function.”

Spaces to support a lifestyle

Outdoor living spaces or multi-use interiors have maintained their sustained appeal with luxury home shoppers and millennial buyers.

72% of the respondents said outdoor living spaces are a necessity, while flexible spaces, such as home offices is a growing popularity among younger buyers who may need to run small businesses from home.

“I think we’re seeing more of these multifunctional spaces because people want ease of living,” writes Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties in Honolulu, Hawaii.

As for condos, family-friendly features are highly-favored additions to a home. Certain condo developments include washing stations, walking areas for pets and child care services with activities and excursions for kids.

Wellness amenities

While traditional features such as spas and gyms may promote well-being, luxury homebuyers want amenities that emphasize holistic health as well as environmental stewardship.

Think energy efficiency, air and water flow and lighting quality as wellness considerations that underline the design, function and location of residences. Today, there are different levels of eco-friendly certifications that buildings can obtain, an advancement that is a part of the growing global trend of wellness real estate.

Living in a “green” development often translates into 10%-20% premiums, the report states.

Source: Coldwell Banker