A panel of luxury real estate experts from the United States and Canada came together to provide insight into the market at Urban Pace’s inaugural Luxury Trends Conference. The conference was held on March 14 in Washington, D.C., and explored sales trends in the market, luxury design trends and more.
Here’s a look at a few of the top sales trends discussed during the event.
1. Real estate is outperforming other investment asset classes, such as equities. According to Dan Conn, CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate, real estate is a safer asset class overall because it lacks the day-to-day volatility of other investments and is a real, physical product.
2. Luxury buyers are diversifying the locations where they’re purchasing property. High-end real estate buyers from countries like China and Russia are purchasing properties in more secondary markets, including Washington, D.C., and Seattle. These markets weren’t as sought after in the past, but are increasingly being recognized as smart investments, Conn said.
3. Buyers from different generations aren’t all that dissimilar. In D.C., Philadelphia and many other areas, millennials and empty nesters are looking for the same features in a property, said Clint Mann, president of Urban Pace, a Long & Foster company. Whether buying up or downsizing, they want walkable neighborhoods, good views and access to city amenities.
4. Uber and Lyft have improved accessibility throughout cities like D.C. This improved access means people are willing to move to more areas in the city than ever before and developers are building in places they wouldn’t have considered in the past, Mann said.
5. Getting the amenities right from the beginning is important. Jim Gricar, general sales manager for Houlihan Lawrence in Westchester, New York, said developers should research what buyers in their market want before acquiring land. Doing so can help developers avoid a situation where they’re unable to deliver amenities buyers want because construction is too far along.
6. Natural disasters don’t necessarily hurt luxury-buyer demand in sought-after locations. Conn said despite the risk of natural disasters, people still want to be in coastal and island locations. Those who can afford these high-risk properties work to figure out how to build around the issues they face.