“Location, location, location,” may be the three most important words of real estate – and that’s true for the average buyer as well as the luxury crowd. According to a recent report, 79 percent of luxury real estate agents say that location is the most important aspect for buyers looking at high-end homes. And while international buyers are a growing sector, 72 percent of luxury homebuyers are local to the areas in which they are buying.
The second edition of Coldwell Banker Previews International’s luxury market report, released December 2012, cites the rise of affluent women and “ultra-luxury” (properties worth more than $10 million) buyers as unprecedented trends.
The demographics of affluent buyers change from state to state. Overall, 62 percent are between ages of 45 to 54. Very few buyers are single; 38 percent are married and 54 percent are married with kids, according to the survey of luxury real estate agents. However, in San Francisco the typical buyer is between the ages of 30 to 45 because of the close proximity to Silicon Valley, where most buyers work in the technology field, according to the report.
The volume of luxury real estate sales increased significantly in 2012 with a rise in affluent women buyers. According to the report, women now control $20 trillion in consumer spending worldwide, making them one of the most influential groups in the luxury marketplace. Certain neighborhoods have seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in single affluent women buying property.
According to real estate agents surveyed, women are more likely to pay for high-quality finishes, security and privacy – whereas men tend to prefer ‘statement’ homes. The former features will become more important for luxury real estate in the future, as women gain control of more national wealth. After all, almost all income growth in the U.S. over the past 15 or 20 years has come from women, the report says, citing Nielsen numbers.