Luxury homes aren’t just about opulence – each one will be uniquely equipped to reflect its owner’s lifestyle. Although there are certain amenities that never seem to go out of fashion, examining the differences between older and younger buyers reveals some interesting insights into what the owners of these incredible properties really want in a home.
According to a recent American survey, 43% of young, wealthy consumers are planning a potential purchase for the next 12 months, compared to just 21% of those aged 55 or above. What’s more, younger consumers spent an average of $2.1 million on their last property, dwarfing the average $1.1 million spent by older buyers of comparable wealth.
Unsurprisingly, location remains a key concern for wealthy buyers – just as it is for less privileged house hunters. However, it seems that wealthy buyers are increasingly willing to move further afield to find their ideal home. This year, 20% of affluent consumers said they weren’t limited by location, with that statistic rising to 24% among the ultra-affluent.
This decreased emphasis on location has been accompanied by a greater demand for modern infrastructure, reflected primarily in an increasing desire for so-called ‘smart homes.’ 32% of those surveyed saw a fully wired home as an essential, with open plan floor space and outdoor kitchens also highly valued.
In another potentially age-related shift, it’s worth noting that demand for these amenities comes at the expense of traditional ‘old money’ luxuries. Servants’ quarters, wine cellars, tennis courts and guest houses are not only less important to buyers this year; they are an active deterrent for approximately one in five buyers. However, the factor displaying the clearest age divide comes from a property’s green credentials, with the research revealing that consumers under 55 are twice as likely to value environmentally certified properties than those over 55.
One thing that seems clear is that wealthy buyers generally prefer to purchase properties already equipped with these essentials, rather than adding the work themselves. As high-density cities like London crack down on ‘iceberg homes’ with their cavernous basements and buyer mobility opens up wider markets, high net-worth individuals will be less willing to put in that additional effort to adjust rather than simply acquire.
Swimming pools continue to be somewhat divisive, but remain very much present on the list of desirable attributes. With 28% of respondents keen on including one in their luxury home, the pool still overrules both gyms and home theatres as the add-on of choice. However, with 19% of respondents viewing an in-built pool as a negative, it’s overall an ill-advised investment for those looking to add value.
Instead, it seems that many high-end new residences are using a more artistic approach to raising their value. Following on from a new build in Marylebone, collections of original artworks worth thousands of pounds are being used to bolster the value of properties already considered luxury developments. Although art’s inherent subjectivity means that this method is not without risk, in-house modern art could soon become a crucial part of the luxury property market.
For more advice on international real estate, visit the Engel & Völkers website. With truly spectacular homes listed in almost every continent, our experienced agents can ensure you find the perfect addition to your portfolio.