Luxury homes have never conformed to just one image or idea. From the lavish chateaux of the Loire Valley to glass-walled villas on the California coast, high-end properties come in all shapes, sizes and locations. Today, we're taking a look at some of the unifying features that are shared by many luxury homes around the world.
In many ways, investors today expect more from their homes than ever before. In recent years, innovative technology advances have focussed on making homes more efficient, more intuitive and more entertaining, and the global demand for these "tech-smart" properties has increased exponentially. Fingerprint recognition technology, "smart" thermostats and taps that dispense chilled, boiling, and sparkling water are just some of the appliances that wealthy investors may now look for in a high-end property.
Although a rise in the number of requests for smart technology has been registered in almost every luxury market, there are some intriguing regional differences in the other priorities for high net-worth individuals. Reports suggest that British and American buyers are more likely to be preoccupied with multi-car garages and PhantomPark lifts, while in China, the focus leans towards expanding and displaying extensive art collections. China's ten leading auction houses reported an increase of sales from $100 million to about $1 billion in just four years at the start of the 21st century, and in April 2014, a single rare porcelain cup sold for a record-breaking $36 million.
This elegant loft property in Milan exemplifies how a high-end home can also serve as a private art exhibition. The spacious open rooms, high ceilings and blank wall space provide an ideal backdrop for oversized canvases, framed monochrome prints and striking modern art. Large windows flood the room with natural light, so that each artwork can be displayed in its full glory.
For many investors, the contents of a property are secondary to the location, with buyers around the world agreeing that this has a significant impact on their decision. The regions with the highest value vary from country to country: in Spain and Mexico, mountain homes command the top prices, while Russian investors see countryside mansions as the most desirable properties. In almost every other market, waterfront locations reign supreme - from Canada to Thailand, it seems that affluent buyers rank lake, sea and river views exceptionally highly.
This contemporary villa on the Costa del Sol's exclusive Golden Mile exemplifies just how desirable beachfront properties can be. The seven-bedroom mansion enjoys superb views of the Mediterranean and is within walking distance of both the Puerto Banús yachting marina and the Oasis de Banús complex. Under-floor heating and solar energy add to more traditional luxury amenities like the swimming pool, cinema, sauna and gym.
In Majorca, this exceptional villa boasts similarly photogenic views, set in the highly sought-after area of Costa d'en Blanes. An infinity pool, complete with jets, overlooks the ocean and the marina of Puerto Portals, and even the fitness suite has its own sun terrace. Both these properties represent the harmonious fusion of exemplary architecture, cutting-edge technology and ideal location that truly defines a modern luxury home.
If you're considering investing in luxury real estate, contact Engel & Völkers to receive expert advice on properties and markets all around the world.