Luxury Trends

Trend Watch: Growing Importantce of Transportation

Traffic Jam

With Baby Boomers and even more so with Millenials, transportation seems to be a growing factor in the classic "Location, location, location" value equation for real estate.   

This article on The Atlantic Cities site highlights a couple of new studies that look at where Millenials want to live and what they value when it comes to picking a place to call home.  It is interesting to see just how much the reported values differ from previous generations, and how little the traditional "suburbia" of the last 60 years appeals to this new and very large cohort.  

In the first study, here is what the Millenials said:

  • 54% would consider moving to another city if it had more or better options for getting around.
  • 66% said access to high-quality transportation is one of the top three criteria for deciding where to live.
  • Nearly half of those who owned a car said they would consider giving it up if they could count on public transportation options.
  • 86% said it was important for their city to offer opportunities to live and work without relying on a car.

Michael Myers, Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation sums it up like this:

"This survey reinforces that cities that don't invest in effective transportation options stand to lose out in the long-run. As we move from a car-centric model of mobility to a nation that embraces more equitable and sustainable transportation options, Millennials are leading the way."

The second studyqueried both Millenials and Baby Boomers and found that both group want many of the same things:

  • Better transportation options
  • Walkable communities
  • Technology-enabled cities
  • Housing that would allow “aging in place.”

The study also found that...

68% of respondents believe the U.S. economy is fundamentally flawed, and that the path to prosperity lies in building up local communities—not through recruiting companies but by concentrating on these same basic elements of desirable places to live.

Interesting trends to watch.

Are Your Listing Photos Swipeable?

If you don't have professional quality photos that tell the lifestyle story of every home you are marketing, you are doing yourself and your sellers a disservice.  End of story.

Have you looked at the key role that GOOD photographs play in connecting with buyers on's new Doorsteps Swipe app?  You should.  Especially if you are looking to connect with Gen X, Gen Y, or Millennial buyers. 

Doorsteps Swipe is a good example of the changing ways in which buyers and sellers are being exposed to and interacting with your marketing information. 


What’s up in Manhattan? Number of sales and prices!


According to the just released EllimanReport: Quarterly Survey of Co-op and Condo Sales, the Manhattan market is going strong.


Most first quarter sales in seven years as listing inventory stabilized.
There were 3,307 sales, 34.6% above the same period last year, marking the highest first quarter total in years. Listing inventory was essentially unchanged at 4,968 after three years of declines.

Average price per square foot set a 25-year record.
The average price per square foot of a Manhattan apartment reached a record $1,363, 23.6% above the prior year level. Median sales price increased 18.5% to $972,428 from the prior year level, but remained 5.1% below the record set in the second quarter of 2008.

Days on market and listing discount tightened. 
The time to market a property was 17 days faster than the same period last year, falling to 115 days.  Listing discount decreased 2.6% from 4.3% in the same period last year.

For more information on the city’s real estate market, check out the EllimanReport and a recent article in The New York Times.

China: Reversal of Fortunes?


Over the past few years, Chinese buyers have been one of the big stories in luxury real estate.

Recently, there has been increasing speculation about troubles in the Chinese economy.  

There is also growing speculation that A Chinese housing market crash could be even more disastrous than America's (Quartz), and concern that As credit tightens at home, Chinese sell Hong Kong luxury real estate (Reuters).  

Will wealthy Chinese sell-off overseas properties to gain liquidity?  
Are we seeing the beginning of a bubble-burst?
Stay tuned...

Millennials - Breaking the Myths

MythMarket research firm Nielsen has released a new report: Millennials - Breaking the Myths.  

Among their key findings, Millennials are...

  • Diverse, Expressive and Optimistic

  • Driving a Social Movement Back to the Cities

  • Struggling, But They Have an Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • Deal Shoppers and Desire Authenticity

  • Connected and Want the Personal Touch

Contrary to popular notions, some millennials are quite affluent.  About 15% of Americans with assets above $2M are Millennials:


Where do the wealthier Millennilas live?


For more details, download the full report.

The Ultra-Rich Plan to Buy More Property in 2014

UHNWIs plan to increase their allocation to propertyAccording to the Knight Frank The Wealth Report 2014 which surveyed about  600 private bankers or wealth advisors representing around 23,000 UHNWI clients across the world,

"Almost a quarter of UHNWI investment portfolios is accounted for by property and as an asset class it is growing in popularity.

Just over 40% of survey respondents said their clients increased their allocation to property in 2013 and 47% expect it to increase further in 2014.

Residential property was the most popular area to invest in (54%), followed by commercial premises (34%) and agricultural land and forestry (12%)."

More info on the Knight Frank blog

The Wealth Report 2014

Über Rich...and Getting Richer

Cosimo_ii_de'_medici_adn_two_[1]"For Rich, ’13 Was Good for Making, and Spending, Money" - an  article in Yesterday's New York Times, highlights the fact that the wealth of the über-rich continues to grow.  

A few of the highlights:

  • The world’s club of ultrawealthy individuals, or those with $30 million or more in net assets, added about 5,000 new members last year

  • Over the last decade, the ranks of the über-rich have swelled by 59 percent, and the register of billionaires climbed 80 percent, to 1,682

  • The world’s 0.1 percenters had a pretty good year; three-quarters said their assets had increased. Only 4 percent said they wound up worth less

  • By 2023, China is expected to have 322 billionaires, more than Britain, Russia, France and Switzerland combined

  • Looking for someplace to park their wealth, the world’s rich still prefer property

Chinese Real Estate Investors Predicted to Flood US

CoinsHighligts from the OPP article "China and US 'to top cross-border property investment'":

  • Chinese investment in overseas property is set to at least double in 2014
  • By 2016, Chinese cross-border real estate funds flowing in to the United States will be the highest in the world, beating the current US$1.3billion from Singapore to the UK
  • Among leading targets for High Net Worth Investors, commercial investors and developers are the gateway cities of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco

For more details, check out the full artcle.

Downton Abbey? Not Quite.

New-York-TimesWhile the words "butler" and "household staff" might evoke visions of the post-Edwardian world of Downton Abbey, the reality of today's household staffs is really quite different.  

Increasingly, "The New Domestics " are corporate warrior types and graduate degreed specialists, quietly relocated to the private residences of the world's billionaires and UHNWIs.  

"On the West Coast, the 50-something chief of staff for a young billionaire has a master’s in divinity from an Ivy League university and more than a decade of experience working for an East Coast billionaire... He describes his job, which pays in the mid-six figures, as “managing the managers,” the scope of which includes the oversight of the private staff in the family office, along with estate managers, housekeepers and nannies — more than 40 in all, all of whom enjoy a lush benefits package, including a 401(k) plan that is competitive with any you would find in the corporate world."
- from The New York Times, "The New Domestics."

Check out the full article in last week's New York Times for a peek into this often hidden world.

 As a professional whose clients are the affluent, think about how they prefer to structure their lives, manage their time and resources, and what level of skill and expertise they expect from their staff and their vendors.

Do you and your staff measure up?