Luxury Trends

Millionaire Households Shop Where?

If your first guess about the three favorite shopping locations for U.S. households with a $1 million or more in net worth includes high-end retailers, guess again. A new report by The Shullman Research Center reveals that an overwhelming 62% of millionaires say their favorite place to shop is Amazon. Coming in at second place, with a hearty 54% “approval rating,” is Walmart. Clocking in at third, with some 49% of the vote is Target.


If you look at the information more closely, you’ll see that shopping preferences differ based on the generation. And although the Silent Generation (those 68 or older) represent about 7% of millionaires, the report is, well, silent on this group.

This information reflects the fact that millionaire households may have accumulated high net worth, but they are still frugal shoppers.


*Top 10 of 100 shopping locations researched by The Shullman Research Center

Skyscraper Residences Woo the Ultra-Rich

sky's the limit

Developers who are targeting the ultra-wealthy in top city centers around the world are offering flagship skyscraper units created by world class architects and interior designers. Residences come with high-end building amenities such as spas, wellness facilities, helipads, and restaurants. Did I mention the units are turn-key and zero maintenance? Plus, if you want to offset your costs, chances are there’s an experienced management team to coordinate rentals when you’re not using your property. Price per square foot averages from US$1,100 to US$10,640. Have a prospect?

Five U.S. properties made the list of the World’s 10 Most Luxurious Residential Buildings, as reported by Wealthx.

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