Luxury Trends

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?

World’s Ultra Wealthy Hold a Fifth of Their Wealth In Real Estate Assets

If you are interested in the Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals and haven't yet seen the latest WealthX/UBS "Billionaire's Census 2013," this press release and video is a must see:


London/Singapore, 15 January, 2014 – Private wealth is increasingly shaping the world’s real estate markets and the use of private equity in major property deals worth at least US$10 million has nearly trebled since 2009.

Real estate now accounts for around a fifth of the invested wealth of the nearly 200,000 ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in the world, according to new analysis from international real estate advisor, Savills, in association with Wealth-X, the world’s leading UHNW intelligence provider.

In Around The World In Dollars And Cents published today, Savills estimates that the total value of the world’s real estate is now around US$180 trillion, some 72 per cent of which is owner occupied residential property. Of the US$70 trillion that is ‘investable’ and therefore traded regularly – including US$20 trillion of commercial property – over half is being bought by private individuals, companies and organisations. Investing institutions, listed companies and publicly owned entities are becoming relatively less important to world real estate as a result.

Around 3 per cent, or US$5.3 trillion, of the world’s total real estate value is owned by UHNWIs. This wealthiest 0.003 per cent of the world’s population has real estate holdings which are worth an average of US$26.5 million each.

“Global real estate is mostly residential and held by occupiers, but private owners are becoming more important in the world of traded investable property,” says Yolande Barnes, head of Savills world research. “Since the ‘North Atlantic debt crisis’ of 2008, sovereign wealth funds, wealth management companies, private banks and family offices have stepped into the property deals that corporate bankers have deserted.

She added that: “In the world’s leading cities, the willingness of private wealth to take the place of debt finance or to take a higher-risk development position is now making the difference between deals done or schemes mothballed.” Savills estimates that around 35 per cent (or 6,200) of global big ticket (>US$10m) deals in 2012 were only possible because of private funding.

Mykolas D. Rambus, CEO of Wealth-X, confirms the growing importance of private wealth: “We forecast that the UHNW population will grow by 22 per cent by 2018, its combined wealth – currently US$27.8 trillion – is expected to total over US$36 trillion by 2018. This presents huge opportunities for those involved in global real estate investment to create the right product in the right locations.”


The firm has also analysed the way private money moves around the real estate world and found that the majority (92%) of investments are within the ‘home’ global region. North America stands out as uniquely domestic, with 99 per cent of all UHNWI investment coming from US citizens themselves.

Meanwhile, mature and emerging nations have seen much more cross-border inward investment. Just under half (44%) of UHNWI investors in Africa and two-thirds (66%) in Latin America are from outside the home region.

European real estate markets are the largest and most international, having attracted the most global inward investment, relative to size, with London the standout global destination for private inward real estate investment from virtually every corner of the globe.

“In recent years there has been a tendency for UHNWIs to focus on ‘safe haven’, trophy properties for capital growth and wealth preservation”, says Barnes. “In future, we anticipate that some will begin to seek more productive, long-term income-producing positions.

“UHNWIs will be competing more directly with institutional investors in future but, being more opportunistic and less constrained by formal criteria, are more likely to become pathfinders and pioneers than corporate investors are.”

For further information, please contact:
Yolande Barnes, Savills World Research +44 (0)20 7409 8899 / +44 (0)7967 555501
Sue Laming, Savills press office: +44 (0)20 7016 3802 / +44 (0)7946 635866
Fauzi Ahmad, Wealth-X +65-86536514

About Savills
Savills is a leading global real estate service provider listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company, established in 1855, has a rich heritage with unrivalled growth. It is a company that leads rather than follows and now has over 500 offices and associates throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

About Wealth-X
Wealth-X is the definitive source of intelligence on the ultra wealthy with the world’s largest collection of curated research on ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals, defined as those with net assets of US$30 million and above. Headquartered in Singapore, it has 12 offices on five continents. (

Press Release Source:

The Luxury Segment Continues to Outperform

"The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.  


So says The New York Times in yesterday's Business Day article: "The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World."

In a nutshell: Income inequality is deepening. Affluent consumers are spending more and driving the economic engine. From restaurants to retail, appliances to casinos, the "high-end" is where the action is and it is largely driving what growth there is in the economy.

"The current recovery has been driven almost entirely by the upper crust...about 90 percent of the overall increase in inflation-adjusted consumption between 2009 and 2012 was generated by the top 20 percent of households in terms of income."

Throughout the downturn, the luxury segment was the "good news" story in real estate and in most markets, it continues to be the dominant segment driving the post-recession recovery.

While growing income inequality is most surely an unwelcome reality for this country, savvy agents are positioning themselves to capitalize on these trends and effectively serve the most active and profitable segments of the market, which in many places, continues to be luxury.