More top end luxury properties sold worldwide in 2014 than ever before

More luxury properties than ever before were both sold and listed for sale at US$100 million or higher in 2014, according to new research.

It was a year when the number of billionaires globally reached new heights and so too did the price benchmarks for their ‘trophy homes’, the latest research report from Christie’s International Real Estate shows.

The world’s most affluent property investors focused more and more on acquiring collectable residential assets in prized locations across the globe and the report says that US$100 million is now firmly established as the billionaire benchmark for ultra-prime property.

At the more traditional luxury residential real estate price segments, the overall market experienced steady growth in 2014, with US$1 million plus home sales up by an average of 16% compared to 2013 in the 80 luxury residential markets surveyed for the report.

The research covers the world’s top 10 cities for prime property and analyses an additional 70 key regional markets, exploring the dynamics and drivers shaping the globe’s high-end real estate market.

Key findings reveal that second home resort markets were red hot in 2014, leading the growth in luxury property sales, indicating an across the board recognition among high net worth individuals in the fundamental value of prime property ownership.

Overall 2014 saw a return to normality in most major cities with growth showing signs of stabilizing in locations such as Paris, New York and Sydney while Toronto ranked as the world’s hottest luxury market, and was the only location to see a faster year on year pace of growth with a 37% increase in luxury home sales.

Many cities witnessed a surge of affluent older buyers moving from the suburbs to urban areas. The trend toward urban amenities helped fuel growth in high value urban market sales, particularly in metropolitan cities, which jumped by 15% compared to 2013.

Second home markets led the growth of high value sales with the so called jet set destinations recording on average a 28% year on year increase, fuelled by attractive investment opportunities, below market peak prices, and an emerging confidence that the market has bottomed and a recovery is well under way.

The report says that international second home buyers are driving market growth, particularly in Marrakech and Turks and Caicos where 100% of top end purchasers are from overseas.

Dubai ranks as the most popular city for second home purchases amongst global HNWIs, who accounted for 75% of sales. Meanwhile, 44% of the sales in London and 40% in Miami were international second home purchases.

The highest price per square foot achieved in 2014 for a luxury home was recorded in Cote d’Azur at US$22,577 per square foot.

The average starting price for a luxury home worldwide was US$2 million. London and Beverly Hills have the highest price entry point at US$8 million.
‘More than ever before, we are drilling down to the intricate purchasing patterns of ultra affluent individuals, as well what’s driving their preferences across the globe, and why the acquisition of luxury real estate has become so increasingly important to their portfolios,’ said Dan Conn, chief executive officer of Christie’s International Real Estate.

‘Whether for safe storage of wealth, lifestyle upgrades or the pure passion of the investment, the intrinsic recognition of the sheer value of prime property ownership could not be stronger among these consumers,’ he added.