Wealthy Millennials, modern-day ranchers and eager international buyers are helping to drive the North American luxury market, according to a new report from Engel & Völkers. “As the way consumers live and work continues to evolve, the definition of luxury becomes increasingly personal,” says Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas. “People can customize their ideal lifestyles more so than ever before, and we see that reflected in today’s buyers.”
Because of growing remote work opportunities, high earners now have more freedom to purchase homes based on their desired lifestyles, geographic and family preferences, according to the 2022 Engel & Völkers’ “Luxury Homebuyer Report,” recently released.
The study highlighted six lifestyle drivers and regional markets that offer opportunities for brokers and agents catering to high-end buyers.
The Homeward bound millennial
Taking advantage of remote and hybrid work arrangements, many wealthy millennials are leaving urban cores and heading to suburban and smaller city markets in states like Texas, Florida and Colorado to be closer to family, according to the report. They are looking for luxury homes with advanced technology and a boutique feel, along with environmentally friendly features such as solar panels and electric car chargers.
The renaissance city dweller
In contrast to outward bound millennials, another stream of luxury buyers want to return to a pre-pandemic city lifestyle in areas like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Vancouver. They typically are seeking more square footage, outdoor space, a home office and a secure residence, such as apartments and condominiums with doormen. They prefer neighborhoods with restaurants, entertainment, cultural venues and an active social scene.
The new American rancher
Many Baby Boomers are seeking to fulfill a dream of living in the Wild West, with luxury homes in affluent communities in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. But rather be responsible for actually running a ranch, they prefer move-in-ready properties on large parcels of land that can support an active multi-generational family lifestyle and offer proximity to amenities, attractions, and health care facilities in nearby resort destinations.
The year-round vacationer
Being able to live and work from anywhere has empowered traditional second-home buyers to enjoy a vacation lifestyle every day in coastal, mountain, ski and surfing destinations from Florida to Hawaii. Many prefer a property that supports a relaxing or active lifestyle in a suburban or rural location with potential rental income opportunities. Of course, a home office is another essential of these luxury homes.
The crypto visionary
Drawing on their newfound wealth, crypto visionaries are drawn to new urban construction to places like Miami, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver. These buyers are looking for innovative, high-tech residences and for builders, designers, contractors and real estate professionals who can help them complete transactions in cryptocurrency as seamlessly as possible.
The eager international buyer
With the easing of travel restrictions, a steady flow of international buyers from China, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and Latin America are ready to invest in U.S. luxury properties. Along with traditional markets like New York, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles, these buyers are also looking in secondary markets in Arizona, Idaho, Texas and Washington, among others. Some are looking for primary residences or vacation homes, while others are motivated by the potential for year-round rental income.
Summing up the mid-year 2022 report, Hitt says, “Luxury buyers are in pursuit of specific lifestyles and need real estate professionals with the expertise to help them achieve those dreams. As a real estate professional, understanding your market and clientele has never been more important, nor has cultivating a distinct market specialization to best serve these burgeoning buyer segments.”