Vol. 5, Iss, 10, You Tell Us: How has the current marketplace shifted the perception of luxury, if at all?

by Chicago Agent

Brae Hanson
Managing Broker
Starck Realtors

I find that the various U.S. real estate market corrections and numerous economic factors have actually allowed luxury to become true luxury once again. As house values inflated earlier in this decade, many average houses came to be called luxury. Properties should be considered luxury properties if the appointments and amenities are among the finest to be found. As our economy goes through this series of checks and balances, I predict we will see further clear definition of what consumers view as true luxury, and the value of luxury, both real and perceived, will rise accordingly.

Harold Dawson
Sudler Sotheby’s International Realty
Lincoln Park

The perception of luxury remains consistent, in terms of what people conceive to be lavish. However, the current market has caused many sellers of luxury residences to reevaluate their luxury prices. The more competitive pricing of luxury residences has in turn placed a greater number of luxury homes within a closer grasp for buyers than ever before. Buyers are now analyzing their situations more carefully to determine what they need versus what they desire, and comparing it to their ability to afford it now and for the years to come.

Leslie Ebersole
Baird & Warner
Fox Valley

Our luxury market in the Fox Valley includes St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and Wayne, with houses starting at about $1 million. Buyers today have so many choices it’s no longer enough to say “it’s pretty and the schools are great.” Each home has to be aggressively marketed with a focus on that home’s unique selling points and value. Otherwise, buyers evaluate homes solely on price, and we know that luxury homes often have great attributes that don’t translate into comparisons based only on price. In this highly competitive market, the listing agent’s role is becoming more important than ever before in communicating the unique value of a home to those buyers.

Tim Salm
Century 21 Sussex & Reilly
Near West Side

The higher-end market is somewhat more immune from economic shifts than other segments, but there has been an impact. In the luxury market there is much more to choose from than in the past and market times are lengthy. Properties need to be extraordinarily finished to stand out; A few bells and whistles and a nice location will no longer do the trick. Buyers in this market really want to be purchasing a trophy property at these price points.


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