Career Successes/Retirement Propel Luxury Housing Market

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Realtor.com’s survey of luxury housing continues to yield interesting findings about that most important sector of housing.

The last couple weeks, we’ve been covering realtor.com’s survey of the luxury housing market with glee, with our stories focusing on the luxury homebuyer’s chief desires in a home and the biggest challenges that they face during the homebuying process.

Now, in our final story about the survey, we’re looking at consumer sentiments of not only luxury homebuyers, but also non-luxury homebuyers as well, and what those sentiments suggest about the housing market.

What Drives a Luxury Homebuyer?

Firstly, realtor.com’s survey, which questioned more than 1,500 visitors to the site, found some interesting details on why consumers were looking for luxury homes:

  • Nineteen percent of consumers said that a recent career success had prompted them to look for a luxury home, while 17 percent stated that retirement had inspired their luxury home search.
  • So interestingly, more than a third of luxury homebuyers were looking for property simply because of their careers – they had either moved up in the world, or were looking to move out.
  • Fourteen percent were looking for luxury investment properties, and finally, 12 percent were entering the market looking for their very first home.

What of Non-Luxury Consumers?

Also, the survey uncovered some surprising findings on the demographics of luxury homebuyers. Although only 13 percent of respondents stated that they were looking to purchase a high-end luxury home, 26 percent stated that they were considering such a home.

Still, that leaves us with 61 percent of respondents who were not looking for high-end luxury residences, and realtor.com also collected their sentiments in what was arguably the most interesting part of the survey.

For instance, if those non-luxury consumers had an extra million dollars to invest in a home, here’s how they’d spend it:

  • Twenty-eight percent would sell their current home and purchase a new one.
  • Twenty-three percent would keep their current home and purchase either a new or vacation home.
  • And 14 percent would either purchase several homes or buy their first home.

Furthermore, here are the features that those consumers would want in a luxury home:

  • Fifty-five percent desired a view, while 37 percent wanted a waterfront property.
  • Forty-five percent fancied a chef’s kitchen, while 19 percent would purchase a countryside property.
  • Thirty-two percent would want an outdoor living space (outdoor kitchen, living room, fire pit, bar, etc.), and 14 percent would buy a mountainside property.
  • And finally, 29 percent wanted a luxury pool, and 13 percent wanted a suburban property.

It just goes to show – even those with no interest in luxury still have their own distinct views on what qualifies as luxury!

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