Affluent Homeowners Focus on Location, Location, Location According to the 2008 Coldwell Banker Previews International(R) Luxury Survey
High-End Homeowners Still Aspire for a Dream Home; 17 Percent Have Considered Moving to Obtain a Specific Zip Code
85 Percent Expect Home Prices to Increase Over Next Five Years
July 24, 2008 // Franchising.com // PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Homeowners at the highest end of the real estate market still have a dream house in mind and zip code does play a factor in where some call home, according to the 2008 Coldwell Banker Previews International® Luxury Survey. Top locations for a dream home among those surveyed were on an island (27 percent) or in a rural country setting (22 percent), followed by the suburbs (18 percent) or an international destination (18 percent). Additionally, 17 percent of those surveyed confirmed that they have considered moving expressly to obtain a specific address or zip code. Eight percent of respondents actually admitted to having been influenced to purchase a property to "keep up" with friends or family.
In addition, high-end homeowners remain optimistic about home values with a strong majority of the affluent homeowners surveyed (85 percent) expecting the price of their homes to increase over the next five years, a sharp increase from the 66 percent tallied in the 2007 survey. In addition, four out of five of these homeowners surveyed believe the increase in value will be "significant" to "moderate" (81 percent).
"Key findings from our annual survey of the luxury market demonstrate that the typical million-dollar homeowner is invested not only in the value of their home as a current part of their portfolios, but also see long-term gains coming from this investment," said Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. "Interestingly while 44 percent of those surveyed indicated that they plan to stay in their primary residence for at least 10 years, they also dream of owning the perfect home."
The 2008 Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Survey polled 305 U.S. homeowners whose primary residence is valued at over $1 million ($2 million for California residents*) and who have investable assets of more than $1 million. The average annual household income of the 2008 luxury survey's respondents is $754,000.
When asked to identify a location for a dream home, the following were cited by respondents:
Location of Dream Home Percentage of Respondents
Rural / country 22%
International destination 18%
City / hi-rise with amenities 13%
City / single-family home 10%
Second Homes and the Lure of the Beach
The survey revealed that about half of the affluent homeowners surveyed (48 percent) own at least one secondary residence. Most of these properties are located in beach areas (45 percent). For those who own second homes, significantly more men than women cited that the primary purpose of the residence was a retirement property (17 percent versus 8 percent).
Interestingly, a significantly greater percentage of older respondents (ages 65-plus) said they are considering purchasing an additional property as a new primary residence (42 percent versus 19 percent of respondents ages 64 and younger).
For luxury homeowners, the following are the desired locations identified by respondents for a secondary home:
Secondary Home Percentage of Respondents
Near a beach 45%
Near a lake or river 23%
Warmer climate 23%
In the mountains 17%
Near a ski resort 12%
In another country 12%
"Must Have" Luxury Amenities
Whether inside or outside, "must have" luxury amenities such as designer kitchens, formal landscaping, water views, customized home entertainment centers and swimming pools are the top amenities of choice for luxury homeowners.
"Must have" luxury amenities in the home that respondents either currently have or are considering getting, include:
Must Have % Respondents Who % of Respondents Who
Luxury Amenities Currently Have Are Considering
Designer kitchens 60% 26%
Customized homeentertainment centers 47% 27%
Indoor gym / fitness room 33% 24%
Wine cellar 31% 24%
"High-end kitchens, a well-kept appearance outside of the home, and swimming pools have become the standard for luxury homeowners," said Gillespie. "These areas of the home attract attention and have long been critical factors when considering the value of a property."
Formal landscaping was, by far, the amenity mentioned most often by respondents as something they currently have surrounding their primary residence (77 percent). The following are additional luxury amenities that are found surrounding affluent homes:
Luxury Amenities Surrounding Primary Residence
Percentage of Respondents
Formal landscaping 77%
Water view 43%
Swimming pool 38%
Hot tub 35%
Boat dock 17%
Golf course / putting green 16%
Tennis Court 14%
Basketball court 9%
Relative to maintaining luxury homes, those surveyed indicated that landscapers (95 percent) and housekeepers (62 percent) were a must. Of note, housekeepers were significantly more common among those ages 54 and younger (72 percent versus 55 percent of those ages 55-plus).
Best In Show
Approximately three in 10 respondents have specific rooms in their homes that are used to impress houseguests (29 percent). Among these respondents, the living room (72 percent) is the primary room that is used to impress houseguests. Only one in 10 or fewer respondents said any other rooms in their homes are used to impress.
The survey was conducted online by independent market research firm, ICR, in April 2008 and commissioned by Coldwell Banker Previews International®, the exclusive Coldwell Banker® service dedicated to luxury real estate. In 2007, the Coldwell Banker system participated in more than 25,000 transaction sides of homes priced at $1 million or more in 2007 with a total sales volume of $46.6 billion.
* The survey questioned 305 owners of homes with a primary residence valued at greater than $1,000,000 and investable assets greater than $1,000,000. The survey questioned owners of homes valued at $2 million and up in the state of California. This was done because, according to the California Association of Realtors, the existing-home median price in the state is $403,870, compared with the national existing-home median price of $202,300 (as of April 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors).
ICR is a full-service market research firm specializing in designing customized methodologies across 12 industry sectors and a leading provider of omnibus research services. Our Advanced Research Methods group designs and executes custom research and solutions to complex business challenges on a wide range of issues, including global research in over 90 countries.
About Coldwell Banker Previews International®
The Coldwell Banker Previews International® program has been marketing luxury homes since 1933. This luxury home marketing program has been exclusive to Coldwell Banker® affiliates since 1980. The exclusive group of certified Previews® Sales Associates make up only 10 percent of the more than 111,000 Coldwell Banker sales associates worldwide. Coldwell Banker became one of the first national residential real estate brands to launch a second Web site totally dedicated to the luxury real estate market. The Web site www.coldwellbankerpreviews.com features more than 15,000 luxury properties with an average listing price of over $1.8 million.
About Coldwell Banker®
Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier full-service real estate provider. In 2007, Franchise Times magazine's prestigious Top 200 issue ranked the Coldwell Banker system No. 1 in real estate for the eighth straight year and 12th among franchisors in all industries. The Coldwell Banker System has approximately 3,600 residential real estate offices and 111,500 sales associates in 47 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker System is a leader in the industry in residential and commercial real estate, and in niche markets such as resort, new home and luxury property through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® division. It is a pioneer in consumer services with its Coldwell Banker Concierge® Service Program and award-winning Web site, www.coldwellbanker.com. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated.