May 30, 2014 // Franchising.com // MADISON, N.J. - If the top wishes of wealthy Americans could be expressed in a single dream home, it would be a "lifestyle property" on the waterfront with a multicar collector's garage, which they designed themselves, according to the just-released Sotheby's International Realty® Luxury Lifestyle Report.
Wealthy Brits particularly value homes with historic significance. Chinese wish for space to display their art collections and Brazilians harbor a desire for a "smart" home, the Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC research found. The survey, which focused on the purchasing behavior of high net-worth consumers, determined that buyers in each country made similar decisions based on lifestyle, family needs and return on investment.
A search of the Sotheby's International Realty inventory identified homes that meet many of the criteria expressed in the survey, which should reassure high-net-worth buyers that if they can afford such a house, they can turn their dreams into reality. Examples include a Water Mill, N.Y., waterfront home with three-car garage, a first floor apartment in England overlooking the River Thames that was built in 1894, a smart home in Arizona and a Hong Kong home with space to display art.
The "Sotheby's International Realty Luxury Lifestyle Report" surveyed affluent consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and China and found that the majority in all four countries are more likely to purchase a lifestyle property now than they were five years ago and to make a lifestyle property their primary residence. A waterfront property was the top choice for what they would consider purchasing next. A concurrent study of lifestyle search activity on sothebysrealty.com shows "waterfront" was the top lifestyle search on the website in 2013 at 42 percent.
The majority of affluent consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and China also were likely to make a legacy home purchase, which is a property intended to remain in the family or be gifted to children, with the highest percentages in China (93 percent) and Brazil (92 percent). A survey of Sotheby's International Realty network members revealed that more than half of respondents say their clients spend between $1 and $3 million for a legacy home.
In addition, the "Sotheby's International Realty Luxury Lifestyle Report" showed that earning a return on investment was a key driver for clients when purchasing a property. Compared with five years ago, a majority of affluent consumers are more confident in the strength of the housing market in their country of primary residence, which they believe offers the best real estate value right now.
"Last year, we observed that the luxury sector led the overall market recovery, making insights into the purchasing behavior of high net worth consumers critically important," said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC. "Our findings confirmed what we have known to be true when it comes to the motivations and desires of these consumers: they are looking for homes that meet the needs of their varied lifestyles and that support their most precious asset, their family. These consumers also recognize the important role real estate plays in building wealth, and they expect to yield a return on their investment. In a testament to the health of the luxury market, they are more confident in their property's ability to grow their overall net worth."
The Sotheby's International Realty network currently has more than 15,000 independent sales associates located in approximately 700 offices in 54 countries and territories worldwide. Sotheby's International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the network's brokers and clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby's auction house and worldwide Sotheby's International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.
The Sotheby's International Realty Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among affluent consumers ages 25 and older with 401 interviews conducted in the U.S., and 100 interviews conducted in the UK, 101 interviews conducted in Brazil, and 102 interviews conducted in China, between January 28 and February 18, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.9 percentage points for the U.S. sample, and 9.8 percentage points in the UK and Brazil sample and 9.7 among the China sample, from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby's International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby's, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby's International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby's auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.
SOURCE Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC
Senior Director, Public Relations and Communications
Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC
175 Park Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940