A recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate produced several interesting results regarding luxury homebuyers and homeowners. The survey was the largest ever regarding the luxury market and the study revealed that multiple homes and high-tech amenities are very important to affluent homeowners. “Today’s luxury homeowners and buyers are savvier and more confident than ever,” the survey states. “They know what they want and have the resources and capabilities to get it, allowing them to transform luxury living spaces into ultra-comfortable, high-tech homes. Gone are the days when overwhelming amounts of square footage equate to a dream home. The affluent consumer now seeks multiple homes to fit their lifestyle needs and extra amenities, with an affinity for high-tech features.”
The national survey of 500 luxury homebuyers revealed the importance that these consumers see in homeownership. The study found that 75% of luxury homebuyers indicated that they believe homeownership is a more sound investment than investing in the stock market. Furthermore, 57% of employed luxury homeowners believe that their homeownership is a larger indicator of success than their job or title.
“The luxury consumer is considered a trendsetter in modt industries, and to see the strong connection this consumer has with ‘home’ is very significant as we look at the real estate market as a whole,” said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. “The luxury homebuyer has high standards and invests the money, the time and the commitment to making their home fit their needs and reflect who they are. It’s remarkable that they do this so well that nearly all – 93percent – believe their house is the best one on their block.”
One of the more surprising results of the study was with regard to the role of the real estate agent. Technology has allowed all consumers to be more informed than ever in the real estate industry. Not discounting the personalized connection that real estate agents provide, 96% of luxury homeowners today are depending on their agent for more information than ever before. They are looking for agent insight into neighborhood lifestyle (65%), advanced new listing notices (64%), advice on housing trends (55%), and support on a personal level throughout the buying process (53%). “These findings tell us that the luxury consumer understands the importance of the human element in delivering the ultimate customer experience,” said Chris.
Some of the other more interesting findings from the survey include the following:
53% of luxury homeowners surveyed prefer owning mutiple “lifestyle” homes to support various activities such as skiing, theater going and vacations. 58% of luxury homebuyers already own multiple homes to support their lifestyle activities the study revealed.
60% of luxury homebuyers surveyed indicated that they would rather have as many upgrades as they can afford in their home, rather than more square footage. 94% of those surveyed would be willing to give up 1,000 square feet of living space from their next home in order to get a lifestyle amenity they desire. Those amenities included living in a better neighborhood (54%), living in a house with “character” (51%), more land (44%), access to dining and entertainment (39%), and a shorter commute (38%).
66% of luxury homebuyers surveyed stated a “smart” home was more important than a “green” home. 87% of those surveyed said that when looking for a new home they would not consider purchasing a home that was not tech-friendly.
However, not all “must haves” or “essentials” were not high-tech related. Three of the top five desired amenities were outdoor items including a garden oasis (53%), outdoor fireplace or fire pit (50%) and a separate guest house outside of the main home (47%).
The results of this study only further validate the importance and value of homeownership. Whether you are a first time buyer or a luxury homebuyer, purchasing a home is an integral part of personal wealth building and is still considered a great investment decision.
Steve Lester is a REALTOR living in Allen, Texas.