Ricochet News

Introducing the ‘New Aristocracy’ of property

May 8, 2018
Introducing the ‘New Aristocracy’ of property

For the first time in history, young people are now in the majority among the buyers of luxury properties. Most have inherited or anticipate inheriting significant wealth but also have solid careers of their own, and they are, on average, 37 years old and married with young families.

This is the New Aristocracy of property, according to research conducted by Luxury Portfolio International® and international market research company YouGov to establish the current demands and expectations among high net worth individuals (HNWIs) who are planning to spend $1m or more on real estate within the next three years.

The study revealed that a cohort of consumers aged 25 to 49, encompassing both Millennials and the younger portion of Generation X, will be powering the luxury market going forward – and will ultimately be larger in number and greater in economic power than the wealthy in the gilded age of the Rockefellers.

What is more, most of these HNWI buyers will have a lifetime of experience in living a luxury lifestyle because they are the children of HNWIs.

“Their experience with fine real estate, fashion, travel, and a host of other categories has made them savvy consumers with many demands,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International group, which is the Luxury Portfolio International affiliate in SA.

“Younger buyers who have grown up with wealth have greater exposure to luxury, are more educated and aware of their likes and dislikes. They know brands, they demand quality and they are familiar with real estate, so will tend to gravitate to blue-chip suburbs and luxury estates with an international reputation such as Val de Vie, Zimbali and Dainfern. Many will use a significant inheritance to pay the deposit on a luxury property or to buy it for cash.”

So what type of homes are the buyers in this New Aristocracy looking for? According to the research, they are primarily looking for urban-type residences (54%) that are at least 400sqm in extent.

“In fact, 53% are looking for something over 700sqm and most would prefer four or more bedrooms and three or more bathrooms,” says Everitt.

“When it comes to where young luxury buyers want to live, it is also interesting to note that proximity to friends and family (48%) ranks second after proximity to stores, restaurants and schools (55%). In this time of enclaving and seeking ‘communities of the known’, affluent young buyers don’t want to be far from loved ones but also crave convenience and short commutes.”

As for architecture, the New Aristocracy has very mixed tastes, the survey found, ranging from Modern through to Victorian, Tudor and Georgian, and many are seeking homes with some historical significance or provenance. What they have in common, however, is a desire for interiors that offer open living and entertaining spaces, contemporary design and modern conveniences.

“Buyers in the New Aristocracy also want a high level of security and privacy,” Everitt notes, “and advanced home security systems are high on their lists of ‘essentials’, along with outdoor kitchens and patios for poolside entertaining, high-spec indoor kitchens with commercial-standard appliances and home gyms and spas.

“In-home technology is also very much a part of daily life for these younger buyers. As the Internet of Things (IoT) connects our appliances with our voice-controlled devices, smart home technology centred around sustainable living is the item of the year.

“High-efficiency windows and doors along with an equally efficient HVAC system that integrates with the smartphone is a prime selling feature for easy living. Going one-step further is the ‘whole house control system’ that synchronizes products from various manufacturers and allows for a single, secure point of contact. This is a particularly hot topic as the price for a property increases.”