1. 5 ‘traditionally-not-so-luxurious’ housing markets on the upswing globally

5 ‘traditionally-not-so-luxurious’ housing markets on the upswing globally

They may not be among the most “luxurious” or the “hottest” prime property markets in the world quite yet, but these diverse yet similarly active luxury housing markets are on the upswing.

By: | Published: May 28, 2017 3:03 AM
property markets, luxury housing markets, Real Estate, DC metro, Morocco’s economy, Leonardo DiCaprio In Lake Tahoe Region, California & Nevada, 55% of purchases are second homes and 40% are third homes.

They may not be among the most ‘luxurious’ or the ‘hottest’ prime property markets in the world quite yet, but these diverse yet similarly active luxury housing markets are on the upswing. Luxury Defined, Christie’s International Real Estate’s fifth annual white paper, has picked out five such markets…

Washington, DC
Historically, and perhaps surprisingly, the change of executive power in the DC metro—including the US capital, and areas of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia—doesn’t have a discernible impact on its local real estate market. While a handful of high-profile new residents make headlines, a steady and strong job market offering professional and well-paying jobs sustain the greater DC area between elections.

Jeffrey S Detwiler, president and COO of The Long & Foster Companies, the US’ largest privately-owned real estate company and the largest global affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, was quoted as saying by reports: “Arlington, Virginia, right across the Potomac from the District, is particularly attractive to affluent millennial buyers. I’ve seen reports where Arlington ranks No 1 in the United States in this demographic, edging out well-known tech hubs.”

Lake Tahoe Region, California & Nevada
In 2016, skier visits to the region skyrocketed by 110% over the previous winter and 2017 has kept pace. With 80% of luxury property purchasers from the tech hub of San Francisco’s Bay Area, it is no surprise that telecommuting buyers, both millennials and boomers, are on the uptick in Lake Tahoe. In the area, 55% of purchases are second homes and 40% are third homes. A short distance away in Reno, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is building a 5.5-million-square-foot plant to manufacture battery packs for the innovative electric-car brand’s lower-cost Model 3 car due out at the end of the decade. Other major corporations, including Apple and Switch, are building a sizable presence in this gambling mecca.

Marrakech, Morocco
Just this January, Morocco was readmitted to the African Union after a 30-year hiatus. This is good for Africa and good for Morocco’s economy. Due to its continued relative political stability, the city of Marrakech is increasingly seen as a safe haven for real estate investors in the Arab region. Luxury property sales are beginning to recover, yet still remain 50% below their 2007 peak. This appealing pricing, positive economic outlook, and recent increase in requests from UK-based Indian and Pakistani citizens are likely to spur Marrakech’s luxury property market to a new growth phase. In Marrakech, 100% of luxury buyers are international, mostly from the UK, UAE, and France (the world’s largest Moroccan expat community).

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Belize
In October of 2016, after extensive public hearings, Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio received a green light from the Belize government for his eco-resort, Blackadore Caye. With this all-important nod, DiCaprio can finally begin construction on the property that he purchased a decade ago. The resort, with a mission to meld environmental responsibility and ultimate comfort, could open as soon as 2019. The DiCaprio Seal of Green Approval is a definite plus for the Belize real estate market as a showcase of the country’s pristine eco-diversity and beauty for a potential new audience of international luxury buyers.

The Bahamas
In addition to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, the Bahamas offer added advantages: no restrictions for expats purchasing real estate and reduced tax burdens. As the world becomes more chaotic, island living, far from the madding crowd, becomes even more attractive. While 80% of buyers still consider this their second home, more are pulling up stakes, working remotely and moving their families because of the educational opportunities. Up to 70% of buyers are international, with millennials on the rise. Although Hurricane Matthew, which landed in Nassau and the northern part of the country in October, caused significant destruction, the clean-up was swift and the disaster did not deter luxury home buyers.

John Christie, CEO of HG Christie, confirms how this trend is shaping the resort market: “A welcome upsurge in the sale of island properties in the Bahamas closed out 2016. With world stock markets hovering at record levels, in my experience, this inspires investors to look for ways to consolidate their assets and fulfill their dreams at the same time. A Bahamian second home ticks both of those boxes.”

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