‘New aristocracy’ leads the luxury market
Young buyers who have grown up with every convenience are now the majority, and want more
FOR THE first time, young people are now in the majority among buyers of luxury properties, research has found.
Most have inherited, or anticipate inheriting, significant wealth, but also have solid careers of their own.
On average, these buyers are 37-years-old and married with young families.
This is the “new aristocracy”, according to research conducted by Luxury Portfolio International and international market research company YouGov to establish demands and expectations among high-net-worth individuals who are planning to spend $1 million (about R12.6m) or more on real estate within the next three years.
The study intimated a cohort of consumers aged 25 to 49, encompassing millennials and the younger portion of generation X, will power 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.
Most of these highnet-worth buyers will have experience in living a luxury lifestyle because they are the children of high- net- worth individuals.
“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, chief executive of the Chas Everitt International group, which is the Luxury Portfolio International affiliate in South Africa.
“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.
“They tend to gravitate to blue-chip suburbs and luxury estates with an international reputation, such as Val de Vie in the Cape Winelands, Zimbali on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, and Dainfern in Joburg. Many will use a significant inheritance to pay the deposit on a luxury property or to buy it for cash.”
What type of homes are the buyers in this new aristocracy looking for?
According to the research, they are primarily seeking urban- type residences (54%) of at least 400m2.
“In fact, 53% are looking for something over 700m2 and most 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 interesting to note that proximity to friends and family (48%) ranks second after proximity to stores, restaurants and schools ( 55%). 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 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 is a desire for interiors that offer