These markets saw an explosion of ultra-luxury after the pandemic.
According to Compass, ultra-luxury sales in 2022 were more than they were pre-pandemic.
The report examined residential real estate transactions in 53 U.S. markets and sales volumes at $10,000,000 and above.
The brokerage noted an “insatiable desire for legacy properties” in the last year.
Nearly 1,774 homes with a value of $10 million or more were traded in 53 markets for $29.5 billion. This is an increase of 95.3% versus 104.7% from 2019. Compass attributes these sales primarily to wealthy buyers looking to diversify their real-estate portfolios.
“During lockdowns they wanted all they needed in one location and found inspiration in new markets they had never considered before, creating ultra-wealthy regions that did not exist a few decades ago and inspiring a revival in others,” Leonard Steinberg (Compass’s chief evangelist) said.
The most lucrative ultra-luxury market with the highest growth
Notably, there were 10 markets without ultra-luxury trading before the pandemic. Boulder, North Florida, and Brooklyn all saw a 30% increase.
“Boulder, a smaller market, has just over 100,000 residents. Yet, we continue to see extraordinary buyer demand from buyers moving from California, New York and Chicago. Zeldner, a Boulder-based Realtor, said that 2021 was a record year in Boulder’s market. 2022 was very similar.”
California’s East Bay and Dallas-Fort Worth saw high growth in ultraluxury sales. In fact, the transaction volume growth was between 25% and 100% in 2022.
Luxury sales were flat in Washington D.C., District of Columbia and Maryland, Virginia, Indianapolis, and North New Jersey.
What happened to the ultra-luxury market?
Markets that were once familiar to the jet-set reached new heights after the pandemic.
From 2019, Telluride and Palm Springs saw a 600% increase of transaction volume in 2022. From 2021, Palm Springs saw a 600% increase in transaction volume.
“People are buying luxury estates from all over the world to enjoy the desert lifestyle,” said Valery Neuman of Palm Springs.
Neuman said that the area is popular with younger buyers due to its outdoor activities, cultural hotspots, and an airport equipped with private jet amenities.
The Broward County, Florida, market saw an increase in transaction volume of 528.7% compared to 2019, and Hawaii, 190%.
Roni Marley, a Hawaii-based agent, stated that it is not surprising that wealthy buyers want to call Hawaii home. “With its conservation-zoned land, pristine waterfalls and clean air, it is easy to enjoy outdoor recreation in Hawaii.” “Kauai has been a popular destination for ultra-luxury buyers. The ability to work remotely and the laid-back lifestyle have made it a top choice.”
Who won the volume round in sales?
According to the report Manhattan topped the ultra-luxury market with $6 billion in sales through 343 trades. Manhattan was the location of nine of the top 10 deals in 2022 during the first half.
Compass stated that this indicated a market correction, while showing strength, as total transactions for the year were higher by 5.21 percent than 2021.
Manhattan’s $10 million plus market slowed between July and October, but the $20 million+ market grew in November and December.
Tony Sargent, Compass’ New York agent, says there are shades of 2009 “The ultra-wealthy who take advantage of volatile times often win in the long-term,” Tony Sargent, Compass’ New York agent, said.
The markets that follow Manhattan in total sales volume of $10 million are Greater Los Angeles, Miami Dade and Palm Beach County.
Hyleri Katzenberg, Westport agent, stated that the impact of rising interest rates is not felt in the ultra-luxury sector. This is primarily because high-net-worth buyers who purchase these properties are not dependent on financing. “The most liquid and affluent buyers are comfortable bidding up and taking greater risk with their offers.”
Joujou Chawla, a California-based agent, echoed this sentiment.
“The high-end continues outperform the lower-end because those buyers don’t typically finance their real-estate purchases. Chawla stated that a change to the Fed’s policies could boost both the stock and real estate markets. This scenario seems most likely going into 2023.
What will 2023 bring?
The report included optimism from a number of Compass agents who expressed optimism for 2023.
Mack Mendenhal, a Wyoming-based Compass agent said that he expects the boom of luxury homes to return to pre-pandemic levels. He said that some buyers won’t hesitate to buy houses at “record-breaking” prices.
Agents in Tinseltown remain optimistic, even though the L.A. mansion taxes will be effective from April 2023.
Tomer Fridman, a L.A. agent, stated that there is a shortage of marquee inventory at $10m and above. This indicates that the luxury market will continue to be strong through 2023 because there are still viable buyers for this product.
Mike Mahlstedt, a Houston market expert, stated that based on the early activity in the first month of the calendar year, I expect luxury sales to surpass 2022 in 2023.”