Michael recently invested in his annual meeting with some of the nations top luxury brokers and affiliates at the Leaders in Luxury Conference.
From the various meetings, Michael has composed a synopsis of some of the top economic and upper end housing trends affecting us locally.
- Dining rooms are fading away. At all levels the great room continues to take over our homes. Formal dining rooms have given way to over the top kitchens, often with a second unseen prep kitchen. Dinners are being held in the kitchen themselves.
- Living rooms were predicted to fade away and many have over the past year.
- Closets have transformed to dressing rooms. Often with no doors to the closets, high end cabinetry that rivals the most upscale clothing store. His and her closets are more common than not.
- In demand are working offices that are often hidden from the public eye but there are so called show dens that are rarely used. Full computer networks are still being used and wireless technology is still not coming into full circle, but will.
- Home theatres are becoming standard, spa and wellness rooms are starting to pick up, home gyms are not at the forefront yet. Changing technology for exercise equipment is on the horizon and home gyms should be monitored for future home construction.
- Wine closets have grown to wine rooms where people can sit, entertain, serve a meal and lean back grab a bottle of wine. Wine rooms have grown to include running water to rinse the glass and even dishwashers.
- Morning rooms in master bedrooms are becoming popular where the owners can start the day with juice from the mini fridge or brew a cup of coffee and stay in the master suite.
- Outdoor living rooms are hot. There is a new industry of outdoor fabric manufacturers that are rivaling indoor fabrics, this will change the way we live.
- Event marketing has come full circle from the days of Tupperware. Viking Corporation now offers a celebrity chef to come to your home for a party if you buy the over the top 6 figure range!
- Glass tiles continue to be popular as they play off of light in the room.
- Garages have changed to full blown museums for the ultimate status symbol of the owner—their car. The garage cabinet, storage and flooring industries are growing by leaps and bounds.
- Good news, the unique and upscale market will flourish. Those properties that are one of a kind will always be moving in their respective time frames and markets. The upscale buyer will continue to do business irrespective of mortgage rates. Couture level homes and apparel will continue to excel, such as the Purple Label from Ralph Lauren
- Sales in number of units will continue to drop and the price points will continue to rise. This was predicted in 2005 and held true up until the conference.
- International markets such as Europe will be hard sells. Our local market will continue to see local activity and will begin to see the international buyer at some levels. There is a shift of where people are willing to buy, locales are changing, lot sizes are smaller and homes sizes are bigger.
- The rich are getting richer, there has been a spike in private jet ownership which translates to higher price tagged homes. Average incomes in the United States have grown by 17%.
- Mortgage Rates will continue to hold or drop slightly. The inverted yield curve on short term bonds is often times a pre-cursor to tougher times, meaning sell now in you are thinking of selling in the near future.
- The global markets are looking to the United States for all that is excess and luxury.
In conclusion, the unique and upscale will never go out of style. Homes will change, money will move with the homes. The current trend was defined by one speaker as “cocooning or blooming at home on steroids.” All in all, Americans have an insatiable appetitive for what is “in”.