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Luxury Property Market Insights with Philip White, CEO, SIR Affiliates LLC

5 Jan , 2016  

At the close of 2015, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates CEO Philip White discusses the international luxury real estate market with CNBC and shares his insights based on some trends that were observed in 2015. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand closed the year 2015 with a network of more than 18,000 independent sales associates located in approximately 825 offices in 61 countries and territories worldwide.

According to White, the all-time high luxury real estate prices worldwide that were reached in 2016 are being reached again despite the market still standing at around 11-13 per cent below the previous peak. Following the 2008 crash, it’s taking quite long to get back to the recovery point although the market seems to be moving in that direction. Other key observations that emerged from the interview were the following:

  • Sotheby’s International Realty recorded $70 billion in sales in 2014,
  • Newport Beach, San Diego, The Aspens and parts of California are among the strongest American markets,
  • The majority of transactions are carried out in cash,
  • In general, the market is more stable and less erratic than the one before the economic crash, offering better long-term value,
  • International buyers are a key demand driver with regards to American luxury property, with a considerable number of buyers originating from China.

Based on studies carried out by Wealth-X in collaboration with Sotheby’s International Realty during the course of 2015, it also resulted that Ultra High Net Worth Individuals are not only buying up luxury property in traditionally popular destinations with this buyer type such as London, New York and Monaco but looking towards alternative destinations offering good investment prospects and considerable lifestyle options – among these were Madrid, Cape Town, Dubai and even Malta, particularly due to the advantages attached to the citizenship programme.

The rise of the Multi-Homer by Wealth-X

UHNWI luxury real estate purchasing trends as illustrated in the ‘Rise of the Multi-Homer’ report by Wealth-X and SIR, 2015.

Despite certain recurring trends and surging numbers overall, White described the market as ‘a mixed bag’ as demand and supply will naturally vary between one location and another. In Malta, considering the influx of foreigners looking to work and live on the island and requiring accommodation, the rental sector of the real estate market has boomed and the new ongoing purchasing trend is buy-to-rent rather than buy-to-sell as it used to be – even in the high-end sector.

The island’s growing economy is highly likely to continue attracting foreign investment and causing property values to increase. 2016 will undoubtedly prove to be a highly interesting year in real estate terms, particularly in observing how current trends will evolve and how people’s movement will affect market values and prices.

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