MADISON, N.J. (Sep. 10, 2013) — Today's luxury homeowners and buyers are savvier and more confident than ever. They know what they want and have the resources and capabilities to get it, allowing them to transform luxury living spaces into ultra-comfortable, high-tech homes. Gone are the days when overwhelming amounts of square footage equate to a dream home. The affluent consumer now seeks multiple homes to fit their lifestyle needs and extra amenities, with an affinity for high-tech features.
Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate today released national survey findings from 500 luxury homebuyers revealing the value these consumers see in homeownership. Findings indicate that 75 percent of luxury homebuyers believe homeownership is a more sound investment than the stock market and 57 percent of employed luxury homeowners believe homeownership is a bigger indicator of success than their job or title.
"The luxury consumer is considered a trendsetter in most industries, and to see the strong connection this consumer has with 'home' is very significant as we look at the real estate market as a whole," said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. "The luxury homebuyer has high standards and invests the money, the time, and the commitment to making their home fit their needs and refelct who they are. It's remarkable that they do this so well that nearly all — 93 percent —believe their house is the best one on the block."
In recent years the real estate industry has seen how technology has made not only the luxury consumer, but all consumers more informed than ever. Survey findings show that technology is evolving the role of te real estate agent, but certainly not discounting the personalized connection they provide. Ninety-six percent of luxury homebuyers today are leaning on their real estate agent for more acute information than ever before. They are looking for insight into neighborhood lifestyle (65%), advanced new listing notices (64%), advice on housing trends (55%), and support on a personal level throughout the buying process (53%).
"These findings tell us that the luxury consumer understands the importance of the human element in delivering the ultimate customer experience," said Chris. "Our brand was built on the notion that the business of real estate goes beyond the transaction, and we are committed to being trusted advisors to all of our consumers before, during, and after the home-buying process."
Additional key findings from the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey include:
- Multiple Properties and Lifestyles: As the real estate market comes roaring back, a new vote of confidence is apparent among luxury buyers. Investing in more than one home has become a trend in today's luxury market. A majority of luxury homeowners surveyed (53%) prefer owning multiple "lifestyle" homes to support activities like skiing or theater going. In fact, more than half (58%) of luxury homebuyers already own multiple homes to support their lifestyle activities.
- Fabulous Lifestyles Meet Fabulous Amenities: Bigger isn't necessarily better — or more luxurious. In fact, 60 percent of luxury homebuyers surveyed would rather have as many upgrades as they can afford in their home, rather than more square footage. Similarly, nearly all (94%) luxury homebuyers surveyed would be willing to give up 1,000 square feet of living space from their next home in order to get a lifestyle amenity they desire, such as; living in a better neighborhood (54%), living in a house with "character" (51%), more land (44%), access to dining and entertainment (39%), and a shorter commute (38%).
- Wired for Luxury: When it comes to their dream home, a majority (66%) of luxury homebuyers surveyed said a "smart" home is more important to them than a "green" home. When house hunting, 87 percent of luxury homebuyers surveyed would not consider living in a home that isn't tech-friendly.
But not all "must-haves" are high-tech related. Three of the top five luxury home "essentials" are outdoor oriented including a garden oasis (53%), outdoor fireplace or fire pit (50%) and a separate guest house outside of the main home (47%).
"As we look at these survey results in comparison to our next generation consumer research, it's interesting that while in different financial positions, young and luxury consumers have a lot in common when it comes to their homeownership desires," added Chris. "Next generation and luxury buyers greatly value homeownership, and while both seek out smart homes, position lifestyle amenities over square footage and aspire to own a home with unique character, luxury homebuyers are more easily making that dream a reality."
To view Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate luxury properties, visit bhgrecollection.com.
About the Survey
The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Luxury Homes Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (wakefieldresearch.com) among 500 luxury homebuyers, between May 20 and June 4, 2013, using an email invitation and an online survey.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
About Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a dynamic real estate brand that offers a full range of services to brokers, sales associates and home buyers and sellers. Using innovative technology, sophisticated business systems and the broad appeal of a lifestyle brand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC embodies the future of the real estate industry while remaining grounded in the tradition of home. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. The growing Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network includes approximately 8,300 sales associates and approximately 250 offices serving homebuyers and sellers in Canada and across the U.S.: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
Better Homes and Gardens® is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC and used with permission. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Franchise is independently owned and operated. For more information, please visit BHGRealEstate.com.