Christie’s International Real Estate has grown into a network of 129 brokerages spanning more than 40 countries with a combined annual sales volume estimated at US$100 billion. They now have the reach and expertise to study deeply the status of the luxury real estate market worldwide and prepare a comprehensive report. And they have done just that and released its inaugural “State of the International Luxury Real Estate Market” report. The report is a snapshot of the current global prime real estate market and presents the collective wisdom, experiences, and insights real estate specialists and the most qualified leaders in their local high-end market. The findings of the study are intriguing, interesting and optimistic. The report reveals that buyer optimism is slowly increasing while seller expectations in pricing are improving. The report gives you a fair idea about the trends worldwide and the market activity. It assesses the prevailing mood of buyers and sellers and the systems prevalent in closing high value property deals at the upper levels of the market. It might come as a surprise to many that cash is the preferred means of payment even for high value transactions.
The real estate market has taken some time in adjusting to the fact that homes and residences are not going to command the prices that might have been bandied around in 2007. The sellers are adapting to this new reality and as a result market activity is up, and optimism is slowly increasing among buyers. The debt crisis in Europe has again brought in a sense of uncertainty but the situation is still stable. The first eight months of 2011, as compared to the same period last year has witnessed an increase in buyer activity. London, New York, Beverly Hills, Hong Kong, and Paris lead the growth story of the industry. In Paris above US$5 million, the property market is dominated by the international clientele; hence high-end residential market in Paris is a scarcity market. Florida is an example of strong recovery. It was amongst the first markets to be hurt by recession but it was quick in taking corrective action in terms of making the pricing more realistic according to the changed circumstances and is now enjoying sustained recovery.
New York City residential real estate market remains strong for well-priced properties. The buyers are very price sensitive; however New York City residential real estate will continue to appreciate in the long term. Ireland and Greece were the only countries that reported less activity in a year-on-year comparison mainly because of their troubled economies. The price deflation is 60% in Dublin which is much higher than anyone had expected at the beginning of the recession. Another important development in the real estate market is the increased preference for paying cash for buying a home. Around 2007 only 25% of buyers paid cash and the rest got it financed as the finance was so inexpensive. Today 60 to 70 % buyers are opting for paying cash. High-Net-Worth Individuals in the United States are also pulling their money out of the stock markets and investing in real estate as a long-term safe haven. Another interesting information that came out of the report was that at the top end people owned two to four residences worldwide, on an average, but the highest number posted by the survey team was 12.