Property news - US wealthy still love real estate

NEW YORK - Despite media reports to the contrary, real estate is still considered a sound investment and affluent consumers in the US have confidence in both the current housing market and the fact that their homes have retained their value.

These are the findings of a new consumer research study undertaken by the authoritative Architectural Digest with Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates. In the survey, titled “Seeking an Extraordinary Lifestyle,” 85% of respondents agreed with the statement, “I think real estate continues to be one of the better investments a person can make.”

The survey was conducted among 3500 Architectural Digest subscribers with a household income of $100 000+ and a home valued at $1m in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Boston, Atlanta, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Denver and Detroit. Half the respondents live in homes valued at more than $2m, 68% own two or more homes and 41% own three or more homes.

The key findings of the survey are that:

* 72% of respondents believe the value of their primary home has remained constant or increased over the past 12 months and 79% believe that this will be the situation for the next 12 months;

* Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents believe that current market conditions will have “no effect” on the likelihood of selling their primary home;

* More than half (54%) of the million-dollar homeowners plan to buy, sell, build or invest in a new home within the next year;

* 69% of million-dollar homeowners agree that now is a good time to add to one’s real estate holdings;

* 71% of respondents agree that: “Over time, nothing beats real estate for building one’s personal wealth”.

The respondents also believe that the media plays a definite role in the perception of real estate market conditions, and half believe that the media exaggerates conditions to make the market seem worse than it is.

Giulio Capua, vice-president and publisher of Architectural Digest, says the study confirms that “even in a downturn economy, our readers are recession- proof and continue to spend money on real estate and other luxury goods and services”.

Michael R Good, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, says the study proves that real estate continues to be seen as a valuable investment opportunity, especially among consumers in the luxury market.

“This study validates the assertion that real estate is one of the best long-term investments a person can make, regardless of current market conditions. Affluent consumers know that real estate plays a key role in their long-term strategy to increase personal wealth.

“And among those consumers seeking to add to their real estate portfolio, the top criteria for choosing a property are location, price, amenities and home features.”


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