Wealthiest Home Buyers Say Size Doesn't Matter
They don't care.
Or not that much, anyway. That's right: despite all we hear about the super-sized palaces of corporate honchos and celebrities and legal battles over those zillion-room mansions in Greenwich, Conn. and Silicon Valley, it appears that size isn't the most important consideration to the rich when they're buying a primary residence, according to an annual report on such matters from real estate-brokerage firm Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank Wealth Report 2010, as relayed by the Wall Street Journal's Wealth Report.
What do the wealthy care about?For the rich, there's nothing more important than being in the right place, so "reputation of the area" comes up first when they consider where to live. Then, not surprisingly, it's security and design, in that order. Size ranks a mere fourth, with price (money is no object here) and proximity to good schools trailing (I suspect their kids are packed off to boarding school).
The report also looks at the prospects for property investment in major global markets, including New York. It concludes that the brief uptick in residential sales in 2009 might not last. "We ought not to get too excited," it says, as that reflected pent up demand rather than a real resurgence. So while sales might be up prices have been moving sideways, and that many buyers are foreigners taking advantage of the weak U.S. dollar.
Now that we've sussed out what the rich want in their primary residence, let's ask what the wealthy want when buying a vacation home where they can kick back and relax?
Yes, they just want to have a nice view of some mountains or ocean or whatever, that's all, to de-stress after contributing to the worst economic crisis since the Depression. Looking out the window at something pretty and soothing is more important than climate, the reputation of the area, price and size as well, the report notes.
As the WSJ Wealth Report notes, this information was unearthed by a brokerage firm, so add in a big grain of salt. Of course, if the rich start looking for a primary residence in a reputable neighborhood with good security, it goes without say that the homes are likely to be bigger and more gated, anyway.
But it's always good to know how to handle the clients. So if you're a real estate agent trying to sell some small, shabby ski chalet in a nice but run down ski resort in say Bulgaria, target the list of global millionaires and billionaires and you might close a sale - if the place has a rip roaring view, that is.