Luxury Living: Non-Negotiables in Modern Property Markets
In the world of real estate and property timing is everything. And times are hard – even for the ultra/high net worth. Cost of living is squeezing alongside a million other economic factors that are dictating market value and fluctuation.
While luxury property investors aren't shying away from the market, decisions are being made based on far more than mere finances. What we value in a home is changing and blueprints for how we get someone to buy are becoming increasingly complex.
But to get down to brass tacks, all developers, agents and realtors need to do is take time to understand the human needs and wants of their clientele. Often the specifics aren't yet hammered out, but buyers know how they want to feel at home – whether it's their first, second, an investment property or otherwise.
Ultimately they want to feel secure, happy, calm, rejuvenated and understood. And there are a few ways to ensure that.
When the pandemic struck everything became about the home. Brands raced to people's doorsteps, adapting and innovating their products and services to suit locked-down luxurians as they grappled with new parameters. Domesticity took on a whole new meaning and our grasp on established interpersonal relationships and lifestyles was rapidly unpicked.
Just because the pandemic is long over (though simultaneously feels like yesterday) doesn’t mean our behaviours and rituals return to their pre-COVID state. We grew accustomed to the tech-savviness that accelerated with life in lockdown, and while routine became familiar and often banal we got used to the versatility of home. versatility very few people are willing to give up now.
“Homes for entertaining” have long been a selling point for luxury realtors. In 2023, homes to the U/HNW need to be tenfold – multipurpose in every context. They need to be social dens that can host the most intimate of soirees to the most Gatsby-esque parties. They need to have leisure built in – beyond the home theatre or the basement bar or the Peloton-branded home gym. They need to act as a personal wellness oasis, sanctuaries in which homeowners can turn off body and mind or even switch it on.
Plenty of already getting behind the movement. In Barbados, Apes Hill (below) is combining contemporary Caribbean luxury with laid-back living across their golf resort, their residences and their community. In Georgia, The Ford boasts an organic farm shared among residents alongside community programmes from naturalist activities to outdoor pursuits.
Safety is perhaps an overlooked human need in the property space – something quickly mentioned but not given too much notice. Even taken for granted. But, again, with technology advancing as rapidly as it is, using it in our best interests and in tandem with our own lifestyles is one of many benefits.
Smart homes aren’t a new concept, but intuitive ones are. Smart homes enhance convenience, efficiency, security, and energy conservation through our everyday lives. But the reality is often that the seamless nature of a smart home is hindered by a lack of common language between systems.
Luckily new specification from the Connectivity Standards Alliance, titled Matter, enables devices to communicate with one another despite using various operating systems by providing a common language for them. Meaning smart home system uptake will hopefully increase, and soon.
Taking embedded safety precautions more literally, the new Cam Floodlight Pro from Wyze switches on security lighting and smartphone notifications when a specific person or vehicle is detected by connected AI-powered cameras. Slightly more jazzy than the ubiquitous Ring doorbell.
Negotiating habitation and nature amid climate chaos is manifesting as resilient home solutions. With such extreme changes to our homes’ surroundings – research shows that the UK is one of a handful of countries dangerously underprepared for what’s to come – truly innovative ideas are needed to keep ourselves and the market afloat.
To get audiences and buyers on board, brands are using exhibitions to appeal to popular mindsets. In Copenhagen, an interactive exhibition titled Reset Materials Invites visitors to get tactile with the building materials of tomorrow.
At London Design Museum, How To Build a Low-Carbon Home opened in July and will be until 2024 demonstrating how we can use basic materials of wood and straw to create revolutionised homes that are ready for future families to live in for generations to come. It’s like being in Grand Designs but sadly no promises Kevin McCloud will be there.
In terms of powering our lives at home, energy-zapping utilities are no longer compatible with people, place or planet.
Next-generation home energy champions Aira are disrupting residential heating, a sector that is Europe’s third largest contributor to CO2 emissions. With their intelligent heat pumps – the first step in an expansive clean energy-tech ecosystem, complete with battery storage, dynamic electricity tariffs and solar panels – European homeowners can now reduce their residential heating CO2 emissions by 75–100%.
Also giving the green energy experience a makeover, Aurora Solar uses AI to deliver bespoke solar system designs, which are accessible and affordable. They’re a solid contributor to the US’ 77% uptake in solar energy, powered by AI, forward-thinking and the sun, they’re creating the future of solar now. And what’s more timeless than the pursuit of prolonging time?
While there are no easy answers in the creation and marketing of future homes, founding strategies in fundamental human truths and needs are pretty safe bets in what is an increasingly volatile market. Working collaboratively with innovative brands who sit at the forefront of category will push developers and agents to the front of theirs, highlighting themselves as the partners to help buyers and investors find perfect properties, not just secure a payout.