Originally posted on sothebysrealty.com.
Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to announce that its affiliated brokers and independent sales professionals achieved a record US$150 billion in 2020 global sales volume, a nearly 32% increase in sales growth year over year, as the definition of home changed for consumers around the world. Due to a longstanding commitment to innovation, Sotheby’s International Realty® agents were able to seamlessly help clients navigate the changing market dynamics brought on by the global pandemic with existing technology offerings which propelled business momentum.
Agents affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty quickly pivoted to address the impact of the global pandemic,” said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty. “Thanks to innovations we pioneered nearly a decade ago, our affiliated companies and agents made the impossible possible. Their adaptability to serve clients safely further extended our position as a leader in luxury real estate.”
Long-Standing Commitment to Virtual Technology Paved Way for Success
Sotheby’s International Realty continued to lead the industry and was well-positioned to meet the needs of consumers as the buying and selling process became increasingly virtual. Sotheby’s International Realty agents accelerated the use of the brand’s existing video, virtual reality, and live-streaming technology to produce new forms of content that engaged buyers and set a new standard for marketing luxury properties. Currently, buyers can safely tour more than 6,000 properties via virtual reality or video on sothebysrealty.com. Property videos also proved engaging on social media where the brand’s YouTube channel delivered 43 million views, or the equivalent of more than one million hours watched.
As a leader in the luxury real estate industry, Sotheby’s International Realty is able to anticipate trends,” said Chief Marketing Officer, Bradley Nelson. “Our priority remains to present listings in the best possible manner and to provide a superb end-user experience however buyers prefer to search for their new home. Virtual technology has been at the forefront of our marketing strategy for several years and comes as naturally to us as our commitment to high quality service.”
The brand also unveiled a new website, sothebysrealty.com, available in 14 languages and nearly 60 currency conversions, to continue serving its growing international clientele and fuel referrals worldwide. The website achieved a notable amount of traffic for the brand with 37 million visits in 2020. Property videos on the site produced by Sotheby’s International Realty agents were especially popular and played nearly 13 million times in 2020, totaling more than 90,000 hours watched.
A Year of Strategic Growth and Record Achievements
Despite travel restrictions, Sotheby’s International Realty remained committed to expanding its global footprint and achieving strategic growth. In 2020, the brand opened more than 50 new offices across the world, bringing the brand’s total presence to nearly 1,000 offices in 75 countries and territories with approximately 24,000 independent sales associates worldwide.
The brand’s existing affiliated companies around the world continued to grow in 2020. Sotheby’s International Realty increased its total domestic presence to 45 states around the country. Sotheby’s International Realty facilitated affiliate expansions through 12 domestic M&A transactions, including California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, and Washington.
The brand also continued to expand internationally in key markets and opened offices in seven new territories. In Europe, the brand expanded to Ukraine, Romania, Montenegro, and in Germany. In the Asia-Pacific region, the brand opened its first office in South Korea and expanded in the Caribbean and Latin American region with two new offices in Paraguay and Antigua & Barbuda.
Our international footprint is one of our greatest competitive advantages,” said Tammy Fahmi, vice president, global operations and international servicing. “Our brand’s locations are in the most desirable places around the globe, so our clients know they can rely on our local market expertise wherever they are looking to buy or sell.”
As affluent individuals looked to acquire secondary homes in markets around the world, Sotheby’s International Realty agents acted as true global real estate advisors and referral volume surged by 42% to US$2.9 billion in closed sales volume.
Our 2020 results prove what is possible when you focus on quality above all else. We remain proud to be the real estate brand of choice for so many luxury real estate experts and affluent clients. We will continue to work tirelessly to prove their trust has been well placed,” concluded White.
The numbers are in and according to Stellar MLS, Gulf to Bay Sotheby’s International Realty represented the most buyers and sellers in total units sold and also recorded the largest volume of sales for 2020. The information was collected and reported by real estate data company Lalapoint, LLC from January 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020.
Click here to read more about the volume of deals represented.
Click here to read more about the number of buyer and seller units represented.
Since its 1913 remodel, the Gasparilla Inn & Club has been a power hub in the sleepy village of Boca Grande, located on a barrier island between Naples and Sarasota. Titans of industry like J.P. Morgan and Henry Ford vacationed there, as did Hollywood elite like Katherine Hepburn. But after a century of vacationers, the shabby-chic transomed rooms (sans air conditioning), peanut butter and bacon canapes at cocktail hour, and a strict, clubby dress code, were in need of a refresh. The designers to call? Interior design duo Palm Beach native Mimi Maddock McMakin, Cece Bowman and Mackenzie Hodgson of Kemble Interiors. A team who intrinsically understood which Lovey and Thurston Howell-esque touches should stay, and which were ready to enter a new era.
Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural 2021 Luxury Outlook report which examines high-end residential markets across the globe in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The comprehensive report provides insight into the world’s top primary and secondary markets and the anticipated wealth trends that will drive discretionary investment in the coming months. The report reveals that global wealth is forecasted to grow and pandemic trends are expected to persist in the year ahead. With priorities shifting toward larger homes with special amenities, including “Zoom rooms,” multiple offices and workspaces, and an increased interest in sustainable homes with wellness and technology features, the Luxury Outlook highlights new spending habits and homebuying trends.
“As a leader in luxury real estate, it was important for us to analyze trends emerging from the most unparalleled year in modern history,” said Bradley Nelson, chief marketing officer for Sotheby’s International Realty. “The pandemic recalibrated interest in larger, greener properties, secondary cities, and geographies with favorable tax and emigration policies. These preferences are likely here to stay for the foreseeable future, and it was important for us to provide a resource to those looking to navigate the months ahead.”
Join us as we explore these market-shaping forces and more on luxuryoutlook.com.
In sharp contrast to the “slacker” stereotype that has defined their generation, millennials aren’t living in parents’ basements. They’re buying multimillion-dollar homes.
At 38%, millennials—adults born from 1981 to 1996—represent the largest share of home buyers in the U.S., according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors released last year. “They’re just as interested in owning a home. They just waited longer to buy their first one,” says Bradley Nelson, chief marketing officer of Sotheby’s International Realty.
Breaking from the notion of a “starter home” that older generations embraced, wealthy millennials, Nelson says, are going big.
“In the past, people bought a modest property, lived in it until starting a family, and then traded up to a larger property,” he says. “Millennials are finally coming out of the gate, and it’s not uncommon for the first purchase as a first time homebuyer to be a multimillion-dollar luxury home in the U.S. or internationally.”
As a result, millennials are quickly becoming a dominant force in high-end real estate.
Millennials are the most educated generation in history, have higher earnings, and are set to inherit more than any prior generation, according to a May 2020 report by the Brookings Institute.
Characterized by their tech savvy and environmentally conscious values, millennial preferences are poised to dramatically shape the market, a dynamic that has been on display during the Covid-19 pandemic. Beginning almost immediately after the coronavirus hit, for instance, buyers began to flock to areas that offered walkability, nature, and a well-rounded quality of life. (Think food and an art scene.)
Total sales volume in Aspen hit a record high of more than $1.5 billion in the third quarter, while in some neighborhoods of Park City, Utah, median sales prices spiked by more than 50% during the summer, according to Sotheby’s 2021 Luxury Outlook.
Outside the U.S., the Mornington Peninsula outside Melbourne on Australia’s southeastern coast has also seen a similar influx, the report states.
Going forward, developers are likely to integrate touchless, high-tech features into more homes and focus on bolstering sustainability credentials in new buildings, Nelson says.
From energy-saving geothermal systems and solar panels to green roofs, “these are the features that are most attractive,” he adds. “If a home is move-in ready and environmentally conscious and has a Tesla charger installed in the garage, those homes are generating a premium, because you have so many buyers interested in competing for them.”
Overall, the luxury real estate market is ripe for growth.
According to a December Sotheby’s International Realty survey, 63% of affiliates polled said they expected luxury home prices to rise over the next three years in their respective markets. More than 70% of respondents reported heightened demand at the end of 2020.
In the short term, however, disjointed vaccine distribution and renewed quarantine restrictions could hamper foreign buyer interest. Only one-third of Sotheby’s affiliates expect to see an uptick in demand in the first half of 2021, according to the report.
Additionally, amid indiscriminate declines in overall tax revenues caused by the pandemic, governments globally are reassessing property and wealth taxes as a means of filling budget gaps.
“Across all buyers, tax implications are going to be larger part of their home-purchase consideration,” Nelson says.
For the fast-growing cohort of young, affluent buyers eager to snag their dream homes, millennials face slim pickings for options that meet their unique tastes. “Inventories are at near-record lows in general, and especially for the homes with the features they’re looking for,” he says.
Still, Nelson adds that with “wealth creation growing and cost of capital declining, it’s a promising storm for the high-end housing market.”
From the sale of the highest-priced home in the history of Vail, Colorado, to that of an architectural masterpiece in Las Lomas, Mexico, highlighted here are 10 Significant Sales from 2020 represented by the Sotheby’s International Realty® global network.
Sold for $57,250,000 | Tye Stockton, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty
East Hampton, New York
East Flanders, Belgium
Sold for €18,000,000 | Dirk Hoebrechts, Belgium Sotheby’s International Realty
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Sold for $38,00,000 | Lexi Cerretti, Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty
New York, New York
Sold for $35,140,000 | Stan Ponte, Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage
Sydney, South Australia
Sold for $24,600,000 AUD | Michael Pallier, Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty
Sold for $32,000,000 | Craig Morris, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty
Las Lomas, Mexico
Sold for $4,750,000 | Jessica Potts and Laura de la Torre, Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty
When walls collide with geometric shapes, an uninspired space can suddenly have a strong point of view. Whether iterated as patterned wallpaper, mirrors, or artwork in shapely frames, the effect can be subtle or statement making.
“Geometric shapes are very dynamic and carry a lot of visual weight,” says New Jersey-based Jennifer Matthews, co-founder and creative director at Tempaper, a line of removable wallpaper. “If they are small, they can add textural interest, whereas larger shapes create bold movement in a room.”
“When mixed with more traditional motifs, they lend a freshness to the designs,” says Los Angeles-based designer Stefani Stein. Meanwhile, the repetitive nature of geometrics lends an organization to a room, so there’s an automatic symmetry.
“Don’t be afraid to use geometric shapes, regardless of your overall style direction,” says Tulsa, Okla.-based designer Mel Bean. “An all-neutral space with limited layering of geometric shapes and patterns is an entirely different experience from a colorful, complex, extensive use of pattern and color.”
Combining different shapes creates an interesting tension, Matthews says, like pairing oval sconces or circled mirrors with scalloped wallpaper and a diamond rug or bold-tiled flooring. New York-based Barbara Karpf, founder and president of DecoratorsBest, an online retailer for high-end textiles and wallpapers, recommends mixing different geometric patterns together when they have varied scales. “A small, tight pattern works well with a large open geometric—one pattern could have a touch of a color that is prominent in the other pattern,” she says.
WORK WITH WALLPAPER
The easiest way to apply pattern to walls is by using wallpaper. “Geometric wallpapers range in effect from youthful to sophisticated,” Bean says. “The iconic Hicks hexagon wall covering is an elegant classic. And for a bold, modern approach, I love Cole & Son’s Geometric II paper,” she says.
“A wallpapered statement wall can form foyers from simple hallways, home offices from cozy corners, and separate dining areas from living spaces,” Karpf says. Keep in mind, a small, repetitive pattern works everywhere, whereas a big, bold pattern will work best on an accent wall, she says.
And, when considering color, generally, the lighter the hue, the subtler the experience, says Newton, Mass.-based designer Liz Caan. “Geometric patterns with high-contrast colors will always veer into bold and graphic territory, so be mindful when choosing your palette.”
Using geometric prints has another benefit: They can hide a multitude of sins. For one project, Manhattan-based designer Timothy Brown used a multicolor tonal stripe to hide some millwork he didn’t want to remove but also didn’t want to highlight. They also “allow you to control the direction and flow of a space, whether you want to cast focus on an area or guide the eye away from a less savory spot,” he says.
Combining geometrics with other patterns adds interest and can balance out the look. “A stripe or geometric pattern on a printed grasscloth wallcovering can soften the crisp nature of a bold print,” Stein says. She suggests trying a variegated stripe, monochrome geometric, or tonal variation for a dramatic backdrop that won’t overpower the other elements of the space. Caan prefers to play with “opposites” when it comes to wallpapers, such as mixing a bold stripe or geometric with a floral. “When the colors are copacetic and the scales are varying—creating some relational value—the end result can have a dramatic effect, but one with a softer edge thanks to the floral balancing the sharp lines of the geometric,” she says.
THINK BEYOND WALLPAPER
There are other mediums in which to shape your walls, too. “Our favorite method, which introduces rich texture and architectural interest, is through applied moldings,” says Chicago-based designer Tom Stringer. “We’ve used a repeating geometric motif at various scales in applied moldings, and then again in other areas in carved screens to layer pattern and texture into a stark white interior.”
Stringer has also utilized painted designs, which he achieved by taping off patterns and then painting in contrasting colors to create geometric motifs on walls.
Geometric shapes, when applied to upholstery, help create depth, says Chicago- and San Francisco-based interior designer Alison Pickart. “I’ve used ceiling-mounted drapery in hallways that have utility and closet doors that needed to be concealed yet still be accessible,” she says. She also loves to use tiled geometric patterns, whether on kitchen walls or bathroom backsplashes to incorporate interest.
STRIKE A BALANCE
“The biggest impact comes from either using them in excess or very thoughtfully in small, understated doses,” Caan says.
Brown considers every aspect of the room when working with geometric shapes to create an overall symmetry.
“Any room is a mix of geometric shapes—from added furniture to the decisive lines of windows and doors. Focus on the scale of any pattern or shape so that it all works together,” Brown says.
There’s a restrained beauty about an all-white space; it’s a sophisticated refinement that awes in its absence of color. And, depending on accent features, furniture, and fabrics, the effect can feel warm and welcoming or modern and minimalist.
“White spaces are serene and provide a neutral setting for other more subtle items in the room to shine,” says Amalia Graziani of Noor Property Group, a Manhattan-based real estate development firm. They also create a blank canvas, says Phillip Thomas, founder and principal of Phillip Thomas Inc. in New York City. “You can build a story within the space,” he says. Creating an inspired design is all in the details.
VARY THE SHADES
Playing with different tones of white and cream can keep the room from feeling too stark, says Rome, Italy-based architect and designer Achille Salvagni. He suggests incorporating prints that combine shades of either white or cream on the walls, in the upholstery, or even on the floor. “Small or subtle pops of color or metallics introduced into the room, that come from art and accessories, also add warmth and a level of sophistication,” Salvagni says. “I like to use a warmer white on the walls paired with brighter trim and a cooler ceiling,” Graziani says. “Subtle contrast makes the space feel much more inviting.”
CREATE TEXTURAL TOUCHES
Warming up the room and adding dimension is a matter of texture. “Texture is key in keeping a white space from lacking soul,” Thomas says. “Texture reflects light—both natural and artificial—in different ways, and light excites the eye.”
Salvagni prefers materials such as cashmere, boucle, sheepskin, and mohair, particularly for upholstery, to add warmth, depth, and a sense of comfort. For carpeting, he opts for a plush, warm-toned silk. “I love the idea of complementing a white ceiling and all-white walls with a printed carpet that combines different shades of white and cream,” he says. Hand-knotted and handwoven rugs add sophistication and a sense of luxury to a space, says Lance Thomas, co-founder of Room Service, a fine furniture and interior design firm in Lake Charles, La. “I personally like to contrast the style of my rug to the furniture that sits on top of it,” he says.
Graziani prefers chunky sisal rugs for warmth and texture to offset cool walls. She also loves the contrast of a rough linen weave alongside softer materials such as cashmere and boucle. But texture is not just found in textiles. Lance Thomas recommends wallpapering walls in suede or introducing a lacquered finish on a side table.
FOCUS ON ACCENTS
Finishes such as metal play a significant role in achieving an impactful all-white space, Lance Thomas says. “Matte black or iron hardware and fixtures can add stark contrast and a contemporary spin on the space,” he adds. And contrast is a powerful tool. “When the eye sees the truest white and the truest black in a space, all of the other variations of white become richer.”
Given the neutral nature of white walls, there’s a chance to play with interesting hardware and doors, Graziani says. “Sharp stainless door handles, antique glass knobs, or a bold door will shine in an otherwise understated room,” she says. For instance, in one of the white rooms she’s designed, she added three sets of double French doors in place of conventional doors to add depth and reflection. “Adding structural details such as bold beams, chair rails, and paneling also elevates the space and creates dimension,” she says. And don’t forget about greenery, “not only for its vibrant color, but to add a sense of warmth, calm, and fragrance to a space,” Lance Thomas says.
Layering is another important tool. “An all-white space looks best when it feels collected over time,” he adds. For example, a mid-century coffee table would play nicely on top of an antique rug. Or, he recommends framing a vintage piece of art in a contemporary lacquered frame. His other musts: a healthy mix of patterns, patina, and personality, wood furniture, at least one antique—even in a contemporary space—as well as a custom-tailored piece. “When a space feels collected, it creates intention,” Lance Thomas says.
In terms of shapes, Salvagni suggests round and organic forms for sofas, chaises, coffee and dining tables, and even carpets. “These round and organic shapes will accentuate the coziness of the room,” he says.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
“Lighting is probably the best way to add another dimension and elemental layering,” Salvagni says. The first thing he looks for is to add warm-hued lighting as well as an appropriately proportioned light fixture. “This will create the dimension needed to enhance the ambiance in the room, and when done correctly, always helps to keep a room feeling warm and looking elegantly stylish,” he explains.
“Ambient lighting is a wonderful way to intentionally create depth through highlights and shadows,” Lance Thomas adds. “I love the way a pair of wall sconces can cast shadows onto the ceiling and highlight slivers of surrounding furniture.”
Incorporating multiple sources of light helps a room feel more inviting, Graziani says. “Instead of relying on a central pendant or chandelier, incorporating soft secondary sources of light, such as picture lighting and task lamps, can make a big difference,” she says.
HOW TO USE THE DARKEST SHADE IN A WAY THAT’S CHIC AND EYE-CATCHING
Appeared in RESIDE Magazine.
Shading your walls in black may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re considering paint colors. But black has a daring all its own that can bring character and chicness to your space.
“The result is both unexpected and incredibly sophisticated,” says Andrea Magno, a Benjamin Moore color and design expert.
“Black has an interesting effect on the walls of a room because the corners and shadows are obscured more than if a midtone or pastel color is used,” Magno says. “This can be used as a visual trick to give the space a less-defined appearance and can make a room feel a bit more expansive.”
Black walls can also bring coziness. “Dark walls coupled with dramatic lighting create an instant air of luxury and sumptuousness,” says Karen Howes, CEO and founder of London-based interior-design firm Taylor Howes.
Choosing the Right Room
It’s important to consider the function of the room and also the time of day that you spend the most time there, Howes says. Great candidates for black walls include rooms used primarily as evening spaces or those that aren’t reliant on task lighting, such as home cinemas and dining rooms, she says.
In a media room, black walls help absorb the light and won’t distract from the room’s main function, Howes says. “We also find using darker tones in dining rooms helps create a luxurious feel in the evening when our clients are entertaining,” she says.
“Often the rooms that are most successful have a balance between light and dark—where black walls are paired with a light floor color or furniture done in neutrals and whites,” Magno adds.
Accent Versus All Four Walls
“Black can be a superb choice, as it allows you to play with contrasts,” says Nicolas Adnet of Studio MHNA, an architecture and design firm in Paris. “For example, if the rest of the room is done in pale or pastel palettes, painting a wall black can add drama and create atmosphere.”
A single black wall can also give character and structure to a space and be used to highlight furniture or a collection of art, Adnet notes.
If used as an accent, Magno says, it’s important that it creates a focal point and architecturally makes sense in the room. For instance, accent walls work well when a room has a wall with a fireplace or millwork, or when there is an alcove or other feature worthy of attention, she says.
Black walls can handle patterned accessories or upholstery. “The black will tend to recede, causing the pattern to advance or be more eye-catching,” Magno says. Repeating black in patterns also helps tie the look of the room together.
“For instance, many materials used for countertops—whether marble, granite, or quartz—have black running through them and can instantly create a visual connection between the walls and other features in the room,” Magno says.
The finish you choose for the paint can have different effects on the space. A matte black has a soft quality, while a high gloss will add reflection and drama.
“Using a semigloss or high-gloss finish works well in dark spaces, as it helps to bounce the light around,” Howes says. “We tend to combine different finishes in one space to get a nice balance.”
Using Trims Well
Often rooms with walls painted black have white or off-white trim for a clean look, Magno notes. “Black looks great when used in a space with neutral or white wainscoting or cabinetry because the contrast is striking and chic,” she adds.
For a sophisticated look, she recommends painting walls and trim or millwork in one black hue, and either using the same finish on both surfaces or using a lower sheen on the walls, such as a matte finish and a semigloss or high gloss on the trim.