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
As buyers seek more outdoor space amid Covid-19, this rare amenity provides options for entertaining and connecting with nature.
Daniel Dahler for Sotheby’s International Realty
A French Normandy chateau in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, listed at $29 million, includes multiple gardens and a greenhouse.
The benefits of living in tune with nature have become more apparent than ever in 2020, when even diehard urbanites have been seeking out gardens, forests, lakes, mountains and beaches to soothe their souls. Estates with outdoor space and gardens may attract many buyers, but those with a greenhouse have the added cachet of providing greenery in every season. Sometimes, a greenhouse can be a light-filled living space.
Adding a greenhouse to your property can cost an average of $7,000 to $29,000, according to HomeAdvisor, an online home improvement services marketplace. Adding a one-acre greenhouse can cost $40,000 to more than $100,000, but if you want to add a greenhouse to an urban rooftop, that could run $1 million or more.
The typical greenhouse needs some type of heating and air conditioning system, lighting and water.
Here are some greenhouses around the U.S. that range from expansive spaces for growing orchids or tropical plants to ones that function as living space for entertaining or simply communing with the plants.
Serious Gardening in California’s Sonoma County
A $3.15 million estate listed in Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California, includes a two-acre garden with a wide variety of plants and gardens.
“Flowers are the passion here, with color and exuberance,” said Sara Harrison Woodfield, a 66-year-old architect who designed the home on Shiloh Terrace that she owns with her husband Peter Woodfield, an 87-year-old retired mining geologist. “To support all this garden, we built a 10’ x 12’ greenhouse, with one side full of plants and one side full of fertilizer, tools and garden gadgets. There’s a potting bench and area outside, which has turned into a secret getaway place to enjoy the plants.”
While the greenhouse is used to start plants, protect sensitive plants during winter and to grow some exotic plants that don’t flourish in the California climate, Ms. Woodfield also enjoys spending time there.
“The front and sides of the greenhouse have wall-to-wall windows with shelves for growing plants and a small place to put a chair and table to just enjoy the space and look down and out over the nearby garden,” she said.
Sunlit Winter Retreat
With a 4.6-acre estate and a 4,400-square-foot residence, you might think the homeowners of this Massachusetts coastal property would have more than enough space to relax in their main house. But for Barry Goldman, a retiree who is selling his riverfront estate in Newmarch Street in Ipswich, the greenhouse offers a special spot amid the gardens and terraces.
“It was worth every penny spent over the course of the year it took to meticulously restore the greenhouse,” Mr. Goldman said. “We especially love luxuriating in the sunny warmth on chilly winter days with a cup of tea and a good book.”
The estate is listed at $2.695 million with Christie’s International Realty.
A City Greenhouse for Entertaining
An unexpected spot for a greenhouse is a Manhattan rooftop, but one rests on the roof terrace at 10 East 14 St.’s penthouse No. 1 in Greenwich Village. The greenhouse, which features plants and trees fed with a year-round irrigation system, can be reached by a private elevator from the condo, which is listed for $4,999,500.
“The greenhouse is used as a living space for the owners and has central heating and air,” said Cherie Hinson, the listing agent with Sotheby’s International Realty. “This conservatory doubles as an additional living room, lounge, entertainment pit or office space.”
A Cape Cod Orchid House
The 10-acre property on Beach Road in Orleans, Massachusetts, listed at $25 million and located one-half mile from Nauset Beach, probably doesn’t need a greenhouse as a selling point. But Ricardo Rodriguez, the listing agent with Coldwell Banker Realty, points out that new owners can grow vegetable, exotic plants and flowers year-round to keep their home in bloom in every season.
“The greenhouse was primarily used for orchids,” said homeowner Raina Ring. “We had virtually every variety, and it was kept by a specialist. They grew like they did in nature, not in ceramic or clay pots; we kept them in cork containers that the orchids grew in and onto the cork itself. The goal was to have every variety of orchid. The greenhouse was a visual and aromatic splendor.”
Long Island Oasis
The 2.7-acre estate, located on Long Island’s South Fork on Sayres Path in Wainscott, is listed for sale at $10.95 million with Sotheby’s International Realty. It features multiple gardens, terraces, ponds, a swimming pool with a waterfall and outdoor sculptures.
Homeowner Marie Eve Berty, a 63-year-old retired public relations and marketing executive, says that the greenhouse is used for a variety of purposes.
“It’s perfect for preparing seedlings for my organic vegetable garden, cutting flowers for floral arrangements and, in the winter, it houses all of our outdoor plants that need winterizing,” Ms. Berty said. “It becomes a wonderful space that can be viewed from multiple locations in the house, making the indoor space feel alive year-round.”
Shangri La on Narragansett Bay
Named in honor of the imaginary paradise in James Hilton’s 1933 novel “Lost Horizon,” this 1.8-acre waterfront estate in Bristol Highlands, Rhode Island, includes two greenhouses in addition to the main house, a guest house and a tea house.
The property on Shore Road is priced at $8.5 million and includes multiple gardens along with a private sand beach.
The greenhouses maintain the tropical plants used throughout the estate, said Kristin Parella, the listing agent along with John Hodnett of Lila Delman Real Estate, a Christie’s International Real Estate company.
“Many plants sleep in the greenhouse during the winter months and come to life in the late spring, where they are transferred to pots and garden beds,” Mr. Hodnett said. “The tropical plants thrive on warmth and moisture, and with extraordinary care, bring out the magnificent beauty of the exotic architecture and the coastal environment.”
Extensive gardens are an important part of the 15-acre estate in Batesville, Indiana, which is listed for sale at $5.5 million. A greenhouse was designed to complement the architecture of the main house.
“The owners built a greenhouse with matching tables and self-adjusting windows that open depending on the temperature inside the greenhouse, then added a heater and a ceiling fan to further control the climate,” said listing agent Rebecca Glazier of Encore Sotheby’s International Realty. “They grow flowers, indoor plants, ferns and seedlings and use the greenhouse to protect some potted plants during the winter.”
Saddle River Estate with Tropical Sanctuary
The 4.24-acre estate in Saddle River, New Jersey, currently listed for sale at $9.88 million, includes a 20,000-square-foot house, a pond, covered patios, a swimming pool, cabanas and a formal garden.
“The greenhouse is used for year-round vegetation, including flowers, plantings, vegetables and herbs,” said listing agent Josh Baris with Coldwell Banker Realty. “The owner enjoys relaxing within what feels like a private tropical oasis.”
French Normandy Chateau in Holmby Hills
When you own a French-style chateau set amid nearly two acres of gardens in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, a greenhouse is almost a necessity
The 1.77-acre estate on Ladera Drive, listed at $29 million, includes multiple gardens that surround the swimming pool, pool house, two guest cottages and the main house. The working greenhouse grows plants that are continuously used throughout the estate, including specimen ferns, orchids and vegetables, said Sharona Alperin, the listing agent with Sotheby’s International Realty.
NEW YORK – June 27, 2017 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased moderately in June after dropping a bit in May. Overall, consumers have a rosier picture of their situation today, but they’re a bit less optimistic about the future.
The Index now stands at 118.9, up from 117.6 in May. The Present Situation Index increased from 140.6 to 146.3, while the Expectations Index that gauges attitudes about the short-term future declined from 102.3 last month to 100.6.
“Consumer confidence increased moderately in June following a small decline in May,” says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved to a nearly 16-year high (July 2001, 151.3),” Franco adds. “Expectations for the short-term have eased somewhat but are still upbeat. Overall, consumers anticipate the economy will continue expanding in the months ahead, but they do not foresee the pace of growth accelerating.”
Present Situation Index
Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved in June. Those saying business conditions are “good” increased from 29.8 percent to 30.8 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined from 13.9 percent to 12.7 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also more positive. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” rose from 30.0 percent to 32.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased slightly from 18.3 percent to 18.0 percent.
Consumers, however, were less optimistic about the short-term outlook in June. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 21.5 percent to 20.4 percent, however, those expecting business conditions to worsen also declined marginally – from 10.3 percent to 9.9 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market remained mixed. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.6 percent to 19.3 percent, but those anticipating fewer jobs increased from 12.1 percent to 14.6 percent.
The percentage of consumers expecting an improvement in their income rose from 19.1 percent to 22.2 percent, but the proportion expecting a decline increased slightly from 8.7 percent to 9.2 percent.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was June 15.