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
Ranch living keeps it on the level. Spread out over one floor, these homes are more casual than other styles, often lacking the symmetry of more classic designs. Buyers are attracted to that casual air, and the style maximizes indoor-outdoor living that adds to the feeling of ease. The homes can also allow for privacy, with clever layouts and landscaping.
Modern examples incorporate features like open-floor plans, floor-to-ceiling windows, and the latest technology into the build, but they are still centered on indoor-outdoor living.
The style flourished in places like California, where the weather allows for the outdoors to be an extension of the home most of the year. Many of these were built as suburban developments in the years immediately following World War II.
Property ID: 0593275 | sothebysrealty.com
Sotheby’s International Realty | Santa Barbara Brokerage
“In the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, most of the very good residential architects here in California were designing ranch houses; it was just part of their portfolio,” explains Irvine, Calif.-based architect Alan Hess, author of The Ranch House. “They are just excellently designed.” Architect Cliff May popularized the style, inspired by the adobe ranch houses owned by his family near San Diego, according to a 1986 New York Times article.
“I rebelled against the boxy houses being built then,” May, who died in 1989, told the Times. “The ranch house was everything a California house should be—it had cross-ventilation, the floor was level with the ground, and with its courtyard and the exterior corridor. It was about sunshine and informal outdoor living.”
May built the first home in this style in 1931, and, over his career, designed more than 1,000 custom houses. The bulk of them were in California, but he also had projects as far away as Ireland, Australia, and Switzerland.
Modern architects are also melding cutting-edge design with one-level living. In Santa Barbara, Calif., local architect Ken Radtkey and his team at Blackbird Architects created a ranch-style home there in 2016. It incorporates a modern kitchen, dining, and living area as the center of the home, with the master suite and office separate from the additional bedrooms. Guests and residents can access the outdoors from almost anywhere in the home.
The home has modern sliding doors and floor-to-ceiling windows, and its curved roof creates a shaded outdoor living space. And the outdoor areas are just as well planned, with native and drought-resistant plantings, grass terraces, an orchard, a pool, gardens, and a koi pond with a stone waterfall.
The owner’s imported Moroccan doors have been incorporated throughout the house, creating a unique contrast to the home’s clean lines, according to the architect. There’s also a separate garage with an artist’s studio. Recently listed for just under $5 million, Montecito-based Sotheby’s International Realty agent Joe McCorkell is representing the property.
The Rancho Santa Fe home, has an open-floor plan.
Homes by May are still in demand, as well, according to Clara Yang, an agent with the Beverly Hills Brokerage of Sotheby’s International Realty. Yang is currently marketing a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home designed by May in 1948. Located in the lower Mandeville Canyon area in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood, the home is listed for $3.6 million.
The kitchen and bathrooms of the 2,322-square-foot home have been updated, but much of the design remains the same, Yang says. “Wherever you are, there’s a door to walk outside,” she notes. “And there are windows throughout to let the light in.”
The home, built in a U shape, surrounds a courtyard with a firepit and mature landscaping. There are also two patios with fountains, a pool surrounded by a glass fence, and a pocket garden.
“It’s not like a modern house with an open-floor plan. It’s like a treasure hunt; there’s something different around every corner, ” Yang says. “It’s perfect for staying home, because each person can have their own space and everyone can meet up in the middle.”
Other May-designed properties do offer that open plan, however. A four-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., boasts a flowing layout, as well as abundant natural light and a central courtyard that connects seamlessly to the indoor living areas.
Landscaping is key to ranch homes, and May is known for having brought in mature trees to plant on the grounds of his projects. This property is no different, note agents Eric Iantorno and Beth Van Boxtel of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. The home, built in 1973, sits on almost three acres and is currently on the market for $5.8 million.
“Cliff May used adult trees and plants at the time, and these days they are giant,” Van Boxtel explains. They include olive and pepper trees, plus a small fruit tree orchard, a vegetable garden, several kinds of berries, and a variety of tropical plants.
“The olive trees make it feel so romantic,” Iantorno notes. “And the details of the space—things are small and then expand, and that play on proportions makes it feel very special.” Single-level houses have gained in popularity as the baby boomer generation looks to retire and relocate to places without stairs. But Yang says she’s seen more interest in ranch-style homes from buyers of all ages.
People are attracted by the informal ease of living there, as well as the integrated indoor-outdoor experience. Others are drawn to the deceptively simple architecture. “They’re just brilliant little designs, and people are appreciating them,” Hess says.
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.
Originally posted October 12, 2020 on sothebysrealty.com
A spectacular view is one of the best accessories a luxury property can have. Whether positioned on rolling tundra or balmy coastal flatlands, the right home begins with the right location. Boasting stunning scenery, these five land listings offer buyers the exciting opportunity to build a custom home that is just as perfect as its surroundings. Press play to discover the beautiful landscapes and backdrops that could inspire your next picturesque home.
This iconic property is California Bay Area living at its peak. Surround yourself with panoramic views of the Golden State on the 100-plus acres of Easton Point, located on the southern tip of the Tiburon Peninsula. For sale for the first time in a century, this parcel offers a not-to-be-missed opportunity—the spacious hillside property features trees, meadows, views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and ridgelines 590 feet above sea level, making it an ideal spot for an estate amongst the clouds.
One glance at the natural wonders of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and it’s abundantly clear why it’s so special—and why it should be treated with care. The Ranch at Red Rock in Las Vegas, Nevada is an eco-resort community committed to habitat protection and land preservation. In addition to an elevated communal ranch village, an outdoor amphitheater will encourage all to appreciate the fantastic natural landscape. Customizing a home here ensures that future generations can enjoy the sights of Red Rock Canyon for years to come.
Tropical Island Privacy at Water Cay, Turks & Caicos
If you close your eyes and picture paradise, do white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, fluttering palm trees, and endless blue skies come to mind? If so, you may be dreaming of escaping to the 432 acres at Water Cay in Turks & Caicos. Whether this property is purchased for private or commercial use, it’s a picture-perfect tropical destination—thanks to 7,000 feet of beachfront, you can listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean any time the mood strikes you.
For many, the desert is a calling. The vibrant sunrises and sunsets, varied and storied terrain, and the expansive blanket of starry night skies have a special way of making visitors feel in tune with nature. Backing onto national forest, El Rojo Grande Ranch offers all of the desert’s best vistas, and with Sedona only 1.5 miles away, city conveniences remain within reach. The available 91-acre lot has endless potential for building your own home, or the entire 173-acre property can be purchased with residences and amenities, including excellent equestrian facilities.
National Park Landscapes in Awaroa Bay, New Zealand
For seclusion and complete immersion in a landscape, it doesn’t get much better than Awaroa Bay in New Zealand’s Abel Tasman National Park. With golden beaches, lush forested hillsides, and long stretches of mild weather, this property is an untouched oasis ideal for creating your own vacation property. With its nearby marine reserve, surrounding lagoons for exploring, and abundant birdwatching, Awaroa Bay is a peaceful haven away from the rest of the world.
A view of one’s own is the ultimate in luxury, and these five properties yield spectacular rewards. Wake up each morning to green hills, captivating desert vistas, or glittering ocean as far as the eye can see—whatever the panorama that speaks to you, the land awaits. All that’s left to do is design and build a complementary home amidst the views.
In a city known worldwide for its storybook Victorians, this 1889 Queen Anne home, located on a lovely block in Pacific Heights, fits right in. Its eye-catching façade features decorative millwork, stately columns and marble steps, elegant sashed and bay windows, and whimsical trim, all telltale elements of the period style.
The home stands out, however, for a provenance that is uniquely Californian and for recent owners themselves known and beloved worldwide. A forebear of current governor, esteemed architect Samuel Newsom is best known for his designs of landmarks such as the Napa Valley Opera House, Oakland City Hall, and the Carson Mansion in Eureka, but his keen eye and steady hand were also behind the design of this home. The San Francisco residence of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid during the 1990s, it was thoughtfully rejuvenated in 2018 by the current owner, with the help of notableBay Area designer Nicole Hollis.
Today, the home’s iconic façade belies 7,050-square-foot interiors that are wholly contemporary, with chic shades of light and dark gray, sleek surfaces, eye-catching accents and finishes, handsome angle-planked walnut flooring, and an array of modern amenities. Public spaces were designed with entertaining in mind. The foyer flows effortlessly to a living room with striking lighting and a fireplace and a formal dining room. The open-plan kitchen and family room will appeal to entertainers and chefs of all skill levels; it boasts a wall of built-ins, superior professional-caliber appliances—including a rare Lacanche range—a Calacatta-marble-wrapped island, an adjoining patio, and a butler’s pantry or caterer’s area with two ovens, generous storage, and refrigerator and freezer drawers. But everything—most notably a disappearing wall of glass—seems to direct the eye to one key, enviable feature, a breathtaking view that sweeps across the bay to Marin County in the distance, with the unmistakable silhouettes of Alcatraz and Angel Island in between.
A skylit stairway and an elevator link each of the home’s four levels. Tucked behind one gracefully curving bay window on the second floor, the serene master suite is a peaceful oasis that includes a tony dressing room, a bath with a soaking tub that overlooks the bay, a spacious shower, and discreet water closet. Completing this level are two light-filled guest bedrooms, each with an en suite bath and a fireplace.
Two additional quiet bedrooms with a shared bath are secluded on the uppermost level. But the pièce de résistance is the pentroom, tucked beneath the angles of the timeless pitched roofline. Stylish relaxation and entertaining are easy here, thanks to a well-outfitted media area and an extensive bar. A wall of glass offers an inspiring vista and opens to a breathtaking open-air patio, where a fire pit offers cozy warmth and a frameless glass balustrade keeps the outlook purely uninterrupted.
A coveted three-car garage is located on the ground level along with a thoughtfully appointed mudroom, a laundry room with abundant counter and cabinet space, and a three-quarter bath. Practicalities aside, this floor features versatile space—ideal for an office—with a glimpse of the bay, a temperature-controlled wine room, and a cheerful family room. Yet another a wall of glass gives way to a heated covered patio enveloped by greenery for the utmost in sophisticated privacy—a welcome bonus here, at one of the city’s most sought-after addresses.