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Luxury Unleashed: Christie’s Reveals Today’s Luxury Trends

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Click this image to read Christie’s White Paper

While the luxury real estate market throughout the Tampa Bay region is alive and well, our southern side of the bay is doing especially well.

Of the ten highest-priced home sales of 2014 in the seven-county Tampa Bay region, nine were in Sarasota County alone, with the highest sale on Siesta Key fetching nearly $12 million.  (Source:  Mid-Florida Regional MLS)

Christie’s White Paper
Indeed, most of the world’s major luxury markets are back to performing well, according to a new white paper released last week by Christie’s International Real Estate.

The paper—entitled Luxury Defined 2015— looks at new trends in the upper echelon of the worldwide housing market, as well as the changing mindset of today’s luxury buyer.  To draw its conclusions, the report examines the world’s top selling cities for luxury properties—as well as 70 regional markets—to determine what motivates buyers and influences their decision to buy.

Happily, sellers in the Sarasota-Manatee market are unusually well-positioned to take advantage of these new and emerging trends, blessed as it is with many of the exact amenities that the world’s most capable buyers are searching for.  For the record, the unofficial threshold for luxury in our region is $1 million, while in places like Beverly Hills comparable luxury begins at $8 million.

Clearly Southwest Florida does not compete in the same rarified league as the world’s most cosmopolitan centers—including London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hong Kong and Dubai—where it is not at all unusual for a single property to sell for tens of millions of dollars (or more).

A Lifestyle & Resort Market
Where Sarasota-Manatee does have the advantage—as identified in the study—is as a “lifestyle & resort” market.  Defined as having populations of 500,000 or less, these markets are highly sought after by a mix of primary and second home buyers who prize their distinctive blend of cultural, lifestyle, and educational amenities; which, of course, describes Sarasota and Manatee Counties to a fault.

Collectively, lifestyle and resort markets such as ours led the growth in high-value home sales in 2014, recording (on average) a 28% year-over-year increase in sales.

Emerging Luxury Trends
Among other shifts in attitude, Christie’s snapshot of today’s high-end buyer reveals a less materialistic individual who is willing to eschew traditional high-end neighborhoods in order to experience new frontiers of sustainable luxury—provided the areas they venture into offer similar lifestyle amenities.  New York City is a good example, where the increasingly gentrified boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens are taking the pressure off Manhattan as the city’s one true bastion of luxury.

Additionally, today’s luxury buyers are often baby boomers nearing retirement age who frequently preside over multi-generational households—which makes a big difference in the types of properties they buy.   Increasingly frustrated by the lack of existing inventory, many buyers are opting for new construction; with their desire for privacy, security and quality-over-quantity trumping gratuitous displays of wealth.

Because it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Christie’s Fine Art Auction House, Christie’s International Real Estate is uniquely qualified to interpret the latest shifts and emerging trends impacting the purchase of high value assets—from fine art to fine homes.

Authorities in Luxury Real Estate
Each member of the Christie’s global network—comprised of 32,000 agents operating out of 1,350 offices globally—is the leader in its respective market and recognized as an authority on luxury real estate.  Michael Saunders & Company is proud to represent Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties—as well as a portion of Lee County—in the Christie’s network.

Luxury Defined 2015 sheds additional light on the new dynamics of the worldwide luxury real estate market, and its buyers.   It makes for an absorbing read, especially if you are interested in buying or selling a high-value property anywhere in the world.

To read and/or download the study, click here: CIRE White Paper 2015  To preview the high-value properties currently for sale throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties, visit


Luxury Unleashed: Christie’s Reveals Today’s Luxury Trends was last modified: May 8th, 2015 by Michael Saunders