Uber-Luxe Homes Are the New Collector’s Item for Billionaires


17663152-mmmainPhoto Credit: Stephen Reed Photography via CIRE via AP

Forget limited edition sports cars, priceless pieces of art, and rows of luxury yachts. The nation’s richest consumers have upped the ante when it comes to showing off their wealth.  According to Christie’s International Real Estate, billionaires are increasingly willing to purchase $100 million dollar homes that can serve as haute displays of wealth.

The luxury housing market in the states has stabilized over the past year after experiencing rapid growth in 2013. Now, owners of our nation’s deepest pockets are investing huge amounts of money in estates overseas and at resort destinations.

The move to buying overseas property has partly been spurred by the American dollar’s increasing strength in the global market. The dollar has appreciated 20 percent against the euro, meaning that luxury buyers can stretch their income further when buying property in foreign countries.

According to the Christie’s report, five homes across the globe sold for more than $100 million in 2014, and a record 18 were listed. The surge in these numbers is due to a rising class of new billionaires. in 2014, over 200 people officially became billionaires.

Last year, a French Riviera mansion sold for $146 million. Each square foot of the home cost $22,577 — or the price of a Honda Accord.

“You’ve got this club of billionaires who just like to have unique assets,” said Dan Con, CEO of Christie’s real estate wing. “But it’s also, truthfully, that they like to entertain their friends and say, ‘This is mine.'”

Unfortunately, these surges in the luxury housing market run in contrast to housing sales in the U.S. at large. Many American homeowners are still feeling the effects of the economic recession of 2007.

Growth has also been seen in the market for second homes. Sales and prices in winter locales have jumped. The average sales price in Aspen Colorado has jumped 55 percent to $4.15 million over the past year. Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman credits the surge to wealthy baby boomers. “That’s because of the baby boomers, who are not retiring early and are sometimes on their third wife at 65 and have little kids,” Herman said.

(Via Michigan Live)