The 2024 Mid-Year Luxury Outlook℠ report is Sotheby’s International Realty’s first-of-its-kind mid-year report, delving into the pivotal, forward-looking issues shaping luxury residential property markets worldwide.

The speed of change in the world at large—and in the real estate sector, specifically—has never moved so fast. In response to this acceleration, we have increased the frequency of the Sotheby’s International Realty Luxury Outlook℠ report by releasing a mid-year update, to establish a true global trendline for premium property. Our aim is to offer as much insight and perspective as possible, to help our clients make informed and smart decisions regarding their real estate portfolios.

The report looks into how policy shifts and elections will likely impact property markets as voters hit the polls in nearly 80 countries. It also explores cultural investments like new museums and major art projects to continue to mould desirable neighbourhoods and bolster property values. We know buyers and sellers are eager to make wise financial decisions, and staying informed is key to making that happen.

When the 2024 Luxury Outlook℠ report was releaseed in January, there was an expectation there were going to be several interest rate decreases. That, in turn, could help to unlock housing inventory, because lower interest rates would make monthly mortgage payments more approachable, enabling potential buyers who were waiting on the sidelines to transact again. 
Those in the Millennial generation—which is the largest generation in recorded history, numbering more than 72 million people in the U.S. alone, according to Census figures—are now entering their prime income-earning years, with many considering home purchases. Coupled with an estimated US$16 trillion wealth transfer from Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation to Millennials and Gen Z in the next decade, according to The New York Times, this creates immense demand for luxury real estate, independent of interest rate fluctuations.

According to an investment report released by J.P. Morgan Private Bank in April 2024, “the state of the luxury market, defined as the top 10% of home values, is not impacted by changing mortgage rates like the overall housing market.” With a post-pandemic surge in their net worth, along with factors like private aviation and remote work, luxury home prices have seen dramatic gains. The bank’s advice is clear: “Now is a good time to buy a luxury home.”

Another anticipated impact on property markets that we’ll explore in this report is the extraordinary number of elections taking place this year around the world, including the U.S. presidential race. There is some myth and mystique around this—do elections impact the housing market? This report separates fact from fiction, particularly regarding luxury real estate, which, despite what is happening in the wider world, has outperformed the real estate market at large so far this year.

While we continue to see record prices for important properties, many buyers are looking to find a home they will not only enjoy living in, but that will also serve as an investment vehicle and increase in value. In this report, we examine how cultural investment in many cities—such as new museums, gallery districts, and public art parks—affects residential real estate prices in the surrounding neighborhoods.

For those thinking of homes as investment vehicles, there is also the financial concept of “time value of money” to consider. When selling a home, owners may often be singularly focused on the sales price. The reality is, holding out for the ideal price incurs costs, from maintenance, taxes, lost investment opportunities, and delaying a move to another property that might better suit your lifestyle.

But a home is more than the money tied up in it, it’s about cultivating an environment conducive to your happiness. For many, that’s living on a golf course, or near the water, or in a property that best displays a beloved art collection. As collectors have become more sophisticated, many homes today are being designed around an art collection that is meant to be enjoyed daily, as opposed to sitting in storage. Drawing on proprietary data from Sotheby’s fine arts division, this report also provides insight for collectors looking to make informed decisions about the art on their walls. After all, what better frame is there for a collection than a home?

We hope that luxury buyers and sellers find this mid-year report useful and that it provides the transparency and insight into the premium property market for which Sotheby’s International Realty is known.

This article was originally published on Sotheby’s International Realty’s Extraordinary Blog, and has been adapted for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

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