The luxury real estate market is still on the up and up, and millionaires from around the world are swooping up investment properties left and right. While often these homes are as unique as their new owners, there are several trends that are consistent across many of the properties. According to Worth, a website published by SANDOW with a focus on the relevant financial, legal, and lifestyle issues unique to high net-worth individuals, these are the top seven trends happening in luxury real estate.
- The Smarthome. “Everyone is digitally connected in some way, and that allows you to control your home,” claims Eric Thies, founding partner of home technology provider Via International. Technology allows you to control home functions like heating and cooling, lighting, and locking/unlocking of windows, doors and gates, all from your smartphone.
- A stand-alone entertainment house. A growing number of suburban and rural luxury properties are including a separate home specifically designed for entertaining. They are typically outfitted with indoor pools, full-sized kitchens, media rooms, and even basketball courts. Luxury towers are even providing lavish lounges for residents to use when entertaining. “People find it appealing to be able to entertain outside the home but within the building,” says Brian K. Lewis, a Manhattan broker.
- Rethinking the Mudroom. The classic room where residents store muddy boots and shoes, coats, backpacks, and pet supplies, is making a comeback, in a very luxurious way. These mudrooms come equipped with radiant heated floors, separate washers and dryers, and custom built in storage. “Children today play so many sports, they have so much sporting equipment. Parents want it all neatly organized in one large space,” according to Mary Higgins, a broker in Connecticut.
- A cooler kitchen. Kitchens are often the mecca of the latest technology, and that trend is continuing. New technology now can send an alert if an oven has been left on. Carbonated water can be dispensed directly from the faucet with a specialized filter from Grohe. And the “open kitchen” can take on a totally new meaning with the development of a hidden backsplash by Studio Becker, that rises from the countertop, exposing tools and appliances before vanishing when through.
- The self-sufficient home. A geothermal heating and cooling system can be significantly more efficient as traditional units. Another benefit includes the aesthetics. “When you have geothermal, there is nothing visible. The ground is your heating and cooling service,” says Edward H. Brzezowski, a mechanical engineer at the Falcon Group. Another trend: powerful automatic generators. Don’t worry about the blackout consequences on your wine cellar or security system with these bad-boys, which can operate a home at full capacity for a week or longer.
- Custom detailing down to the doorknobs. New computer technology allows architects and designers to create custom details like never before. This allows for the total recreation of antique fixtures in a restoration project, or invention of even the most modern designs.
- Hi-Tech bathroom fixtures. Second to kitchens, bathrooms have been a long-time favorite room in a home. Smart technology heats radiant floors and towel warmers, while smart glass turns a clear glass shower stall opaque when in use. Bathroom mirrors can even double as LCD TVs at the press of a button, making the “throne room” that much more luxurious.