Luxury homes are a reality most of us can only dream of, but that doesn’t mean a bit of fantasising isn’t fun. Sotheby’s International Realty has unveiled the 10 most wish-listed luxury property features as part of its inaugural 2021 Luxury Outlook report, helping us to do just this. From sustainable features to outdoor space, here’s a look at what investing in multi-million pound homes prioritise most.
Safety first, right? One of the most common priorities of people searching for a luxury home is its ability to keep contents safe, secure, and out of sight from thieves. Privacy and security frequently showed up as important factors in the survey, with gated entry, privacy fences and high-tech security systems all ways of giving a luxury home added appeal.
No luxury house is complete without some kind of superfluous feature. Think a home cinema, a tennis court, a wine cellar. Or maybe something that has practical use around the property like a home lift. An elevator in the home may not get pulses racing quite as much as a home cinema, but as leading designer Premier Lifts points out, home lifts can be created to add a statement focal point to a home with opulent features like smart connectivity and glass panelling.
Wealthy homeowners are no fools when it comes to kitting out their big houses for health and fitness. Other than the obvious amenities such as indoor gyms, swimming pools and luxurious saunas, Sotheby’s found that many property designers are shifting their focus to create spaces for holistic health. Think dedicated meditation areas, outdoor gardens and massage rooms that allow owners to experience divine relaxation in their own homes.
Property agents have noted that separate spaces for cooking, dining, and working were preferred during lockdown, where people would spend more time at home than usual. For the rich, there is natural inspiration to carve out even more distinct living spaces, whether that be home offices, theatres or even rooms for eating certain cuisines. Or, to take it a step further, some celebrities have gone all out: there’s Lady Gaga’s bowling alley, Celine Dion’s waterpark and Chad Ochocinco’s aquarium bedroom.
Luxury homes are known for their high-tech features, but there has been an increase in the number of buyers looking for sustainable aspects too. Whether that’s using repurposed materials or installing renewable energy sources like solar panels, these additions will help to save the world and boost the chances of selling said property in the future. To give another celebrity example, Leonardo DiCpario has gone big with his eco-friendly apartment in New York, which includes a $3200 water-saving toilet.
What makes luxury properties stand out? Space. And truck loads of it. According to Sotheby’s, space was one of the most frequent aspects that attracted the eyes of the very richest, including one 10,000-plus square foot home on 62 acres of land. This type of home is best suited to those looking for homes in the country, since finding this amount of living space in a major city is unlikely. But the country life isn’t for everybody, with some preferring a bustling city. Thus shows, even for the very richest, not everything is possible.
Another aspect you may not get in the city is natural spaces. Homeowners want an idyllic view they can wake up to in the morning, allowing them to stare out into the open space with a cup of coffee or read a novel with the backdrop of glorious beauty. Sotheby’s study found that most people dream of waking up to views of mountains, a beach, or tree-covered parks. Just look at George Clooney’s villa on the side of Lake Como, or Tiger Woods’ Jupiter Island Estate with the ocean as its backdrop. Now that’s idyllic.
A universal trend among the other half was moving into properties that need no renovation. Time is of the essence, so living somewhere with built-in luxury is appealing, especially for those with families. This is even more vital now when more family members work and learn from home than before, and cannot afford to vacate the house so that renovations can be completed.
There are endless ways to make incredible use of outdoor space. With gardens providing a place to escape the pressures of life, the Luxury Outlook report found that wealthy property owners are after even more of it. As well as having somewhere that’s beautiful and well-maintained, buyers are looking for multi-functional spaces that provide outdoor room for both entertaining guests and for children to play.
Similar to the last point, but a bit more specific. Not only is outdoor space a desired feature, but spacious land too. But what’s the appeal exactly? Well, It must feel amazing to build fun things like your own football pitches, tennis courses or even guest houses. Or, if you’re so inclined, to go for a long walk on your own land. The previous home of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Ashley Cole comes to mind, with the Surrey estate even having enough space for a two-hole golf course. That’s what we call spacious.