What Are Luxury Home Buyers Prioritizing in NYC Real Estate?


Forbes Global Properties recently released its annual “Perspectives” report, which serves as a comprehensive outlook on the state of the luxury home market around the world. The report canvassed and collected knowledge from the company’s global network of over 13,000 agents operating from 440 offices in 22 countries. It offers keen insight into what luxury home buyers have been prioritizing lately when purchasing a property.

“Due to Covid, buyers are demanding more physical interior and private outdoor spaces,” observed Michael Rossi, CEO and Founder of Elegran Real Estate in New York City. “Some new developments of late have been building private resident pools and tennis courts as part of an expanding array of amenities. Some buildings have even developed a few apartments with private pools on expansive terraces.”

This shift in priorities among HNWIs (high-net-worth individuals) has been further detailed in the report, with the following five areas ranked in order of importance:

Outdoor Space

Now that Covid restrictions have eased globally, expansive indoor spaces are no longer the number one priority among UHNW (ultra-high net worth) buyers. According to a November 2022 survey, Forbes Global Properties’ network of elite agents worldwide reported that outdoor space is in high demand, especially covered outdoor entertaining areas.

“Now more than ever, buyers are wanting outdoor spaces and lifestyle amenities,” said Barak Sky of Long & Foster Real Estate in Washington, D.C. “Since the pandemic began everyone seems to want pools, patios, putting greens and anything else you can imagine.”

New developments in NYC, for their part, have been adding outdoor spaces to meet the demand for luxury living, with many offering private patios and common rooftop areas. Examples include 98 Front Street in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood, 212 W 93rd Street on the Upper West Side, and Flatiron House at 39 W 23rd Street.

Proximity to Lifestyle Amenities

Affluent homebuyers are seeking convenient access to lifestyle amenities beyond their homes, making amenitized communities and buildings increasingly sought-after. “Luxury home buyers want to be close to the action while still maintaining privacy,” said Antonia Ribes Bas, a luxury agent in Costa Blanca, Spain.

In NYC, some of the most desirable neighborhoods are those with easy access to parks, stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Tribeca, for example, stands out for its high-end shopping and fine dining scene. Flatiron is another popular option, with its proximity to Fifth Avenue’s array of shops, fitness studios, and cultural attractions.

Other amenities HNWIs may prioritize include nearby private schools, top-notch hospitals, and private social clubs.

Multiple Home Offices | More Space

Tied for third place with more space are luxury residences that can facilitate multiple home offices. “Luxury properties have historically offered a single home office. But today’s affluent buyers respond to multiple, dedicated spaces that accommodate more than one working family member,” explained Ben Kruger of Hilton & Hyland in Los Angeles. “While this amenity may fall lower on a homebuyer wish list than more obvious features like outdoor space, multiple home offices stand to significantly increase the quality of living for a household of working professionals.”

Regarding more space, “affluent buyers are seeking out spacious homes with one or two areas to work remotely, room for a gym, a media room, and an inground pool,” said Vicki Gaily of Special Properties in New Jersey. These features are particularly popular among HNWIs who are looking outside crowded metropolitan areas.

Affluent city buyers, on the other hand, may seek out multi-level homes or entire-floor condominiums as alternatives to obtain more space. Some full-floor residences in ultra-luxury buildings offer expansive floor plans that can accommodate multiple home offices, such as 432 Park Avenue and 15 Central Park West in Manhattan.

Private Pool & Fitness Space

Ranking fourth among luxury amenities are private swimming pools and/or private fitness areas. Even more prized: pools on a private terrace or balcony with views. “Not too long ago, having a pool would make it harder to sell a house. Now, if you have a pool, you can expect the exact opposite,” said Barak Sky of Long & Foster. “People want to entertain at home and have all the fun features they can to do so and to make their friends and family want to come over. I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon,” he adds.

In ultra-prime markets such as New York City, private swimming pools also increase the perceived value and appeal of a luxury property, making it more attractive to global UHNW buyers who are willing to pay a premium for such amenities. “We are seeing new projects that are offering private pools on the balconies, usually in penthouses,” observed Abdullah Alajaji of Driven Properties in Dubai. “These units have been particularly popular and are the first to sell out.”

New York City provides several examples of residences with private pools and fitness spaces. These include penthouse and mid-floor residences at 5 E 17th Street, 60 Riverside Boulevard (The Aldyn), 15 Union Square West, and other luxury condominiums in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Large Gourmet Kitchens

Fifth on the list of priorities is the undisputed heart of the home, but with a twist: a large well-equipped gourmet kitchen with top-tier appliances and designer finishes. “Luxury real estate buyers desire homes that feature gourmet kitchens with opulent marble islands that open to the living area, with large glass pocket sliders leading to a backyard oasis complete with a pool, outdoor chef’s kitchen, fire pit and other luxurious amenities,” said Paul Salazar of Hilton & Hyland.

Residents of 53 W 53rd Street (Tower Verre) in New York City, for example, enjoy kitchens with white glass-fronted cabinets designed by Despont and crafted by Molteni. Other luxury condominiums with high-end gourmet kitchens include 150 Charles Street in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood and 45 E 22nd Street in Flatiron.

Final Thoughts

The 2022 Perspectives report from Forbes Global Properties reveals that when it comes to luxury home buying, affluent buyers are increasingly prioritizing outdoor spaces, proximity to lifestyle amenities, multiple home offices, private pool and fitness areas, and gourmet kitchens, with add-ons like electric car charging stations and security systems.

As the pandemic continues to shape our lives, it’s clear that the way we live in and interact with our homes has had to adapt. Luxury buyers continue to look for properties that are not only high-end and aesthetically pleasing, but also offer all the amenities and features to make their homes a safe and enjoyable place.

To learn more about today’s luxury home market and where to find standout properties in NYC, reach out to an Elegran advisor today.



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