Engel & Völkers Luxury Homebuyer Report

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Engel & Völkers

Luxury Homebuyer Report

Table of Contents Introduction


The Homeward Bound Millennial


The New American Rancher


The Crypto Visionary


The Eager International Buyer


The Renaissance City Dweller


The Year-round Vacationer


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Introduction The real estate landscape is ever evolving. Changing work environments and the continued prevalence of remote work have impacted buyers whose needs and wants are continuing to develop and change. Over the past year, we’ve seen a new class of buyers emerge. From the Crypto Visionary to the New American Rancher, each of 2022’s luxury homebuyer personas poses a variety of distinct needs unique to their lifestyle and personal definition of luxury.

Engel & Völkers Luxury Homebuyer Report  1

The Homeward Bound Millennial Millennials have emerged in the real estate market as an

up with friends is an attractive incentive to purchase a

undeniable force, responsible for 43% of all homebuyers

home. Once that decision has been made, millennials

in 2022.1 However, those aged between 25 and 41

have unique habits during the homebuying process.

are establishing trends outside the precedent set by

They use the internet for all that it has to offer—increased

previous generations. Having entered a seller’s market,

transparency of home prices and information, excessive

with record-low inventories and record-high prices, the

home browsing, and even virtual tours. However, that

wealthiest millennials are taking their big city salaries and

does not mean that they don’t see the inherent value

heading to the suburbs. Here, they can skip the starter

of real estate professionals. 81% of younger millennials

home, take advantage of modern work arrangements,

are first-time homebuyers and are aware of their lack of

and enjoy life as a homeowner with closer proximity to

knowledge when it comes to real estate transactions—

friends and family.

unlike previous generations who may have already

A major inflection point in the trajectory of millennial

purchased, sold, and bought another home by this age.2

homeownership has been the pandemic. What followed

As such, millennials are increasingly looking for real

was a shift in values: millennials challenged their

estate professionals to help find their future home, set

reputation for avoiding homeownership and its respective

up tours, assist with paperwork, and be reachable by

responsibilities. Higher salaries, the opportunity to

text and email throughout the entire process.

increase personal wealth, and built-up savings (from spending time at home, inheritances, etc.) are pushing millennials to reconsider their decision to continue renting. Further, and the desire to start a family or keep


Despite the desire to relocate from major coastal cities, millennials expect to find the same amenities they’ve become accustomed to—bars, restaurants, and a lively,

54.4%, Greene County, Georgia, led the

nation in year-over-year luxury home price growth.

1 2 3

National Association of REALTORS®, March 23, 2022 National Association of REALTORS®, March 23, 2022 Beckie Strum & Liz Lucking | Mansion Global. (2022, April 15). The Fastest-Growing Luxury Markets in the U.S. Will Surprise You | Mansion Global [Video]. YouTube


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up-and-coming artsy neighborhood scene. With their

Millennials have come out in numbers, equipped with

newfound financial and professional freedom, they are

the wealth and buying power to establish themselves as

capitalizing on the opportunity to choose where they

premier players in the real estate market. They are ready

want to live, not live where they work. The homes they

to purchase a dream home and own something entirely

are finding in burgeoning markets are smart homes with

for themselves, while also making a smart investment.

a boutique feel—fully equipped with features that align

With plans to own the property for at least ten years, this

with modern, luxury lifestyles and living. This may include

home is as much a dream home as it is an opportunity to

environmentally friendly features such as solar panels,

grow their personal wealth.4

energy-efficient HVAC systems, luxury, eco-friendly home building materials, and electric car chargers.


National Association of REALTORS®, March 23, 2022

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Homeward Bound Millennial Web Searches: §

What small town should I move to?


How can I find an agent?


Duplex homes for sale in [city/neighborhood].

Desired Markets States such as Texas, Florida, and Colorado were among the most popular for relocating millennials:

Dallas, Texas Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Austin, Texas Denver, Colorado

Topeka, Kansas Greene and Putnam Counties, Georgia Charlotte, North Carolina

Tampa, Florida Miami, Florida

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The New American Rancher Aged between 56 and 65, the New American Rancher

themselves. In fact, the New American Rancher sees this

has the most savings and the highest budget. They are

property as a “bubble-proof” investment that will provide

in search of a unique western property that represents

personal and familial stability. This home epitomizes the

celebration of their successful career and hard work, while

luxuries of modern living—beautiful architecture and

also establishing a home base for friends, family, and future

interiors, gorgeous views and landscapes, the highest

generations. This transitional period in the New American

quality amenities, a heightened sense of peace and privacy,

Rancher’s life—when careers are less demanding—has

and the feasibility of a sound financial decision.

enabled their relocation to the west and midwest states of the United States. Here, the New American Rancher and their family can enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and all the amenities of the turn-key properties being developed in these burgeoning communities. It is their lifelong “Wild West” dream, actualized.

Further, boomers already account for 44% of the total real estate wealth in the US (making them the wealthiest of any generation).5 Unlike their predecessors, boomers are not retiring or moving into retirement communities. They plan on maintaining an active lifestyle—whether that be in the surrounding outdoors of their new home, taking their

However, the New American Rancher is not necessarily

expertise to a non-profit, or traveling. As such, their western

looking for the responsibility and cost of agriculture

property needs to represent an upgraded lifestyle and the

and livestock. The properties that they are in search of

practicality their life needs. The privacy and luxury of fewer

are move-in ready, have porous boundaries between

neighbors and more space must not come at the cost of

indoor and outdoor living areas, and boast considerable

their connection with the rest of the world. Proximity to

entertaining spaces. While the property may incorporate or

amenities, attractions, and health care facilities are of equal

function within agricultural production, the New American

importance to the New American Rancher.

Rancher is not looking to personally take on that lifestyle

44% of the total real estate wealth in

the United States is held by baby boomers— making them the wealthiest of any generation.


Federal Reserve, March 18, 2022

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The New American Rancher is looking for a trusted and

available listings in the area, the New American Rancher

experienced real estate professional who provides high-

is reliant on their real estate advisor to find the house that

quality service and a work ethic to which they can relate.

they will ultimately call home. They could likely be adding

Real estate professionals become a premier resource

their western property to a growing real estate portfolio

for this buyer when they can supplement and support

and as such, want to know detailed property information.

the New American Rancher’s knowledge every step of

This will ensure them that they will not be blindsided by

the way, from finding properties to negotiating prices.

a house that ends up requiring a significant amount of

While they are comfortable using online resources to see

work, money, and attention.

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New American Rancher Web Searches: §

What are the best neighborhoods near Jackson Hole, Wyoming?


What are the property taxes in Wyoming?


New construction developments in Nevada.

Desired Markets Proximity to amenities, attractions, and health care facilities is still important to this segment. Neighborhoods within an hour of popular resort destinations are common. Western states such as Wyoming, Nevada, and South Dakota all boast friendly tax policies for the ultra-wealthy:

Jackson Hole, Wyoming Teton County, Idaho

Bozeman, Montana Aspen, Colorado

Sun Valley, Idaho

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The Crypto Visionary Crypto Visionaries are bringing their newfound wealth

between 29 and 35 years old. They fall into the younger

to the real estate market. The source of that wealth is

years of the millennial generation, and as such, share some

one of the most up-and-coming topics within real estate

of the common traits, behaviors, and characteristics—

and the world at large. To the Crypto Visionary, being

with a visionary edge. The Crypto Visionary struck big in

on the precipice of the newest technologies, practices,

this one area of the financial sector, and they are ready to

and processes is of the utmost interest and importance.

use this property to diversify their portfolio. Similar to their

Cryptocurrency may be just the latest iteration of a lifelong

generational counterparts, they are interested in skipping

interest in technology, investing, and politics. In a similar

the starter home and purchasing a dream—and with it, all

fashion, the Crypto Visionary will be drawn to a new,

the amenities of modern and luxury living. Pools, courts,

city construction that is both innovative in design and

fitness facilities, generous outdoor entertaining spaces,

processes. They are in search of builders, contractors,

and proximity to lively and cultured social establishments

and sellers that already have the infrastructure in place

are must-haves of their next home.

to complete transactions in cryptocurrency (or as seamlessly as possible). Wherever their next property may be, part of the appeal for the Crypto Visionary is that the transaction will likely make headlines for setting new precedents in real estate.

Despite what it may seem, the Crypto Visionary isn’t traditionally a “bookworm” holding multiple degrees. Rather than bringing masters and doctorates to the table, the Crypto Visionary is bringing street smarts—the intuition that led their investing decisions and strategies.

Cryptocurrency is infamous for being volatile investment.

In fact, nearly 55% of crypto investors have no college

As such, it has become particularly unattractive to older

degree at all.6 Further, their is little research to show

investors, leaving the Crypto Visionary to be somewhere

that cryptocurrency investors come from wealthier

86% of Americans have heard of cryptocurrency

and 16% have either invested, traded, or used one.7

6 7

National Opinion Research Center (NORC), University of Chicago, July 22, 2021 Pew Research Center, November 11, 2021

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backgrounds; it is possible that a Crypto Visionary could

real estate advisor. The Crypto Visionary will depend on

be experiencing this level of wealth for the first time in their

their real estate professional to guide them through the

life, skipping the High Earnings, Not Rich Yet (HENRYs)

community-specific regulations and practices regarding

category that many of their generational counterparts

transactions in cryptocurrency and real estate. Whether

fall into. This home could be seen as a further chance

that be securing a traditional loan and using the buyer’s

to establish the validity of their interest and success in

crypto assets as proof of wealth or directly exchanging

cryptocurrency—as the industry itself continues to be

from a cryptocurrency to a traditional one, the Crypto

met with skepticism in regards to its long term value.

Visionary will require the specific knowledge and

Perhaps more so than any other buyer, the unique interests and needs of a Crypto Visionary require a specific skill and knowledge set on the behalf of the

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expertise of a real estate professional who is an expert in the matter themselves.

Crypto Visionary Web Searches: §

Best cities for crypto jobs.


Best countries for crypto wealthy.


Developers accepting cryptocurrency.

Desired Markets Crypto buyers are looking to establish themselves in the cities that are as on the forefront of embracing cryptocurrency as they are. It is less about the geographical location on the map as it is the presence of other people, companies, and infrastructures they see as being equally as forward-thinking as themselves.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Toronto, Ontario

San Francisco, California New York, New York

Miami, Florida The Bahamas

Cayman Islands Engel & Völkers Luxury Homebuyer Report  13

The Eager International Buyer The pandemic has impacted each buyer persona—none

Many of these foreign buyers originate from China,

so heavily as the Eager International Buyer. As the name

Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and Mexico and

suggests, the Eager International Buyer is keen to buy real

are looking to invest in industrial real estate, multifamily

estate in the Americas after international mandates and

properties, apartments, and offices in central business

travel restrictions have limited their buying power. The

districts—with a preference for new construction.10 While

National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that

some of these buyers are looking for personal residential

the dollar volume of foreign buyer purchases was $54.4

properties, a large number are searching for investment

billion USD from April 2020 to March 2021, a 27% decline.

properties for themselves or on behalf of their employer.

NAR’s data also reveals a 31% decline in sales volume.8

These investment properties provide a stable, consistent,

This story changed, however, throughout the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 as travel restrictions were lifted globally. The Eager International Buyer became just that—eager (and now able) to buy property around the

passive income for an individual or organization, and given the economic fluctuations that have characterized these past few years, a “bubble proof” investment is more important than ever.

world. These buyers purchase properties for a number

The Eager International Buyer will be knowledgeable

of reasons, most commonly to rent out the property,

about property buying and selling processes in the

live there, or use it for business purposes. Rentals and

United States. After a year on the sidelines, they are one

vacation homes led the pack, accounting for 42% of

of the best-prepared buyer personas as they actively and

international sales in 2021.9

extensively research the Americas’ real estate landscape to identify markets with the greatest investment potential.

On average,

9-12% of all US homes sold to

foreign buyers were purchased in Texas. Austin and Dallas remain popular, particularly for international buyers from Mexico and India.11

The National Association of REALTORS®, July 26, 2021 The National Association of REALTORS®, July 26, 2021 Robert Frank, CNBC, November 5, 2021 11 The National Association of REALTORS®, July 26, 2021 8 9


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Once specific markets have been identified, investors look

visit property sites for them, cementing the importance

for top real estate talent to provide local expertise.

of digital property showings. Real estate professionals

Real estate advisors working with international buyers, should






property transactions, as well as have a comprehensive understanding of their local market. In 2021, personal contacts, former clients, and referrals from former clients and business contacts accounted for 65% of leads and referrals among real estate professionals who worked with foreign clients who purchased residential property. Website and online listings accounted for 17%.12 As frequent travel may not be plausible, the Eager International Buyer relies on their real estate professional to


The National Association of REALTORS®, July 26, 2021

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should be prepared to share their observations and insights on home features that may not have been noticeable through a virtual tour. Once several potential properties have been identified, the Eager International Buyer may make the trip to the Americas to view their options in person. Often, however, this is not plausible given the competitive nature of these purchases. In these cases, the Eager International Buyer will purchase the property sight unseen.

Eager International Buyer Web Searches: §

Top real estate agencies in [city/neighborhood].


Market growth and ROI in [city/neighborhood] real estate.


Emerging US real estate markets.


US cities by economic growth.

Desired Markets Typically, international property buyers are known to invest in cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In 2022, international real estate investments have shifted to secondary markets. These markets have the potential to become the next luxury hot-spot and international buyers are purchasing homes left and right to ensure they are in on the latest trend. The following cities have been identified for their investment potential or were noted to be popular markets among international buyers: Austin, Texas Boise, Idaho

Dallas, Texas Bentonville, Arkansas Atlanta, Georgia

Seattle, Washington

Phoenix, Arizona

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The Renaissance City Dweller After a pandemic-induced move to the suburbs or rural

also on this buyer’s list of requirements. The Renaissance

areas, the Renaissance City Dweller is returning to their

City Dweller will often purchase a luxury condominium

previous urban lifestyle—often to the same neighborhoods

priced over $1 million USD as housing inventory remains

and cities from which they left. While the Renaissance

low. Condominiums priced over $4 million USD have also

City Dweller’s isolated, rural home was a good fit for a

surged in popularity among this buyer group.15

pandemic, to this buyer, outdoor adventures are no match for the excitement of city life.

These buyers’ first choice is to return to the neighborhood from which they left; however, with a desire for more

During the Renaissance City Dweller’s time away, however,

square footage and outdoor spaces, they may have to

prices in major cities have jumped up to 30% from pandemic

compromise and explore other, similar neighborhoods

lows—indicative of the increase in demand for urban

that offer more space and amenities for less money.

residences.13 The Apartment List National Rent Report

The Renaissance City Dweller is particularly interested

states that rents have rebounded to be more expensive

in neighborhoods with an active nightlife scene, lively

than prior to the pandemic, meaning the Renaissance City

restaurants, and professional sporting events, as well

Dweller may have a shock coming to them when they look

as multiple cinemas, galleries, and theaters. Their other

at prices in their desired neighborhoods.14

priority when selecting a neighborhood is safety—showing

The Renaissance City Dweller returns to urban life with a newfound appetite for apartments, condos, or single-family

a preference for secure apartments and condominiums with doormen.

homes with access to the outdoors or private outdoor

To ensure they are able to quickly tour and place an offer

space. A spacious residence with room for a home office is

on their desired home (and return to city life early), the

30% increases from pandemic lows have led to historic, record-setting prices in major cities.

13 14 15

Lanna Apisukh, The Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2021 Apartment List Reasearch Team, Apartment List, April 27, 2022 Victoria Wells, Financial Post, April 13, 2022

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Renaissance City Dweller will book a short-term rental or

is constantly available and able to place an offer quickly.

hotel during the time of their property search. An in-person

As fast-paced as city life is already known to be, the red-

tour is essential for this buyer group as they look to take in

hot real estate market has made things move even faster,

amenities, space, and neighborhoods for themselves.

especially within the lively neighborhoods in which this

In order to find the perfect property, the Renaissance City Dweller will look for a real estate professional who 20  Engel & Völkers Luxury Homebuyer Report

buyer is interested.

Renaissance City Dweller Web Searches: §

Apartments in [city/neighborhood].


Top neighborhoods in [city].


Outdoor space in [city/neighborhood].


Things to do in [city/neighborhood].

Desired Markets The Renaissance City Dweller is looking to move to one of the Americas’ most active and popular cities. They want to be where the action is, be it theater, music, sporting events, or any number of unique experiences exclusive to urbanites. Most Renaissance City Dwellers will look into moving back to the city they once left, with a preference for neighborhoods they have already lived in and are familiar with.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Austin, Texas

Chicago, Illinois Atlanta, Georgia Toronto, Ontario

New York, New York Los Angeles, California Tampa, Florida Miami, Florida

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The Year-round Vacationer As remote work options have maintained their popularity

flexibility is important to this buyer group, who want their

despite pandemic restrictions lifting, it has become more

home to be surrounded by their passions and interests.

viable than ever to live (and work) wherever you want. Instead of being tied to the city where they are employed,

When buying a property, each Year-round Vacationer will

the Year-round Vacationer has the opportunity to prioritize

have a different set of priorities. You don’t need someone

their preferred lifestyle above all else when buying their

to tell you that a skier looking to live in Aspen will have

first home. This preferred lifestyle could be anything from

incredibly different requirements than a surfer from

skiing or surfing to wellness and healthy living.

Hawaii. What essentially remains the same, however, is the desire to feel like every day is the perfect vacation.

High urban home prices have led these buyers to purchase

Additionally, most Year-round Vacationers will be looking

their second home first. The Year-round Vacationer may

for a property with a home office as they plan to work

actually live in their property year-round, or they may rent out

remotely, as well as a suburban or rural environment

the property while maintaining their original rental property,

typical of most vacation homes.

creating a passive cash flow through their investment. In the United States, vacation rentals are projected to reach

The Year-round Vacationer will be incredibly knowledge-

$17.66 billion USD in 2022, a testament to how lucrative

able about their lifestyle of choice and will often seek

renting a vacation home can be.16 Usage of these homes is

out a real estate professional with similar interests and

entirely flexible to the owner’s schedule. Some Year-round

knowledge. The real estate professional should have an

Vacationers rent their homes consistently, and some like

understanding of the intended lifestyle and the amenities

to use the property for themselves more frequently. That

that are essential to it. The Year-round Vacationer will

$17.66 billion USD is the current projected value for vacation rentals in 2022.


Statista, March 2022

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have an idea of what amenities they are looking for, and

as most vacation homes are. Real estate professionals

the real estate professional will have an understanding

should be prepared with virtual tours and high-

of what those amenities cost locally and in which

resolution images as they review properties with this

neighborhoods and homes they are available.

buyer. Once options have been discussed, this buyer

As the Year-round Vacationer researches to find which market best fits their lifestyle, they may choose a destination that is quite far from their current residence— 24  Engel & Völkers Luxury Homebuyer Report

will make the trek to their desired market and see these homes in person.

Year-Round Vacationer Web Searches: §

Vacation homes in [city/neighborhood].


Average vacation rental price in [city/neighborhood].


Weather in [city/neighborhood].


Best places to [surf, ski, hike, etc.] in [city/neighborhood].

Desired Markets The Year-round Vacationer will explore markets that are known to cater to their lifestyle of choice. Often, these markets depends on which lifestyle the buyer is pursuing.

Aspen, Colorado Vail, Colorado

Austin, Texas

Raleigh, North Carolina

Jackson Hole, Wyoming Whistler, Bristish Columbia

Huntington Beach, California

Hawaii Ski Surf Wellness

Los Cabos, Mexico

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