How The Global Pandemic Changed Real Estate

Since the start of COVID-19, international lockdowns and travel restrictions, along with stay at home orders, has put a new focus on real estate and where and how people live. This has impacted the real estate market across Asia and around the world as people to seek more comfortable and safer places to live. And this is impacting the global real estate market.

A comprehensive study of the world’s most affluent households by Luxury Portfolio International® (LPI), the luxury arm of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the largest global network of residential real estate firms, reveals Hawaii is the top destination among international luxury homebuyers, with one in five (20%) seeking a residence in the tropical Aloha State.

It is the most popular destination, with the continental United States (8%), France (6%), China (6%), New Zealand (5%), Mexico (4%), Greece (3%) and Canada (3%) completing the top destinations globally. 

From a regional standpoint, with Hawaii as exponentially the most desired destination, the U.S./Americas & Caribbean account for 37% of the interest from international buyers, followed by Europe and the Middle East at 29%, and Asia at 18%.

Mickey Alam Khan, President of Luxury Portfolio International commented, “Hawaii tops the list for international property purchases. Our report shows affluent buyers are interested in regions which provide for their needs – great entertainment as well as investment opportunity and lifestyle enrichment.”

The new study showed the median projected spend of luxury buyers for their next home is $2.75 million, with 28% spending U.S. $5 million-plus. The primary reason for purchasing overseas is a better quality of life (75%), followed by the investment potential from owning in the chosen country (69%). More than half (58%) are opting for locations which offer flexibility they may not currently enjoy, such as land ownership or a second passport.  

The research revealed proximity to city or town neighborhoods is less important for international luxury homebuyers. These consumers are most interested in homes close to nature, by the ocean, or in a resort community, with a lake or river view considered the most attractive. 

International luxury home buyers’ wish list for their new home matches modern needs for working, living and playing at home, heightened by the pandemic over last 12 months. Top of the list is excellent broadband speed and plenty of space as well as good quality leisure and entertainment facilities. 

Investment properties are among the most popular reasons for purchasing a home (27%) as well as a holiday residence. Buyers have also indicated they are most interested in a single-family residence which is relatively new – preferably built within the past five years.