The seismic shift in home buyers’ priorities since the pandemic’s onset has led high-net-worth buyers from primary markets to secondary and tertiary markets, as they search for more space, access to nature, and lifestyle opportunities lacking in big cities. These markets are undergoing long-term transformations as a result, and luxury properties are expected to remain in high demand in these areas in the coming year, as prices begin to level off.
The pandemic sent house prices soaring in major economies around the world, but two sectors in particular saw an explosion of demand that is set to continue in 2022. “The first category was resort and second-home markets. The second category was luxury,” says Budge Huskey, president and CEO, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Florida and North Carolina. “In fact, last year and this year, the higher the price category, the higher the increase in the percentage of sales year over year.”
Areas such as Asheville in North Carolina, Naples and Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and Vero, Jupiter, Ponte Vedra, and Amelia Island on Florida’s east coast, experienced a sales pattern consistent with secondary and resort markets across the U.S. “The growth in sales year over year was somewhere from 40% to as high as 80%, versus the national market, which went up on average about 20%,” Huskey says. Vacation-home sales rose by 16% from 2019 to 2020, according to a report from the U.S.’s National Association of Realtors, and by April 2021 sales were up by 33% over the past 12 months.