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The hottest real estate markets for the super rich in 2024

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The port of Fontvieille, in the Principality of Monaco.

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The ultra-wealthy are looking for a better lifestyle and solid investments when it comes to buying their next home, according to a new study.

A quarter of U.S. ultra-high net worth individuals, or those worth $30 million or more, plan to purchase residential property this year, according to the Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank Asset report. The average high-net-worth individual already owns four homes, according to the report. A quarter of their residential portfolio is outside their home country.

When it comes to priorities for their next big purchase, the ultra-rich have put “lifestyle” and “investment” at the top of the list, followed by taxes and security.

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While luxury real estate has been buffeted by many of the same pressures as the rest of the market – low supply, slow sales, rising prices – the ultra-high end has fared slightly better. Last year in the United States, there were 34 sales over $50 million, up from 45 in 2022, but still up from pre-pandemic years.

As interest rates stabilize and even fall this year, real estate experts say there are early signs that the supply of luxury goods could increase, which could lead to an increase in sales.

“If we see a shift towards lower rates, or at least more confidence that inflation is going in the right direction, I think you’ll start to see stocks rebuild,” said Liam Bailey, partner and global head of research at Knight. Franc.

The report predicts that the best performing U.S. luxury market this year in terms of price growth will be Miami, with an expected increase of 4%, according to the report. New York ranks second in the United States, with expected price growth of 2%, followed by Los Angeles with 1% growth.

Globally, the top luxury real estate market is expected to be Auckland, New Zealand, with price growth forecast at 10% in 2024. Mumbai ranks second, with growth of 5.5%; followed by Dubai (5%); Madrid (5%); Sydney (5%); and Stockholm (4.5%).

Cars drive on a street in front of high-rise buildings in Dubai, February 18, 2023. Dubai has seen record real estate transactions in 2022, largely driven by an influx of wealthy investors, particularly from Russia.

Karim Sahib | Afp | Getty Images

Last year, the world’s 100 largest luxury real estate markets saw a solid 3% increase in average price. The world’s best-performing luxury real estate market is Manila, Philippines, with growth of 26%, fueled in part by investors fleeing Hong Kong and China. Dubai comes second, with price growth of 16%, followed by the Bahamas at 15% and the Algarve region of Portugal at 12%.

Among the worst performers last year were New York, with prices down 2%, and San Francisco, virtually flat at 0.5%. The world’s biggest decline among blue-chip markets was Oxford, UK, down 8%.

Bailey said ultra-wealthy American buyers are increasingly venturing overseas. He said US buyers are now the main foreign buyers of ultra-prime properties in London – those priced above $10 million. They are also increasingly active in Europe.

“They have become very present, much more visible now than they were in Italy, France and Portugal,” Bailey said. “I think American shoppers have become much happier exploring and thinking about alternatives.”

Yet $1 million no longer buys what it used to in the United States and abroad. In Monaco, the world’s most expensive real estate market, $1 million gets you 172 square feet of prime real estate, according to the Wealth Report. In Aspen you get 215 square feet, while in Hong Kong you get 237 square feet, making New York look like a bargain at 367 square feet.

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