Forty-one percent of California homebuyers who purchased luxury homes in 2013 bought home with a hilltop view, while 10% bought an ocean-front home; hilltop homes were more popular than ocean-front, ocean-view homes combined: California Assn. of Realtors

LOS ANGELES , May 8, 2014 (press release) – Vast majority of luxury home buyers purchased home as primary residence

Even in a state with hundreds of miles of beautiful, sandy beaches, luxury home buyers in California preferred hilltop homes over ocean-front properties by a margin of four to one, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2013 Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey.”

Forty-one percent of buyers who bought luxury homes (homes priced above $1 million) last year, purchased a home with a hilltop view, compared to 10 percent who bought an ocean-front home. Hilltop homes even outranked ocean-front homes and ocean-view homes combined (38 percent). Buyers also purchased luxury homes located near a golf course (16 percent), mountain area (12 percent), resort area (9 percent), lake-front (4 percent), and ski resort (1 percent).

The vast majority (79 percent) of luxury home buyers said they purchased the home as a primary residence. Ten percent purchased the home as a vacation or second home. Nine percent purchased the home as an investment or rental property, and two percent cited “other” reasons.

Additional findings from C.A.R.’s 2013 Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey include:

• One-fourth of luxury home buyers said the main reason they purchased a home was because they wanted a larger home, compared to traditional buyers (23 percent) who said they were tired of renting as the primary reason for purchasing a home.

• With luxury home buyers usually being higher income earners, more than a third of all luxury buyers (35 percent) were able to pay all cash for their property, compared to 27 percent of traditional buyers, and 11 percent of first-time buyers.

• Luxury home buyers also made higher down payments (30 percent of the sale price) than traditional buyers (25 percent), and as a result had less difficulty in obtaining financing than traditional buyers. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “very easy” and 10 being “very difficult,” luxury home buyers rated acquiring financing difficulty at 3.7, compared to 8.6 for traditional buyers.

• While luxury home buyers spent less time looking for properties (five weeks) compared to traditional buyers (10 weeks), luxury buyers looked at more properties (10 properties) than traditional buyers (eight properties) before purchasing the home.

• Buyers of luxury properties tend to be more optimistic than traditional buyers, with more than seven in 10 (71 percent) luxury buyers saying they expected home prices to increase in one year, compared to 36 percent of traditional buyers.

• Luxury home buyers intended to keep the property for a median of 10 years, compared to six years for traditional buyers.

• Fifty-seven percent of luxury buyers were single, compared to 37 percent of traditional buyers who were single.

Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey slides (click to open):

Hilltop homes outrank ocean-front homes
Intended use of luxury property
Reasons for purchasing a luxury home
Luxury home buyers more optimistic
All cash buyers

The Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey was conducted via email to a random sample of REALTORS® statewide who worked with luxury home buyers. All eligible respondents closed escrow on their homes within the 12 months prior to November 2013. The survey asked REALTORS® a series of questions regarding their last closed transaction with a luxury client. Access the full report on the survey findings here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/surveys/other/ and view the webinar presentation here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/videos.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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