A new report on the international luxury real estate market, “The Global Property Handbook” has now been made available.
The report, generated by Wealth-X in collaboration with Warburg Realty and Barnes International Realty, reviews the real estate buying habits of the world’s wealthiest people. These so-called ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals are worth at least – or more than – $30 million and have largely come by their fortunes from their own brilliance and ingenuity. Their property choices are a reflection of practical and personal values, two qualities that make Boston an attractive destination.
According to the new Alpha Cities Index, which catalogues the most desirable cities in the world for UHNWIs to reside, Boston is placed amongst the top 15 world destinations, beating cities like Singapore, Moscow, and Rome for a chief global ranking. Boston is a strong city for practicality, emotional appeal (shopping, cultural richness) and finances (ease of doing business and high property value).
Boston comes third on a world scale for practical factors alone: strong education, air travel connectivity, environmental friendliness, and personal safety culminate our appeal. Boston beats out other US cities like New York, San Diego, and Chicago by “lead[ing] its national peers” in this assessment.
Boston is consistently ranked one of the best cities to live in for all types of individuals: there’s something for every runner, scientist, student, and entrepreneur, just to name a few of the lifestyles drawn to Beantown. With such a high quality of life for the average Bostonian comes even more value for UHNWIs.
Our school smarts are of particular interest. More than fifty higher education institutions in the greater Boston area make it a sought-after destination, as UHNWIs will buy homes close to their children “while they are being educated in schools or universities away from home, or which provide a base for their descendants to live in while pursuing their studies.”
One of the biggest draws to luxury real estate is its value retention even amidst political and economic insecurity. “Real estate assets provide multiple benefits for the wealthy investor … they both offer a hedge against inflation and portfolio diversification, while also affording today’s global citizens unique opportunities for travel and enjoyment.” In other words, a luxury property must be both practical and exciting for both domestic and foreign buyers – a point driven home as two of the three indicators in the Alpha City Index.
With the new luxury properties coming to market throughout downtown Boston, including those at the newly-built Millennium Tower, one would think that downtown areas are the primary aim for the multimillionaires of the world. Despite the gorgeous skyline and harbor views, however, many will actually look just outside of Boston for both privacy and a slower pace of life. With world-famous businessmen, celebrities, and leaders looking at Greater Boston for their new home, a community feel is one of the finest benefits to life beyond the busy epicenter.
Altogether, the next neighborhood the wealthiest will move to must have the following characteristics: proven value retention in the housing market, unbeatable quality of life, easy access to educational institutions, vibrant entertainment options, and a peaceful element to living. When price is no barrier to real estate options, UHNWIs can guarantee their desires will be met in their next home.
Three neighborhoods in particular best fit this description: Newton, Cambridge, and Brookline, all of which lie close to Boston’s amenities and venues. Besides their proximity to Beantown, each neighborhood has unique, enticing features that amplify their charm and appeal.
Newton’s single family homes are priced at over $1.2 million on average. Lasell and Mount Ida College both call Newton home, and its villages are within a ten-minute drive to Boston College and Brandeis University. Besides being ranked one of the best places to live in America, Newton has a lot to offer its residents that enjoy the outdoors, including many public playgrounds, parks, and the illustrious Crystal Lake.
Brookline homes continue to increase in value, with single family prices hovering just under one million dollars. It’s not only a stone’s throw from the universities in the Longwood Medical area (including Wheelock, Simmons, and Emmanuel colleges) but also houses parts of Boston College and Boston University. From popular villages with great restaurants and shopping to grand homes in the shadow of The Country Club, Brookline makes for a great place to live.
Cambridge is most distinguishable on a global scale for being the home of multiple top universities, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The average price of a single family home is roughly $1.9 million, making it one of the most expensive markets in the Boston area. Steeped in colonial history, Cambridge is a hotbed of historical architecture with residences, churches, and other buildings that stretch back hundreds of years. Additionally, their breadth of museums provide rotating exhibits and content for all ages to enjoy.
Whether the world’s elite are looking to set down roots or secure a vacation retreat, Boston and its neighborhoods are sure to impress even the choosiest of home buyers.
Read the full Global Property Handbook report here.
See current luxury offerings in Greater Boston here.