Strong Showing for Luxury Real Estate


Luxury home prices climbed and closings on some of the world's most beautiful properties picked up in the second quarter of 2012, according to luxury real estate executive Robbie Briggs. "The luxury real estate market appears to be vibrant in many places domestically and internationally," says Briggs. "In my experience, buyers are coming in with strong offers of cash or heavy down payments. For the first time in a long time, I see homeowners with renewed confidence, thanks to lower interest rates."

The improvements in the luxury home market kept pace with reported gains in the domestic real estate market overall in recent months. Sales of existing homes of more than $1 million improved by nearly 17 percent in some regions in April over the same period in 2011, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, while new home sales at the high end of the market remained strong through May, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Briggs reports an uptick in sales of premium properties in a variety of areas, based on information from his colleagues in the luxury real estate market:

  • In Manhattan, people are buying co-ops and condos at top prices, and a penthouse on 57th Street just sold for more than $90 million - a record sale for New York City, according to Royce Pinkwater.
  • Attracting buyers from around the U.S., Brazil and other countries, the Miami market has seen price per square foot rise 18 percent over the past year, and sales were up 66 percent in the first quarter, according to Mayi de Ia Vega.
  • Michael Rankin reports the demand for luxury homes has grown so much in Washington, D.C., that many are being offered as "private exclusives," and kept off of the multiple listing service.
  • Gloria Smith in San Francisco reports that homes in the $5 million range continue to sell quickly.
  • Briggs’ European associates report record-setting sales prices in Sweden and increased interest from Americans and Russians looking at villas in Italy. “The European debt crisis has driven the world's super-rich to seek stable investments in high-end properties in London,” he adds.

CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates a luxury real estate firm in Dallas, Texas.