The Definition of Luxury Real Estate
The word ‘luxury’ is used all around the world when referring to real estate, but the exact definition can vary according to the country – to some it might mean square footage, to others it may be down to price alone. Luxury is somewhat a subjective topic and the word is completely overused.
People say that the most expensive properties are the most luxurious properties but is this true? Malta’s market is still somewhat still immature in the sense that the majority of the homes on the market of real estate companies are overpriced due to the fact that many owners are not motivated to sell. 85% of the properties that are really for sale (owner is motivated) are open listings and unfortunately, because statistics are not forthcoming from the National Statistics Office of Malta or the Real Estate Section of the Malta Development Association, vendors rely on the real estate inspecting the property for a value. Sadly, for many vendors, a huge majority of the real estate agents have never been in a class room, let alone been licensed to value a home – this fact - shedding a major bad light on the professional companies that spend their hard-earned money on taking care of their agents in terms of education.
The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing calculate luxury as around about the top 10% of the market whilst the real estate brand RE/MAX Collection measure luxury as those properties that are priced at 100% more than the average price of a particular.
There is no year stick that measures luxury but there are common amenities that can be associated with a luxury property.
Here are some signature qualities of luxury real estate in Malta.
A Prime Location
Luxury homes traditionally tend to be those situated within the most coveted locations, whether they are a secluded beachfront property or have a million-dollar view of the city from above.
The definition of luxury can also point to the lifestyle convenience afforded by the home’s location, where it may be walking distance from desirable urban amenities such as schools, businesses, supermarkets and leisure facilities.
A High Price for the Area
In Malta, since the places considered to be ‘prime locations’ are constantly evolving thanks to new developments across the island, a luxury home can also be one with an unusually high price tag compared to others in the area.
These unique properties will have other luxurious elements within, but crucially they also reside in emerging luxury locales which are benefitting from new or proposed lifestyle-enhancing amenities, which draw the attention of high-net-worth individuals.
Perhaps the most obvious indication of a luxury home is the quality of the finishes used in every room, inside and out.
From marble countertops and catering-quality appliances in the kitchen, to hardwood flooring and customised closets in the bedrooms, the quintessential luxury home will have all only the finest materials and finishes applied throughout.
Unique On-Site Amenities
Homes may be referred to as luxury when they incorporate unusual amenities on-site, such as arcade rooms, a private home cinema, or have access to exclusive fitness and spa facilities.
There’s also increasing demand for ‘smart’ amenities, such as temperature-controlled wine cellars, car lifts, or smartphone-controlled home security features.
In today’s digital age of near-constant accessibility via social media, a luxury home can be one that offers a refuge away from it all.
This premium of complete privacy can be afforded by large gardens, high walls, dense trees around your perimeter or gated entrances with a security system, all particularly desirable if the buyer is high-profile and hopes to escape the paparazzi.
Affluent home-buyers will happily pay a premium for the convenience of being able to ‘just bring their toothbrush’ to start living in their luxury home.
Any property that is in immaculate condition, is ready-finished with top-quality interiors, and is immediately habitable, can, for this reason, be classed as within the luxury market.
The growing trend for more sustainable and environmentally-conscious living has inspired a greater demand for homes that can support this lifestyle.
The definition of luxury, in this case, is a home that is energy-efficient, as well as having been constructed using environmentally-friendly materials.
History & Prestige
Malta’s luxury real estate market also includes homes that have their own story, prestige, or history. These homes may claim to have had some part to play historically in the island’s rich past or may be located near sites of interest.
Likewise, if they can be considered collectible in some way, such as being built by a prominent architect or can boast traditional features, these can set the property apart as ‘luxury’.
If you are looking for a luxury property and are after a similar service, it is always recommended to look for an experienced real estate agent that has been around and knows this market. At the end of the day, your own perception of luxury may be entirely different and thus meeting face to face to explain your requirements will always keep you one step ahead.