High-End Insight: Lux Buyers Prefer Hilltop Vistas Over Water-Front Views Four-to-One

Posted on Aug 6 2014 - 4:29am by Zoe Eisenberg
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When it comes to luxury home must-haves, '”ocean views” and “high-end” were once thought to be synonymous. However, a recent luxury real estate survey stirred up some surprising results: in terms of superior viewpoint, mountain views trump ocean views four-to-one.

Crazy, I know, but according to the California Association of REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) “2013 Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey,” Californians would prefer sweeping vista views over stretches of sand and sea.

According to the survey, 41 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. This may be because hilltop view homes are more plentiful in California, with ocean views being harder to grab, as hilltop homes even outranked ocean-front homes and ocean-view homes combined (38 percent).

What else are high-end buyers snapping up? The survey shows that 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).


Nearly 80 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 – perhaps a space for a relative, or a super cool party pad?

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.

While luxury home buyers spent less time looking for properties, the number of properties they actually viewed is higher than traditional buyers, showing they crammed in more views in less time. Luxury buyers typically viewed 10 homes in five weeks compared to traditional buyers who viewed 8 properties in 10 weeks.

For more information on the survey, click here.

Zoe_ThumbZoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s Associate Editor. She knows a thing or two about water-front views, as she currently resides on the Big Island of Hawaii.