Defining the Levels of Luxury—and How Agents Can Exceed Expectations at the High-End

Posted on Oct 9 2018 - 10:51am by Suzanne De Vita
Comments Off on Defining the Levels of Luxury—and How Agents Can Exceed Expectations at the High-End


From decor and design to dollars spent, homebuyers in the high-end market are unique, driven by a firm link between their portfolio of property and wealth.

What characteristics define high-net worth individuals today? According to Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and WealthEngine, a luxury market researcher, the delineation between demi-billionaires, or those with a more than $500 million net worth, and millionaires, or those with a $1 million or more net worth, goes beyond eye-popping financials. Both were explored in "A Look at Wealth: Millionaires vs. Demi-Billionaires," a special supplement to Coldwell Banker Global Luxury's "The Report."

According to "A Look at Wealth," the average demi-billionaire:

  • Is between 60 and 70 years old;
  • Has at least one home with 7,000 square feet or more;
  • Has at least one home worth over $10 million; and
  • Owns 10 properties, with a 10-year tenure.

The average millionaire:

  • Is between 50 and 80 years old;
  • Has at least one home with 4,000 square feet or more; and
  • Has at least one home worth $953,917.


For demi-billionaires, the coasts are common—especially the East Coast. The most popular zip codes are 10021 (Upper East Side), 10023 (Upper West Side), 10065 (Upper East Side) and 10128 (Upper East Side) in New York; 06830 (Greenwich, Conn.); 10580 (Rye, N.Y.), 33480 (Palm Beach, Fla.); 94118 (San Francisco, Calif.); and 94062 (Woodside, Calif.)

Millionaires are also concentrated on New York's Upper West Side (10023), as well as 95014 (Cupertino, Calif.), 94539 (Fremont, Calif.), and 92677 (Laguna Nigel, Calif.); and 20854 (Montgomery County, Md.) and 32162 (The Villages, Fla.).

According to "The Report," the homebuyer luxury markets to watch are:

  1. Boca Raton, Fla.
  2. Miami, Fla.
  3. Park City, Utah
  4. Santa Barbara, Calif.
  5. Scottsdale, Ariz.

The emerging luxury markets for sellers are:

  1. Denver, Colo.
  2. Nashville, Tenn.
  3. San Francisco, Calif.
  4. Seattle, Wash.
  5. Silicon Valley, Calif.

For agents and brokers with a luxury specialization—and wherever their client's money's parked—a custom experience is key to success.

"High-net worth clients demand and expect a personal, hands-on, bespoke marketing experience from their real estate advisors," says Craig Hogan, vice president of Luxury at Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. "Luxury real estate professionals must consider the fact that older generations of millionaires possess more current wealth and higher spending power, but younger millionaires have tremendous spending potential and will have an impact on growth over the long run.

"Today's luxury real estate marketing is not one-size-fits-all," Hogan says. "Personalization isn't just a talk track; it's critically important to know your client and personalize your engagement as much as possible."

Get the full report.

For more information, please visit