Sales of super-prime properties worth over US$10m surge globally

Singapore and Hong Kong were among the top 5 most active super prime markets in H1 2021.

Latest research from Knight Frank reveals that cities are springing back to life and are fuelling a global surge in super-prime (US$10m+) property sales. 785 super-prime sales took place across seven global cities analysed during the first six months of 2021, more than double the amount of sales compared to the same period in 2020 and up 52% on the corresponding period of 2019.

Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research at Knight Frank said: “Vaccine roll outs have aided the reopening of some of the world’s major cities – giving confidence to wealthy residents to commit to property moves in prime central locations. Despite concerns over new Covid variants – the search for space and focus on wellbeing driving decisions, and the prospect for easier cross-border travel in the final months of the year, means we expect super-prime sales to end 2021 on a high.”

Wealthy buyers spent US$13.8 billion, snapping up homes across New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Singapore and Dubai during the period.

New York was the most active super-prime market during the period, with 202 sales above US$10m. The city is experiencing a rapid reopening and the state has now vaccinated 70% of its adult population. Interestingly, apartments are back in demand with super-prime sales of apartments rising from a low of 77% of all super-prime sales in 2020 to 86% in the first half of 2021.

Los Angeles has also seen a flurry of activity at the top end of the market with 171 sales so far in 2021 – almost three times the number over the same period in 2020. This follows the strength of the wider prime market in Los Angeles in the wake of the pandemic given its lifestyle offering. There are opportunities for large spacious homes, inside and outside, and weather that allows for year-round use of outside space.

Paddy Dring, Global Head of Prime Sales at Knight Frank said: “The positive sales data highlights the reassuring strength of domestic demand, coupled with ongoing and pent-up international demand in all key global cities.

“Each market has its own unique drivers of demand, whether that’s recent price corrections, lifestyle advantages - such as beaches and green space, or the emergence of a new breed of super prime development. However, all markets share common themes – namely, rapidly improving sentiment amid the reopening of cities and a unified shift in lifestyles as the wealthy seek out larger homes and more amenity rich locations.”

Hong Kong has seen US$2.4 billion transacted so far this year, well above the US$1.4 billion in the same period of 2020. The territory has seen a rebound in transaction volumes with prices now around 3% from their historical peak following a fall of 7% in 2020.

Martin Wong, Head of Research & Consultancy, Greater China at Knight Frank said: “With the Hong Kong economic conditions continuing to improve and interest rate remaining low, we have been a 61% year-on-year increase in super-prime transactions in the first half of the year. As the owners in the super-prime market typically do not have an urgency to cash out and would only sell their assets at an attractive price, while prospective buyers are more active in acquiring qualified assets recently with COVID staying under control, we expect the price of super-prime home will rebound and increase by up to 8% in 2021”.



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