Trophy homes are the pinnacle of real estate ownership. In 2017, the global prime property market saw transactions for a plethora of these top-tier properties in terms of both quality and price. Trophy home buyers expect the best across a broad category of attributes, chief among which continues to be location.
KS Koh of Landscope Christie’s International Real Estate in Hong Kong highlights one global trend: the purchase of newly constructed trophy homes. The 2017 sale of a new detached house in The Peak for $149 million (HK$1.2 billion) was the year’s highest-priced completed trophy home sale worldwide, second in price to a $360 million (HK $2.8 billion) teardown apartment building in the same neighborhood which will be rebuilt as a single-family residence.
In Hong Kong, “new builds always achieve much higher prices,” says Koh. “Nobody talks about provenance here and old houses are always torn down and rebuilt.” Indeed, it seems that luxury buyer preferences for new builds are increasingly an international phenomenon, though provenance still generates cachet at the ultra high-end and remains vital in some markets like the English countryside.
The Hong Kong sale is just one of several top-tier new-build sales in 2017 that include three apartments at New York’s 432 Park Avenue that sold as a single penthouse unit for $91 million, and a four-floor apartment at 9 W. Walton in Chicago, which achieved $58.7 million, the highest-priced residential sale ever achieved in the city. Of the top five trophy homes to sell globally in 2017, two were resale homes with provenance and three—including the Hong Kong and New York sales— were new builds.