Luxury Institute News

October 1, 2014

Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Market Report Reveals Newcomers On List Of Hottest U.S. Cities For Luxury Home Sales

PR Newswire
October 1, 2014
High Net-Worth Consumer Survey Reveals Dramatic Gender Gaps
MADISON, N.J.Oct. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Quiet, unassuming areas adjacent to traditional luxury markets have rapidly transformed into hotbeds of luxury real estate in the 12-month period from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.  Leading the way and making its debut in the top 5 U.S. luxury markets for homes valued at $1 million+ is San Jose, where high-end home sales are up a staggering 76% from this time last year, according to the Luxury Market Report prepared by the Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program. With Silicon Valley luxury real estate on fire, the affluent enclave of Atherton doubled its sales in the $10 million+ range from 2013. Burlingame, located approximately a mile from Hillsborough in Northern California emerged in the $10 million+ list for sold homes for the first time, most likely as the result of low inventory in the Bay Area’s most sought-after ZIP codes. Adjacency is a powerful trend playing out in high-demand luxury cities well beyond Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, notably in Miami.North Miami Beach made its debut among the top 20 cities for $10 million+ homes sold —signaling that luxury buyers are expanding their horizons beyond the typical hotspots of Miami Beach, South Beach and the private communities of Star and Fisher Islands. Overall, San Francisco led the nation with the highest number of sales in the $1 million+ category—up nearly 57% from this time last year. During the last 12 months through June 2014, the top five U.S. cities with the highest number of luxury home sales valued at $1 million+ are:

Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Market Report




Number of Home Sales Valued at $1 million+


San Francisco




Los Angeles




New York




San Jose




















San Diego







The number of sales for four out of five of these top cities is up by at least 36%. Extending the range up to the $10 million+ category, Miami Beach and Aspen have another strong showing against long standing luxury real estate epicenters New York and Beverly Hills.

Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Market Report




Number of Home Sales Valued at $10 million+


New York




Beverly Hills




Los Angeles




Miami Beach







6 (tie)




6 (tie)





Santa Barbara








Palm Beach



10 (tie)

Laguna Beach



10 (tie)

Kailua Kona



10 (tie)




10 (tie)

San Francisco



HIGH-NET-WORTH CONSUMER SURVEY The U.S. high-end residential real estate market remains strong, with nearly half (48%) of all wealthy consumers indicating that they plan to purchase a luxury home within the next 12 months, according to the companion survey of wealthy U.S. consumers with a net worth of at least $5 million (penta-millionaires) conducted by the Coldwell Banker Previews International® program and the Luxury Institute.  Younger buyers are by far the most highly motivated to purchase:  An overwhelming 81% of affluent individuals under 35 plan to buy a luxury home in the next year. The survey reveals dramatic generational differences:

  • Penta-millionaires 35 and under reported the highest average purchase price of all age groups - $7.8 million – and have the largest percentage (80%) of all age groups paying all-cash.
  • By stark contrast, wealthy buyers 45-64 paid an average of $2.7 million for their most recent home purchase while buyers 65 and older spent just $1 million.

The report brought to light strong gender gaps:

  • 70% of women reported paying all-cash for their most recent property vs. 57% of men.
  • Women reported buying more expensive homes than men:
    • 22% of women spent $10 million or more for their most recent property vs. 13% of men in the same wealth bracket.
  • 46% of women have plans to buy another home in the coming year, up from 31% in 2013.

Location, location, location may no longer be the golden rule of real estate:

  • With the ability to work remotely now a reality for many, only 25% of the under-35 age group indicate that location dominates their search criteria.
  • Instead, 75% say that lifestyle considerations are the No. 1 factor driving their choice of which home to buy.
  • As evidence of this powerful generational shift, 86% of buyers 65 and older say that location remains their top priority.  

Hottest In-Demand Amenities:

  • Nearly one-third of all wealthy buyers under the age of 45 count a “green” or “LEED certified” home as more important than it was 3 years ago.
  • The trend is also catching on among wealthy buyers of all ages, with 21% saying that they want to buy an eco-friendly home, up from a mere 7% in 2013.
  • As homes become increasingly high-tech, 25% now consider a fully automated home a priority.
  • 37% of respondents under age 35 and 30% of those with a net worth exceeding $10 million will prioritize safe rooms in their next homes.

The full list of the Top 20 Best Performing U.S. Cities in Luxury Real Estate by price points of $1 million+, $5 million+ and $10 million+, and the high-net-worth consumer survey results can be viewed here About Coldwell Banker Previews International® The Coldwell Banker Previews International program has been a world leader in the marketing of luxury homes since 1933. The Previews® program was acquired by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC in 1980 and re-launched as Coldwell Banker Previews International, the brand’s luxury homes program.  The exclusive group of certified Previews Property Specialists make up approximately 8.5 percent of the Coldwell Banker sales associates worldwide.  Coldwell Banker Previews International participated in more than 20,000 transaction sides of homes priced at $1 million or more in 2013. On average, Previews handles $102.7 million in luxury homes sales every day. Coldwell Banker, Previews and Coldwell Banker Previews International are registered marks licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated. Sales associates affiliated with Coldwell Banker offices are independent contractors. About Coldwell Banker® Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate. Coldwell Banker is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of approximately 84,200 independent sales associates affiliated with more than 3,100 offices in 48 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by being the first national real estate brand with an iPad app, the first to augment its website for smart phones, the first to create a iPhone application with international listings and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSMYouTube channel.  The Coldwell Banker System is a leader in niche markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program.  Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.  Each office is independently owned and operated. Coldwell Banker is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Methodology Manhattan area active listing data has been gathered from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). Not all Manhattan area real estate brokerage firms make Information about their property listings available to any cooperative resource, including REBNY.  Manhattan area sales data has been gathered from REBNY and from, an online consumer and private industry portal that reports closed real estate transactions from REBNY as well as other reporting brokerage resources. Not all Manhattan area real estate brokerage firms report their closed sales to any cooperative resource, including and / or REBNY. All other data has been gathered from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) databases known or believed to be the primary real estate broker cooperative resources for each market referenced in the report. All closed sales activity reported is for the annual period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Closed sales reported to the MLS significantly later than this analysis period will not be included. All active status listing records were downloaded and processed to the same standards, and on various dates, during the months of July and August, 2014. Property specific listing and sales records were standardized to USPS address city and ZIP Code, inaccurate list and sale prices were corrected when necessary, and all duplicate records were manually excluded. As a result, statistics available via the source data providers may not correlate to this analysis. While all results are believed to be highly accurate, MLS systems do not report all real estate activity in their primary marketplace, and there may have been property transfers not included in this analysis. Copyright © 2014, Real Data Strategies, Inc. All rights reserved. Licensed for the exclusive use of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Luxury Institute, in partnership with the Coldwell Banker Previews International® program, conducted research on the topic of real estate during Quarter 2, 2014. This in-depth survey includes responses from 506 ultra-wealthy male and female consumers in the United States. Respondents were recruited and screened to only include those age 21 or older with a minimum gross annual household income of $200,000 and a minimum net worth of $5 million.

SOURCE Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

Media Inquiries:

Athena Snow

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC


Holly Taylor

Rogers and Cowan for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC


SOURCE Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC RELATED LINKS

February 27, 2014

Handset Makers Go Big on Smartphones

By Brian X. Chen
New York Times
February 26, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain — Smartphones are going against one of the long-held rules in portable electronics, that smaller is better.

Year by year, computers, storage devices and music players have shed size and weight. And for decades, it has been happening with cellphones, too.

But now cellphones, and smartphones in particular, are going the way of the television: They just keep getting bigger and bigger. And people keep buying them.

The trend became even more apparent this week, as handset makers introduced a number of big-screen smartphones — from five diagonal inches to more than seven inches — at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:

June 7, 2013

Wealthy Will Spend Less on Jewelry for Rest of Year, Survey Finds

Posted in Uncategorized

A new survey predicts that high-end jewelry “may be under some pressure” for the rest of 2013, with 25 percent of affluent consumers saying they plan to spend less on that category.

By Rob Bates
JCK Magazine
June 2013 Issue

The survey by the New York City-based Luxury Institute polled consumers with a net worth of at least $5 million and minimum annual household income of $200,000.

The survey also found that spending on handbags was projected to fall, with ultra-wealthy respondents preferring to spend on travel, dining, and wine.

“They are definitely going to the ‘experential’ categories,” Luxury Institute president Milton Pedraza tells JCK. “Travel is healthy, technology is healthy.”

Pedraza believes the “economy is not as healthy as people think.”

“Even though real estate is robust and the stock market is robust, there is a lot of uncertainty out there,” he says. “There is some pent-up demand, but also a lot of caution.”

May 25, 2013

Neiman, Saks could create international success

By Daniel Abril
Dallas Business Journal
May 24, 2013

A Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus merger could create new opportunities for both brands to save money and expand their footprints, a retail expert industry expert said.

News broke this week that private equity firm KKR could be considering purchasing and merging New York-based Saks and Dallas-based Neiman Marcus.

Milton Pedraza, CEO of New York-based Luxury Institute, thinks that the chances the two retailers will merge is 50/50. But if they did, he said, the two would open the doors in the luxury retail world.

“The savings from being together would create more buying power, whether it’s for marketing or products,” he said. “It gives them opportunity to be more profitable and innovative.”

Pedraza said the savings that would come from combined back office operations and online efforts could create more resources to do what both companies need to survive in the current market: Improve customers’ shopping experiences.

“They don’t deliver a compelling person-to-person in-store experience,” he said. “They’re transactional, not focused on relationships.”

He also said a merged company could fill a gap in the international luxury market.

“There is no international brand that has mutibrands under one roof … that really delivers a fantastic experience,” he said. “I think Saks or Neiman could fill that void.”

But if the two were bought and merged, its owners would need to keep the two brand identities intact, Pedraza said. This could manifest itself in the two brands buying different products from the same designer and also offering their own unique selections.

A merge would make the two retailers a unique luxury brand in a market that is thriving, according to Pedraza. But a move like that wouldn’t happen overnight.

“A lot of pieces have to come together to build that puzzle,” he said, adding that management would have to spend time developing a sound business model. “There is a business case to be made … but it might be really unique opportunity.”

May 9, 2013

Going public could bring more innovation, long-term growth for Neiman Marcus

By Erin Shea
Luxury Daily
May 8, 2013

If Neiman Marcus Group Inc.’s private-equity owners decide to launch an initial public offering of the company, it could mean more innovation and long-term growth for its department stores.

The Irving, TX-based company’s private-equity owners Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus LLC are rumored to be meeting with banks to discuss a public offering of the group, which owns department store chain Neiman Marcus and New York department store Bergdorf Goodman. Since the brand is healthy and the economy improving with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at an all-time high, now seems like an opportune time for the owners to sell.

“2013 is a good time for Neiman Marcus to have a public offering,” said James Dean, vice president and head of luxury practice at WealthEngine, Bethesda, MD. “Initial public offering activity is gradually escalating and likely to spike upward in the second half of 2013 and into 2014.

“With the stock market rising and demonstrating less volatility, the central bank actions are creating a stronger economic environment and generally brighter prospects for luxury consumers in 2013,” he said. “Now is the right time for companies considering an initial public offering to act.

“With the luxury goods market doing well and outperforming the rest of the retail business sector, I expect TPG and Warburg Pincus to take advantage of conditions and take Neiman Marcus public.”

Mr. Dean is not affiliated with Neiman Marcus, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Neiman Marcus declined to comment.

Cashing out
Neiman Marcus was previously a publicly traded company after it spun off from its retail parent Carter Hawley Hale Stores in 1987.

General Cinema – later Harcourt General – retained control of 60 percent of the company until 1999.

In May 2005, Neiman Marcus was part of a leveraged buyout by Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus. The two private equity firms purchased Neiman Marcus for $5.1 billion in cash and debt.

Initially Warburg Pincus and TPG planned to hold the company for approximately five years, but were delayed by the 2008 recession.

Now, it seems that TPG and Warburg Pincus are looking to launch an initial public offering of the company by hiring Credit Suisse Group to aid in the process. The owners are hoping to receive approximately $8 billion for the company, according to Bloomberg.

Since the economy is doing well, this would be an ideal period for Neiman Marcus to debut an IPO.

“The owners want to cash out, the brand is healthy and I think that this is a natural progression of private equity,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, New York.

“I think this is a good move, since it is a good time to go public,” he said. “I think being a public company is not a short-term focus.

“Being in the public domain with many shareholders is far more open than it used to be.”

Sharing the power
If TPG and Warburg Pincus were to launch the public offering, Neiman Marcus would join other publicly traded luxury companies such as Saks Inc., Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tiffany & Co.

A number of luxury brands went public in 2011 to increase their reach emerging markets (see story).

In addition, taking the company public could give more opportunities for its department stores.

“With the luxury markets doing well, luxury retailers that are public companies can really take advantage of the conditions by expanding their brand and opportunities,” WealthEngine’s Mr. Dean said.

“Luxury retailers such as Saks, Nordstrom and Michael Kors Holdings benefit as public companies, helping them further the growth of their business, expand their client base and improve their financials,” he said.

“When luxury retailers go public, it allows them to expand their brand, open new stores, advance their product line and create a greater opportunity to improve the customer experience.”

Also, going public would allow the company more room to grow financially on a long-term basis.

“When you’re a private company, the focus is more on short-term profitability,” the Luxury Institute’s Mr. Pedraza said. “Being public would mean the company would have more access to capital markets and more access to investors.

“Shareholders are long-term investors,” he said. “Private-equity owners are not long-term investors.

“Today, if you have a courageous management team, you can compromise a little bit of the short-term investments to build out the long-term investment.”

This decision would also bring more innovation and freedom to Neiman Marcus as a whole, since the company would be controlled and owned by its shareholders.

“This would open the brand up to a lot more innovation by being in the public domain,” Mr. Pedraza said. “This means freedom to innovate, and freedom to empower employees. Of course, it is a choice, not a given.

“The management could have many different shareholders on the board and have different ideas from the shareholders,” he said.

March 19, 2013

The Celebrity Endorsement Game

By Tina Gaudoin

Famous faces have been selling luxury goods for years—but how well do they really work?


This exclusive Departures content includes several quotes from Luxury Institute CEO, Milton Pedraza.

December 6, 2012

Customer relationships, seamless media approach vital for 2013

By Tricia Carr
Luxury Daily
December 5,2012

Executives from the Luxury Institute, Digital Luxury Group and Morpheus Media who spoke during a Luxury Daily webinar said that marketers should focus on relationship-building through technology and moving away from a fragmented media approach in 2013.

During the “Luxury Outlook 2013: Up, Down or Flat?” webinar Dec. 4, the senior executives agreed that consumer segmentation by geographic and demographic factors can help brands distinguish the “who” and “why” of luxury marketing next year. Overall, the executives concurred that the outlook on luxury for 2013 is “up.”

“It is simple – long-term relationships build sales and profits,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York.

“Instead of looking at what the competition is doing, do what Apple is doing,” he said. “It had the product, but it created an even greater value proposition for the brand.”

Click the link to read the entire article which includes additional quotes from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:

October 11, 2012

Ultra-Wealthy Shoppers Spend More On Luxury Where They Maintain Personal Relationships; Pentamillionaires most likely to be close with specific sales professionals at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman

(NEW YORK) October 11, 2012 – U.S. consumers with at least $5 million in assets and $200,000 in annual income share detailed opinions and observations about their relationships with salespeople in six luxury categories in the new 2012 Luxury Customer Relationship Index survey from the independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute.

High-ticket categories show higher rates of customers who deal with a specific salesperson.  Watches (49%) lead all categories in terms of proportion of customers who maintain relationships with salespeople, followed by jewelry (40%) and men’s ready-to-wear (38%). There is a noticeable drop-off in rates of personal relationships at luxury retailers (30%), handbag brands (27%) and women’s ready-to-wear (21%).

Across categories, 70% of ultra-wealthy customers who transact and communicate with a specific salesperson say that this relationship causes them to spend more on goods and services in stores and on the Web. The biggest positive impact on sales comes when customers maintain relationships with salespeople in luxury retail, and in both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear categories.

In luxury retail, Bergdorf Goodman (51%) and Barneys (49%) enjoy the highest rates of maintaining relationships with ultra-wealthy customers, with larger chains like Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom seeing lower incidence of relationships. In the middle are Brooks Brothers (36%), Neiman Marcus (32%), Lord & Taylor (30%), and Saks (26%).

“Luxury retailers know that relationships drive sales,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “The right hiring, education programs and Customer Culture help to promote more productive relationships and higher sales.”

About the Luxury Institute (
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

October 3, 2012

Meet The Millennial 1%: Young, Rich, And Redefining Luxury

By: Larissa Faw
October 2, 2012

Two Millennials walk into a bar wearing denim jeans, Converse sneakers, and carrying iPhones. They are identical except for one factor: one makes more than six figures a year, while the other is unemployed and lives at home. Affluent Millennials may be hard to pick out of a crowd, but they are redefining the luxury industry.

There are currently 11.8 million Millennials age 18-30 living in U.S. households with annual incomes exceeding $100,000, according to the Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Survey. Plus, never before has such a large group of young people been raised by wealthy parents: 34% of today’s Millennials have been wealthy throughout their lifetime, say American Express and the Harrison Group.

“There are more out there than you expect,” says The Luxury Institute’s Milton Pedraza. “If you are a 28-year-old working as a creative executive, you are making $130,000 a year and are most likely are single. It’s not as if you have a lot of assets. You might have some debt, but there’s still a lot of disposable income to go to technology, travel, and entertainment.”

Click the link to read the entire article which includes quote(s) from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:

September 12, 2012

Poor Burberry earnings point to problems for luxury market

By Stacey Vanek Smith
September 11th, 2012

Shares of Burberry are down more than 18 percent this morning. The luxury retailer slashed profit forecasts and warned that the luxury goods market is headed for hard times.

The main cause, says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, is global slowdown. Even while other retailers struggled, luxury retailers were boosted by sales from overseas, especially in Asia.

“China had been the engine of growth for the last several years,” says Pedraza, “[and] it generated a tremendous number of tourists who had been holding up the European luxury market.”

The Chinese slowdown, therefore, has not only affected the luxury market there, but also in Europe.

Luxury retailers could react in a number of ways, says Pedraza, from lowering their prices to reducing their inventory. Most importantly, though, he thinks they will “go after retaining customers who have purchased before,” hoping to increase customer culture and keep previous customers coming back.

Older Posts »