Arts & Collections speaks to Mark Lowham, CEO and managing partner of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, about the luxury property industry and its investment potential.
Arts & Collections: Can you tell us a little bit about the state of the luxury realty industry and the role Sotheby’s International Realty plays in it?
Mark Lowham: Luxury realty today is unquestionably a global endeavour. To be successful, a firm must be able to offer its clients access to information and talented professionals wherever their clients live or spend time. With 950 offices in 69 countries and territories and over 22,000 sales associates, Sotheby’s International Realty is the voice of authority in luxury realty. In the Washington, DC area, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty leads the market with more inventory and sales of luxury property priced over $2.5 million than any other firm.
A&C: In terms of investment, where is the best place to invest in luxury realty right now and why?
ML: Washington, DC is my home, so I am somewhat biased. However, I believe that the Washington region affords tremendous opportunity for investment. Luxury homes in the best addresses in the region can still be acquired for $400 to $1,400 per square foot, a fraction of the prices we are seeing in New York, London and other global capitals.
A&C: Which types of property do you see as up-and-coming going forward?
ML: Large, luxury apartments are increasingly in demand in the Washington region. As many clients move from large single-family homes, they look for the convenience of a condominium, however, they still want the luxurious features and amenities which they have enjoyed in their homes.
A&C: What has changed about the luxury property investment market in recent years? Has demand for these properties risen/decreased or stayed constant?
ML: In our region, the city of Washington has experienced a great renaissance as our clients sought the convenience of walkable access to the fine shopping, restaurants and business environments offered in the city.
A&C: What are your predictions for the luxury realty market over the next few years? Including predictions on emerging trends.
ML: Global clients will continue to seek diversification and invest across markets. Cities which are easily accessible, have stable, growing economies and which provide a healthy environment will continue to attract investors and see significant appreciation in the decade ahead.
A&C: If you could buy any property in the world, where would it be and what would it look like? Budget aside…
ML: Next to Washington, my favourite city in the world is London. I dream of a Georgian flat overlooking the perfect garden in the heart of Chelsea.
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