The housing market has been a bit of a mess recently, thanks to fears of a recession and high mortgage rates. But one sector serving the ultra-wealthy is doing quite alright.
Branded residences—those affiliated with hotels or other high-end companies—are attracting buyers left and right, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal. Their focus on luxe design and amenities has proved fruitful, even if the larger housing sector is struggling. “We always believed if there was a downturn there’d be a flight to quality,” the developer Jon Cronin told the WSJ.
At the end of 2022, there were 38,900 branded residences across 200 developments in the United States. That’s a 40 percent increase from 2010, according to the real-estate firm Savills. Of those homes, about 80 percent are affiliated with a hotel, such as the St. Regis, the Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental. But other types of companies are getting into the business as well.
Notably, the British automaker Bentley is working on a luxury condo building in Florida. There, every residence will come with a three- or four-car “sky garage,” with a high-speed lift that will catapult your vehicles to their parking spots. And the fashion brand Diesel is building a 159-unit tower in Miami, where the interiors will give off “haute couture meets well-worn denim.”
For those branded residences with a hotel name, buyers pay an average 30 percent premium for perks like in-room dining, butler service and housekeeping. In just one example of such a property, the Four Seasons is developing a private residence resort near Austin, Texas. The 179 homes and nine villas will be accompanied by 53 private pools, a lake club with more than three dozen boat slips and 100,000 square feet of indoor amenities.
Some hotel groups are even offering up their residences fully furnished: Mandarin Oriental is scheduled to open a property on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue later this year where inhabitants won’t even have to buy their own furniture. (That will be the company’s third standalone residence, following one in Beverley Hills and one in Barcelona.)
There is a certain allure to living like you’re in a hotel—without actually having to live in a hotel. Very Eloise of the 21st century, if you ask us.