As another year kicks off, prospective buyers in the luxury real-estate space are already thinking about the top markets for 2019 and the amenity trends to keep an eye on. To help make the process a bit easier, we asked several real-estate experts to weigh in on the trends that will define real estate in the new year. Here are some of their top predictions.
Amazon’s New Headquarters Will Cause Increased Rent Hikes
In November 2018, Amazon announced that it had jointly chosen Long Island City in the Queens borough of New York and Arlington in Virginia for its new headquarters. The cities will split a $5 billion investment and over 50,000 high-profile jobs—and this in turn will boost the associated real-estate markets. Agents in both cities caution that unless more developments come on the market soon, prices will skyrocket, leading to what Virginia–based realtor Shawn Battle calls a “super seller’s market.”
“Today, not only have some regulations changed, but the economy is doing well, unemployment rates are down, a lot of jobs are being created here in New York—not only by Amazon but everything that comes along with Amazon and all of the corporations looking to be in close proximity to their headquarters,” says Andrew Barrocas, CEO of MNS. “When we see the economy doing well, we can expect rental prices to increase.”
Hotels and Branded Residences Will Continue to Expand into University Markets
Though university markets aren’t usually what comes to the top of one’s mind when thinking about luxury real-estate markets, many areas are poised for significant growth as hotels and branded residences continue to be built in college towns. “Universities are often in tertiary markets, predominantly dominated by branded hotels,” says Michael Tall, president and COO of Charlestowne Hotels, which manages more than 10 college-town hotels. “There is a need for lifestyle hotels that connect with the local community as well as deliver an authentic sense of place. Lifestyle hotels … are able to harness the nostalgia of alumni and the excitement of prospective students in a way that franchised brands will never be able to replicate.”
Branded Developments Will Transform Belize
Belize has become a hot Caribbean destination for U.S.–based travelers. “Belize will continue to grow by overall Caribbean demand and take market shares from other competing Caribbean destinations,” says Robi Das, managing director at Newmark Knight Frank.
And after going years without having any branded hotels, Belize will welcome eight affiliated developments—including a Hilton, a Four Seasons, and two Marriott Internationals—between 2019 and 2021. “The destination is on track to continue attracting renowned brands, investors, and hoteliers without losing its unfuzzy, charming personality,” says Andrew Ashcroft, managing principal and developer of Alaia Belize. Thanks to the influx of branded hotels with on-site residences, buyers are becoming increasingly interested in vacation-home rental programs at places like Itz’ana Belize Resort & Residences.
South Florida’s New Condo Supply Will Be Absorbed by 2020
Branded residences from the likes of Armani, Fendi, Aston Martin, Porsche, Missoni, and others are all on the rise in South Florida. But the influx of new properties won’t last long. “Based on the average absorption rate for the last three years in the regional real-estate landscape, new condo supply will be absorbed within the next 12 to 24 months,” says Craig Studnicky, principal of ISG World and publisher of the annual Miami Report. So if you want to purchase a condo in South Florida, you’d better act fast.