Wealth Report 2022: Branded Residences Meet Surging Demand from Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals

Thanks to last year’s economic recovery following the pandemic-driven slowdown in 2020, luxury residential property “became the asset class of choice over the past 12 months” for a growing global cohort of ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

That key insight from The Wealth Report 2022, jointly published in March by Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank, set the stage for a presentation and panel discussion held April 11 at The West Hollywood EDITION, in Los Angeles.

Moderated by Scott Durkin, CEO, Douglas Elliman Realty, and featuring Howard M. Lorber, Executive Chairman, Douglas Elliman; Susan de França, President & CEO, Douglas Elliman Development Marketing; and Danilo Magrini, Managing Director, JHSF, the conversation highlighted the continued appeal of full-service branded residences in U.S. markets, from New York City to L.A.

“We have witnessed a wealth surge on the back of an economic rebound, with the number of ultra-high-net-worths significantly increasing despite the pandemic and uncertainty,” said Stacey Watson, Partner, International Residential at Knight Frank, in remarks preceding the Wealth Report presentation. “The pandemic has seen many private investors increase their allocation to real estate. Notwithstanding continued travel restrictions, our clients want to be more, rather than less, global. Cross-border investment is on the rise.”

According to Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research at Knight Frank, the economic rebound has been particularly strong in the U.S., which claims five of the 10 top-performing markets globally over the past 12 months—San Diego, Miami, the Hamptons, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“Los Angeles is the fifth-biggest global wealth hub in the report,” Bailey said, adding that it is also “the fourth most popular location, globally, in terms of destinations for wealthy international buyers.”

In the discussion that followed, Lorber reiterated his previous suggestions that inflation and rising interest rates could spur buyers and sellers to enter the real estate market and alleviate a current scarcity of inventory.

But the conversation largely focused on the continued demand for turnkey residences operated by leading hospitality brands, including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, and EDITION.

Magrini, whose firm owns the Brazilian hotel and hospitality brand Fasano, discussed the recent launch of Fasano Fifth Avenue, a private members’ club hotel, in partnership with Elliman’s Erin Boisson Aries.

“I was lucky enough to see the Fasano,” said Lorber. “And I will tell you, it is the most beautiful property I’ve ever seen.”

De França, whose development marketing division has championed the value of branded residences, expressed pride in partnering with brands that are so passionate about providing clients with unequaled service.

“They really provide a lifestyle to our clients that exceeds expectations,” she said. “[Branded residences are] definitely a trend we’ll continue to see, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.”

Download the Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank 2022 Wealth Report

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