Real estate luxury, as defined by rich home buyers

The definition of luxury, according to the world's richest home buyers, is a surprising mix of eco-friendly and the architectural haute couture.

The super wealthy are willing to buy in postcodes that are not traditionally considered prestigious, international research has found, making a swish street address no longer the most significant measure of what makes a home upmarket.

That means more and more high-net worth buyers are looking to kick off their Chanel heels at home in areas like Melbourne's Collingwood and Sydney's Millers Point, which were long held to be working class but are now more upwardly mobile class.

So when it comes to coveted location, location, location, the rich are now flexible, according to Christie's International Real Estate.

Now, improved developments and flashy amenities in new towers, and gentrifying suburbs are encouraging wealthy house hunters "outside their comfort zone", says the Christie's luxury market report.

In 2015, luxury is, according to the super rich ...

1. Location, location, location. But no longer about traditional prestige postcodes.

The ultra modern 330 Beach Road, Black Rock, Melbourne, is on offer for $6 million. Black Rock is not a traditional luxe postcode, unlike neighbouring Brighton.


2. Conscious. Cashed-up buyers are seeking eco-friendly properties that are energy efficient and crafted from sustainable building materials.

This beach bolthole at 9 Cheviot Road, Portsea, Victoria, is made from sustainable materials, including spotted gum walls.

3. Experiential. Out-of-the-box features such as outdoor showers and meditation gardens are sought-after.

The modern mansion at 5 Stanley Avenue in Sydney's Mosman has a pool-view guest house, like a self-contained resort suite, connected to the main mansion by a walkway.

4. Convenience. The rich are shifting out of the 'burbs and into downtown, urban locations, to be near city amenities.

This Brisbane penthouse, with water views, is on the market for $6 million and is in the thick of the city action at 71 Eagle Street.

5. Age-agnostic. A home that serves generations of the same family, with a self-contained guest quarters or separate cottage for grandparents or teenage children, is high on the wish list.

The grand 2B Erskine Street, Armadale, Melbourne, has a floorplan that allows for a guest wing, where children or grandparents can stay.

6. Private. In the age of social media, an island is just the ticket for avoiding stickybeaks with camera phones. Long, gated driveways, high-level security and sanctuary estates are desirable.

The estate "Sweven" is set on 57 hectares, well back from the road and prying eyes, at 177 O'Briens Road in Cattai, New South Wales.

7. Collectible. "Trophy" is a new buzz word in highest-end property, meaning a house that is a one-off or limited edition, much like haute couture, by an internationally renowned architect.

8. Understated. Scaled-back interiors and design, such as homes that blend into the landscape, with a less obvious shows of wealth.

Number 5 Spindrift Avenue, Flinders, Victoria, is crafted from stone and wood to be in harmony with the rugged coast, and is a less opulent show of wealth.

9. Turn-key ready. Ultra rich house-hunters are content to pay a premium to bring nothing but their toothbrush and just walk in to a brand new, furnished "spec" home. 

The $8 million East Penthouse atop the Array tower at Docklands, with interiors designed by fashion illustrator Megan Hess. The new owner can buy the designer furniture as a package.

10. A blank canvas. Buying a prestige land parcel and ripping down the old home to create a build trophy property, from scratch.

Council has approved the construction of a "substantial" home, according to agents Kay & Burton, on this prime parcel of land at Cape Schanck on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.

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