'Luxury Defined' Global Report

The 10 ‘Most Luxurious’ Property Markets Worldwide

London topped the list of the world’s top “luxury” housing markets and Hong Kong edged out New York to claim the second spot in this year’s Luxury Defined Index rankings

From recent stock market fluctuations to the shifting fortunes of emerging market buyers, the global prime property market traversed a challenging geopolitical and economic landscape in 2015 and into 2016.

The annual Christie’s International Real Estate Index, which synthesizes and compares luxury housing metrics, reflects these developments and acts as a measuring stick for the global luxury market. The Index forms part of Luxury Defined 2016, an in-depth study of more than 100 prime residential property markets worldwide.

The Index ranks the world’s 10 top property markets under two performance measures:

  • The Luxury Index rates the relative “luxuriousness” of primary market cities with at least one million residents (see the latest Luxury Index rankings below).
  • The Luxury Thermometer assesses the “health” of the million-dollar-plus market and compares international primary and resort housing markets.

London Tops the World’s Most Luxurious Cities for Prime Property:

(Click to enlarge and see full list)

2015* Luxury Index Rankings
1) London
2) Hong Kong
3) New York
4) Los Angeles
5) Singapore
6) Sydney
7) Miami
8) San Francisco
9) Paris
10) Toronto

*Luxury Index rankings are based on data for the period January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. The Index aggregates local market metrics measuring market record sale price, average price per square foot for luxury homes, number of sales over $1 million, percentage of listings over $1 million, average price for luxury home sales, percentage of international and non-local homebuyers, and percentage of secondary home sales. 

Highlights from this year’s Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Index include:

With more prime property listings than any other city, as well as the world’s second most expensive residential sale in 2015 ($141 million / £92 million), London retains its position as the most luxurious property market worldwide. In spite of slower growth due to new taxes on prime property purchases, the city continues to attract strong domestic and international buyer demand. London has topped the Luxury Index for four years running. (See the 2014 rankings).

Even with negative annual overall sales growth and pressures from a decline in mainland Chinese capital outflow, Hong Kong narrowly edged out New York to place second in the Luxury Index. The harbor city posted the world’s top residential sale in 2015 ($194 million / HK$1.5 billion).

Miami achieved a local record sale ($55 million for a new-build penthouse), which offset declines in overseas and cash buyers, ensuring a solid performance in the Luxury Index. New luxury stock and slowing buyer demand evidenced in late 2015 and early 2016 however, is likely to move it down in next year’s rankings.

Singapore joined our Index rankings after showing signs of an uptick following several years of declines due to government cooling measures. Singapore knocked Dubai—where pressures from declining oil prices and an oversupply of luxury properties caused price and sales volume declines—out of the world’s top 10 luxury markets.