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Connecting with Luxury Consumers

by Matthew Ferrara

Matthew Ferrara

One of the bright spots in the housing industry these days is the luxury market segment. Across the country, smart money has been coming off the sidelines for months, especially in the upper-tiers of the housing market. Across the globe, luxury investors are looking for property opportunities, constituting a significant part of the $41 billion in purchases international buyers make every year in the U.S.


Whether at home or from abroad, the luxury segment presents some great opportunities for smart real estate professionals today and into the future.

Like all consumers, the luxury segment is highly attuned to technology. As data from the latest Mendelsohn Affluent Survey suggests, connecting with the modern affluent consumer takes more than just a good game of golf. Here are a few important facts to consider:

  • There are 44 million households in America that make more than $100,000 per year. About 12 million of those earn between $150,000 and $250,000, and about 5 million earn more than $250,000 per year.
  • Six million households earning more than $100,000 are between the ages of 18 and 34, or Generation Y, representing the largest segment of first time buyers and early move-up sellers.
  • Seventeen million affluent households are between the ages of 35 and 49, the key Gen X and late Boomer demographic for move-up sellers in today's market.

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The technology use of the luxury consumer segment is critical to understanding the opportunities to building business in this segment. Of the 44 million affluents in America:

  • 98 percent use the internet regularly.
  • The average affluent spends an astonishing 101.2 hours per month on the internet (compared to 32 hours per month for all internet users).
  • Last year, 1.4 million affluents already owned a tablet computer; and 2.4 million planned to purchase one in the next 12 months.
  • 63 percent of affluents own a digital camera.

Clearly, a number of interesting factors are coming together at the same time. Nearly half of the affluents in America are under the age of 45. This means their expectations of how they engage their favorite brands, consume goods and services and communicate with trusted professionals comes from a post-television, post-postal-mail era. 

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