Luxury and second-home markets have never been more active. As the pandemic has turned hesitant shoppers into certain buyers and sent many city dwellers fleeing from urban areas, the rush for properties continues to drain real estate inventories in the most sought-after destinations.
Across the sunniest, snowiest and wealthiest stretches of the Western Hemisphere, high-end developers are building as fast as they can—all while fighting labor and supply shortages. The result of this expensive housing frenzy is demand outstripping supply so extensively that more buyers are agreeing to put down their money without ever seeing the property.
According to a survey released in January by HomeLight, a San Francisco-based real estate referral company, one out of every five U.S. buyers in the prior 12 months purchased a home sight unseen.
Home shoppers competing for a key in the most desirable communities now jostle to buy dirt that will host a house in as much as two years, or more, down the road. While those eager would-be residents hunt for their golden ticket, real estate agents have to adjust to selling imagination.
In fact, the market is so hot that some buyers look for ways to sell their position purchasing a future house to another buyer also looking for a chance to own a home-to-be-built.
John Fair, managing director at The Strand, a new private development under construction in Turks and Caicos, believes new buyers not only have to get used to purchasing into the future, they need to expect it. He confirms there’s no shortage of interest with any of the available properties, ranging in size from a two-bedroom villa for $2.45 million, to a three-bedroom home for $3 million, to grand residences for $10 million.