They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but that heart may be moving outside, according to a recent survey of top real estate agents worldwide. A recent Luxury Agent Poll conducted by Forbes Global Properties revealed that the single-most sought-after home amenity in 2023 is an outdoor kitchen.
The continued outdoor migration of the U.S. homebuyer underscores trends identified in 2022 Perspectives, a global luxury home market study based on Forbes Global Properties’ 13,000 top local agents. While tastes of high-net-worth buyers continuously evolve, outdoor space, proximity to lifestyle amenities and private pools remain among the most-requested features.
Read on to find out what luxury home amenities topped the list.
From brick pizza ovens to barbecue pits to full-on al fresco chef’s kitchens, the outdoor kitchen is an enduring trend that has only grown in the past few years. With the kitchen often serving as the central gathering place of a home, having one set outside allows residents to congregate among other common luxury amenities like pools, sun decks or spas or, in exceptional cases, all three.
Fueled in part by stay-at-home orders, the popularity of outdoor kitchens partially grew out of the necessity for open-air living and, as such, has reached across the globe. In the most beautiful parts of the world, luxury homeowners with exterior kitchens can cook and eat while taking in spectacular views of oceans, mountains or cityscapes.
A regular on top luxury amenities lists, pools have long been a symbol of status and wealth. In warm-weather climates, you’d be hard-pressed to find a luxury new-construction home that doesn’t include a pool.
As the trend has continued to top buyer’s lists of must-have amenities, pool designs have evolved to include multitiers, hidden grottos and sun shelves. Other popular variations on the traditional pool include saltwater, plunge and jetstream pools for in-place lap swimming.
For luxury homebuyers in colder climates, indoor pools have also remained a popular amenity, allowing for year-round swimming.
The highest-caliber homes can even have two pools on the property—one indoor and one outdoor.
Another long-standing amenity, the spa highlights not only the extravagance of a home but of a lifestyle. As wellness and self-care continue to become prioritized so, too, have home spas. Often found in the primary bathroom, spa amenities can include soaking tubs, steam showers or movable walls for al fresco bathing.
Other popular professional spa comforts include cold plunges, tanning beds and saunas.
Whether it’s a property with a massage room or one with a swim spa, a listing featuring spa amenities is sure to catch the eye of affluent homebuyers.
Continuing on the trend of wellness, the next popular luxury amenity on our list is the home fitness center. Like outdoor kitchens, home gyms had something of a renaissance in the past few years and have grown increasingly common in new construction projects, thanks to stay-at-home orders.
In addition, new high-tech equipment is more readily available than ever, with many featuring virtual training to get a professional workout without leaving your home. At-home facilities can range from more traditional weightlifting rooms to modern Pilates studios to outdoor yoga spaces.
Proximity To Cultural Institutions
Sometimes, the best feature of a house can’t be found within the property at all but, rather, in what surrounds it. Whether it be near a concert hall, sprawling community park or popular restaurant, a prime location close to cultural sites is what can set a good home into a great one. In major cities like New York and Los Angeles, these homes can be found in spades, although expect extremely competitive pricing.
In smaller towns, proximity to a cultural institution may be harder to come by and, as such, will add tremendous value to a home. While properties next door to world-renowned institutions like the Whitney Museum in New York make up the highest end of the market, even those located near a well-known bar, coffeehouse or bookshop can come with competitive pricing.