What’s the Difference between Luxury and Ultra Luxury Homes? (2024)

What’s the Difference between Luxury and Ultra Luxury Homes? (1)

If you’re like us, you’re self isolating this week as much as possible. And if you’re especially like us, you’ve been using some of your time to catch up on your favorite luxury home television shows. From “Million Dollar House Hunters” to “Mega Mansions” and “Extreme Homes,” nearly everyone is fascinated by celebrity homes and the dream of owning a fully customized luxury home of one’s own.

So, what’s the difference between a local luxury home like you would find on beverly-hanks.com and the ultra luxe trophy homes you see on TV? As it turns out, you can probably guess a lot of the features that set them apart. But there is a lot of nuance in luxury real estate, as well.

Here are the real differences between luxury and ultra luxury homes.

What is an Ultra Luxury Home?

As we’ll see below, the definition for entry level “luxury real estate” varies considerably by location. Worldwide, the average starting price of a luxury home varies from under $1 million in Ottawa, Canada, to above $10 million in Monaco. But the upper limit for homes ostensibly has no bounds! The highest sales price for a home in 2017 (and highest to that date) was $360 million for a residential property in Hong Kong’s exclusive Peak neighborhood.

So, what makes a luxury home an ultra luxury home? Also called trophy homes, ultra luxury homes are top tier in both price and quality. Ultra luxury homes sit at the pinnacle of quality design, build, and finishes; lavish amenities that promote wellness, and “wow” factors. Many globally exceed the “billionaire’s benchmark” of $100 million.

What’s the Difference between Luxury and Ultra Luxury Real Estate?

A home is a home, right? So, why do some homes cost tens of millions of dollars, while others do not?

The answer in part may seem cliche coming from a real estate site, but it’s because of Location, Location, Location. It’s true. The difference between a $1 million and $10 million home is typically because of its location—homes that have more land, are in a more exclusive location, offer spectacular views, or afford more privacy and discretion. That’s why a luxury home in Manhattan, New York sells for magnitudes of order more than luxury homes of the same size in Manhattan, Kansas.

The other major difference between luxury and ultra luxury homes are in their square footage, finishes, and amenities. A $1 million dollar house quickly becomes a $3 million house because of its custom design work. For instance, at 573 Elk Mountain Scenic Highway in Asheville, the original owners who built that house hired artisans from around Asheville to create the fence, iron railings, wet bar, wine cellar, wall coverings, and more around the house. Along with fine furnishings, these hand-created finishes raise the perceived value of the home.

The same is true for the ultra luxury homes we love to admire in other markets. They move from offering leisure living to featuring extreme amenities. Drake’s 34-meter wide driveway. Michael Jordan’s regulation-sized basketball gymnasium. The 12,000-bottle wine cellar of the Chartwell Estate (Jed Clampett’s home). At an average of 26,227 square feet and with a total of 41 bathrooms, these three properties alone demonstrate the value of sheer square footage, architectural merit, bespoke and extreme features, and a prioritized location to shape a property’s value.

Why are There Such Large Price Drops for Ultra Luxury Homes?

Everyone wants a custom home. You may believe the term is overused with luxury real estate. But fortunately or unfortunately, that’s what it’s all about.

Building a home—any home—to your unique needs and specifications is a dream come true. However, just because you want a putting green in the middle of your infinity pool (Michael Jordan again), doesn’t mean your buyer will want the same thing. We’ve covered before that some home renovations add value to your home and some do not. Many ultra luxury homeowners have dropped millions of dollars into rehabbing their home and adding custom bespoke finishes—and that’s above the cost of the home itself!

These extravagant updates often reflect in the listing price of the ultra luxury home, but they rarely translate into the sale price of the home. That difference is the deep price drops that you read about—It’s not unusual to see a drop of 20%, and we’ve seen price reductions as much as 73% in some markets around the country! It’s also why even high-end homeowners need to consult with their agent on the best finishes to invest in before they rehab their home. The market will only bear so much extravagance, and making smart choices overall will get you a better return when it’s time to sell.

How does WNC’s Luxury Real Estate Market Shape up?

The luxury real estate market in Western North Carolina looks very different than that in Hong Kong or Miami. For most of our purposes, we consider the luxury market to begin at $750,000 in all our counties except Buncombe, where luxury real estate begins at $1 million. So, with those criteria in place, do we have a large luxury market?

Right now, there are nearly 3,000 active residential listings under $750,000 in Beverly-Hanks’ nine-county service range. By comparison, there are 594 active luxury listings. That means, one out of every 6 homes for sale today is considered a luxury home.

If you subscribe to our Beverly-Hanks Quarterly Market Reports, you know that our region has seen a record sales pace in recent years. As you could guess, lower priced homes sell much more quickly on average than luxury homes. In fact, our region’s average active days on market was 215 for 2019, compared to 317 for homes priced over $1 million. That means that while one out of six homes for sale is in the luxury range, that figure does not directly translate to the number of homes in total across our region.

There is also a lot of variation within our luxury market. Nearly half of the luxury homes listed (252 of 594) are priced between $750,000–$1,000,000. In contrast, only 45 are priced above $2,500,000, and only 3 are more than $5 million. Sales of homes priced $1,000,000–$1,600,000 have grown noticeably since 2015, while sales for homes priced above $1,600,000 have barely grown at all. There are also notable differences in luxury real estate from county to county (Buncombe shows the largest number of sales by far) and from neighborhood to neighborhood.

All this is to say that while “luxury real estate” is a fun term to examine, it varies considerably by country, metro, county, city, and neighborhood. When you are selling your luxury home, you need to have a REALTORⓇ at your side who is an expert in the nuances of the luxury real estate market near you.

Secure the Best Partner to Sell Your Luxury Home

In 2019, Beverly-Hanks agents completed 174 luxury real estate transactions over $750,000 in Western North Carolina. Our nearest competitor represented a total of 43 transactions.

To maintain such a winning record in real estate sales, consistency matters. Beverly-Hanks is the reliable leader in Western North Carolina, with 13 offices spanning the region. Having one of the largest and most experienced marketing teams behind every listing allows Beverly-Hanks to design, execute, and deliver customized marketing plans for each of our luxury properties. We pride ourselves in gathering the necessary market analyses required to effectively sell each luxury property. This enables our clients to relax more during the selling process and know everything will be handled with the finest care and attention. The name Beverly-Hanks sets the bar for luxury home sale success.

Find a luxury real estate expert near you.

What’s the Difference between Luxury and Ultra Luxury Homes? (2024)


What’s the Difference between Luxury and Ultra Luxury Homes? ›

So, what makes a luxury home an ultra luxury home? Also called trophy homes, ultra luxury homes are top tier in both price and quality. Ultra luxury homes sit at the pinnacle of quality design, build, and finishes; lavish amenities that promote wellness, and “wow” factors.

What is ultra luxury home? ›

An ultra-luxury property is set apart by personalisation of the amenities as these homes are specifically constructed to offer the owner, maximum solace, including a personal lift, the highest level of security which might include their own personal security, concierge, and a swimming pool in the property.

What makes a house luxurious? ›

Luxury home price tags include factors such as: greater square footage, luxe amenities and features, premium materials, sculpted lots, prime locations, and beautiful surroundings and views. Part of what makes them “luxury” is the price tag.

What is a luxury house called? ›

Merriam-Webster's dictionary definition is less definitive, simply stating that a mansion is “a large and impressive house: the large house of a wealthy person.”

What price point is a luxury home? ›

If you want a price tag, luxury properties typically cost $2 million to $40 million, says Richard Haddad, Managing Editor, Seller Resource Center at HomeLight, a real estate agents' network.

What does ultra luxury mean? ›

ultraluxury (not comparable) Providing an extremely high degree of luxury, well beyond what "luxury" would normally imply quotations ▼

What are the three levels of luxury? ›

According to Alleres (1991) , luxury is composed of three domains: inaccessible luxury, inter- mediate luxury and accessible luxury, con- stituted by how the brand is marketed.

What colors make a house look expensive? ›

Fresh Paint will make your Home look Expensive

Light airy neutral paint colors make a room look expensive. Choose from white, beige (yes beige is back!), cream and off-white colors. Dark brown and black are also on trend so will make your interiors look more upscale as well.

What is a luxury vs standard home? ›

If you're unsure of what differentiates a luxury home from a non-luxury home, luxury properties have a high quality to them that's missing in standard homes. You can expect these homes to be made from premium materials and finishes that can include everything from hardwood to marble.

Why do people buy luxury homes? ›

An Extravagant Lifestyle

Sometimes a luxury house serves as one of the most remarkable representatives of an individual's life and social status. Therefore, many people choose to buy luxury homes because of the way they plan to represent their wealth and status to the world.

Who has the most luxurious house? ›

To date, the title for the most expensive house in the world is held by the Buckingham Palace in London. The larger-than-life property (which cannot be sold) is over 200 years old and is currently owned by King Charles III after the demise of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II.

What is the most expensive luxury house? ›

The most expensive house in the world and the world's biggest house is Buckingham Palace, owned by the King Charles III, in right of the British Crown with an estimated value of $4.9 billion. Check out our guide to the world's most expensive houses to see other fancy houses and luxury mansions.

What makes a house a McMansion? ›

McMansion is a slang term that describes a large, often opulent or ostentatious, mass-produced house. The name carries a somewhat critical connotation because McMansions lack architectural uniqueness, class, or style.

What qualifies as luxury? ›

Luxury items tend to be sensitive to a person's income or wealth, meaning that as wealth rises, so do purchases of luxury items. Luxury items can include high-end automobiles and yachts but also services, such as full-time or live-in chefs and housekeepers.

How do you know if a house is too expensive? ›

13 Alarming Signs Your Home is Too Expensive (and 3 Ways You Can Fix It)
  1. Your mortgage is more than 28% of your income. ...
  2. You worry about your property taxes. ...
  3. You can't keep up with maintenance. ...
  4. Your yard is a mess. ...
  5. You struggle with utility bills. ...
  6. You don't have an emergency fund. ...
  7. You keep busting your budget.
Jul 13, 2022

How do you know if a house is overpriced? ›

5 Signs That A House Is Overpriced
  1. It Doesn't Match The Price Of Similar Listings. ...
  2. It's Been On The Market For A Long Time. ...
  3. The List Price Doesn't Align With The State Of The Home. ...
  4. The Price Doesn't Match Your Calculations. ...
  5. The Home Hasn't Received Much Attention.
May 9, 2023

What is luxury vs luxurious? ›

Luxurious means “characterized by luxury” while luxuriant means “characterized by luxury or abundance.” (Luxury is a noun meaning “a situation of great wealth and comfort”—such as living in a big house, eating fine foods, and sleeping in comfortable beds.)

What is the difference between luxury or luxurious? ›

Luxury is both a noun and an adjective. In your example “luxury car” it is an adjective. You can also use it as a noun and say something was a luxury. Luxurious is only an adjective.

Is luxury higher than premium? ›

Customers will pay a premium because it is better quality, or materials, or service, or process. With luxury it's much more about perception and trust, or rather, faith. Luxury doesn't compare itself to the competition. Each brand has its own luxury status, it is its own glorious entity.

What are the 7 pillars of luxury? ›

Marketing strategy in the luxury business is constructed around the dream value, the segmenting-targeting-positioning model and 7 pillars that most professionals know: product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people.

What are the tiers of luxury? ›

According to Danielle Alleres, an author specialising on luxury knowledge, there are three tiers of luxury: Accessible, Intermediary and Inaccessible/Supreme Luxury.

What is lower than luxury? ›

Mid-luxury is a term applied in the U.S. market to fashion, vehicles, hotels, apartments, and other consumer goods and services, for brands that are not as expensive as luxury goods, but more expensive than mass market brands.

What color house is hardest to sell? ›

  1. Off-white or eggshell. Shades of white might seem like a safe bet when you're at the home improvement store, but they aren't guaranteed to be a big hit with buyers. ...
  2. Dark brown. Dark brown walls didn't resonate with buyers in Zillow's study. ...
  3. Terracotta. ...
  4. Slate gray.
Oct 27, 2018

What color house sells fastest? ›

8 Paint Colors to Sell Your Home Faster (and Why They Work)
  • 1) Off-White is Safe and Steady. ...
  • 2) White is Always All Right. ...
  • 3) Gray Can Definitely Be OK. ...
  • 4)Blue Gray is True Blue. ...
  • 5) Yellow is Mellow. ...
  • 6) Light Blue Offers Excitement. ...
  • 7) Putty is the Right Skin Tone. ...
  • 8) Taupe Can Be Tops.

What color house has the highest resale value? ›

White painted siding has the highest resale value, but it's also one of the most complex colors to maintain since it shows dirt and grime easily. Off-White – Off-white or light-colored paint colors are trendy in homes today because they make rooms look larger and help reflect more light.

How do I make my house a luxury home? ›

How to Make Your Home Look Luxurious on a Budget
  1. Add little touches of high-end materials where you can. ...
  2. Balance your lighting. ...
  3. Mat your photos and go large scale with art. ...
  4. Stick to classics. ...
  5. Add touches of metallics. ...
  6. Light a candle at the end of a stressful day. ...
  7. Go for high contrast. ...
  8. Fresh flowers have power.
Oct 1, 2017

What style of home has the highest resale value? ›

Colonial. Colonial-style homes have the highest resale factor when all other elements are equal. These two-story homes that often have a boxlike appearance are popular because of the amount of functional living space that they often have.

Why not buy most expensive house on the street? ›

Value will Slowly Increase

This is due to every improvement that takes place in the cheapest home, will add value to it immediately. Long story short, having the most expensive house will cause there to be no other higher sales in the neighborhood which means there is no advantage to your home's value.

Why are most millionaires in real estate? ›

Because of the many tax benefits, real estate investors often end up paying less taxes overall even as they are bringing in more income. This is why many millionaires invest in real estate. Not only does it make you money, but it allows you to keep a lot more of the money you make.

Why do millionaires buy so many houses? ›

Most of the time, owning a house that large is a tax strategy. By financing the house (sometimes 100% financed), the owner gets to write off the mortgage interest on her personal income taxes. Having idle cash, the ability to borrow, and taxes needing reducing is a recipe for buying real estate.

What is the fanciest house in the US? ›

The One, Beverly Hills, California—$126 Million.

Who owns most expensive house in the US? ›

The Chartwell Estate, located in Beverly Hills, California, is owned by the late head of Univision, Jerry Perenchi. Built in 1933, the French neoclassical home encompasses 25,000 square feet of land. It is situated on a 10-acre expanse of manicured lawns and gardens.

How many houses do billionaires have? ›

The world's richest people owned on average about four homes in 2022.

What state has most expensive houses? ›

1. Hawaii. Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and breathtaking scenery. However, it is also the most expensive state to buy a house, with a Zillow Home Value Index of $834,582.

Who owns the biggest house in the world? ›

Who is the owner of the biggest house in the world ? Istana Nurul Iman Palace, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is the largest house in the world, spread over 2.15 million square feet.

Is 4000 square feet a mansion? ›

The typical real estate definition of a mansion is a home that offers at least 5,000 square feet of space and at least five to six bedrooms. Mansions typically sit on small acreage (homes set on vast amounts of land are considered estates).

What is a small mansion called? ›

Other terms used to describe "McMansions" include "Persian palace", "Garage Mahal", "starter castle", and "Hummer house". Marketing parlance often uses the term "tract mansions" or executive homes.

What is the difference between a house and a mansion? ›

Mansions typically have a larger footprint than regular houses. Added square footage is a hallmark of mansions where the land allows, but a lesser-square-footage property may also qualify as a mansion in areas where space is limited based on its luxuriousness.

How many square feet is a luxury home? ›

No hard and fast rule exists, but typically, a mansion will be at least 5,000 square feet. Most Realtors consider homes above 8,000 square feet to be a mansion.

What is absolute luxury? ›

ABSOLUTE LUXURY is a HK-based strategic consultancy, distribution and brand management services agency.

What type of house is more expensive? ›

Beach Houses and Mediterranean-style homes are the most expensive in the U.S. and are often found on prime land close to the ocean.

Is a 3000 square foot house a mansion? ›

In the U.S., most real estate specialists consider a home to be a mansion at or above 8,000 square feet in size. Historically speaking, a mansion would be a home of about 5,000 square feet or above.

Is a 5000 square foot house a mansion? ›

The typical real estate definition of a mansion is a home that offers at least 5,000 square feet of space and at least five to six bedrooms. Mansions typically sit on small acreage (homes set on vast amounts of land are considered estates).

Is 4000 square feet too big for a house? ›

So it's fair to say that a five-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot house could be considered very, very big by most standards.

How do you identify luxury? ›

Luxury is hard to define; it's expensive but not overpriced. It's high-quality and long-lasting, but futuristic. It's aesthetically pleasing but unique.

What is rank a luxury? ›

RANK SA – Good as new, without flaws or signs of use. (mint or excellent condition) RANK A – Almost new, with minor/hardly noticeable. flaws and usually eliminated by bag SPA treatment. RANK AB – Good condition,with minor but negligible.

What is hard luxury vs soft luxury? ›

While this may sound a little basic, an easy way to remember the difference is that hard luxury refers to pieces that are physically harder to break, while soft luxury refers to pieces that are soft to the touch.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dong Thiel

Last Updated:

Views: 5303

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dong Thiel

Birthday: 2001-07-14

Address: 2865 Kasha Unions, West Corrinne, AK 05708-1071

Phone: +3512198379449

Job: Design Planner

Hobby: Graffiti, Foreign language learning, Gambling, Metalworking, Rowing, Sculling, Sewing

Introduction: My name is Dong Thiel, I am a brainy, happy, tasty, lively, splendid, talented, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.