February 20th, 2019 at 11:00 am


With spring just a month away, we thought we’d take a look at what’s happening in the luxury real estate market, ranging from design trends to market updates to buyer and seller needs. 

We spoke with Maxine and Marti Gellens, Luxury Specialists in our La Jolla office who work in coastal San Diego communities, and Aaron Valenty, a Luxury Specialist in our Corona del Mar office who works in coastal Orange County.

Here are new trends that luxury home buyers, sellers, and real estate agents should watch for in 2019.

New year, same trends

Luxury real estate trends that will carry into 2019: 

Maxine and Marti say that 2019 will continue to be a good year in real estate, thanks to a slight shift in the luxury market. They report that compelling properties, such as ones with an ocean view, unique qualities, or are updated and turnkey, will sell.

As far as design trends go, Aaron has seen an increase in “warmer” contemporary finishes in his market and thinks that will continue into 2019. Look for homes with contemporary farmhouse style, a large kitchen sink, and warm hardwood flooring.

Say goodbye to…

Trends we predict will disappear in 2019: 

In 2018, we saw a lot of all-white homes, whether it was the kitchen, living areas, or bedrooms. Maxine and Marti say that color will be making an appearance in 2019, and are seeing designers use accent colors more abundantly on the walls, furniture, and even cabinets.

Aaron sees downsizing as a trend for 2019: “Luxury does not necessarily mean large. Luxury buyers are trending away from larger homes and properties.” This means there will be less demand for home theaters, costly landscaping, and other amenities that you don’t need on a day-to-day basis.

Luxury does not necessarily mean large. Some luxury buyers are trending away from larger homes and properties. Click To Tweet

Say hello to these new trends

New luxury real estate trends in 2019:

Open-concept layouts are expected to make a splash in the luxury real estate market this year. The layout is perfect for ease of entertaining, and it’s a trend that is in line with a desire for an urban lifestyle and walkability. Maxine and Marti say that open layouts plus automated smart features are main trends to look out for.

Aaron reports that steel doors and windows are on his radar in 2019 as a must-have item in home building and remodeling.


The luxury lifestyle

With luxury real estate comes a luxury lifestyle. Maxine and Marti say many of their clients who buy in coastal areas are buying properties that serve as second homes. Their clients travel, enjoy fine dining, and go to the theater.

Recently, the duo hosted an event they called “Mainly Mozart,” with symphony strings at one of their listings that they say was a huge hit. It’s details like these that make all the difference when attracting luxury clientele to your listing.

For Maxine and Marti, most of their luxury clients and listings are in La Jolla, Del Mar, and Rancho Santa Fe.

Aaron’s luxury clients tend to be more involved with their employment and their investments than the average homebuyer or seller. He says his clients work hard for the beautiful home that they live in. Just like anyone else, they also value safety, security, and luxury accommodations.

For Aaron, most of his luxury clients and listings are located in coastal cities like Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar, Newport Coast, and Newport Beach.

What are the demographics that define typical luxury clients?

According to Maxine and Marti, there is an increase in younger buyers in the luxury real estate market. They say these buyers have typically done well in the tech industry or are entrepreneurs.

Aaron, however, hasn’t noticed too much of a pattern among his clients, just that they excel in their industry or have access to wealth that allows them to purchase.

What about downsizing?

Maxine and Marti report that a large part of their clientele are downsizing to something more manageable or affordable as they age. Usually, these clients remain in luxury neighborhoods that are close to where they currently live.

Aaron, however, says that because the market has been pretty good to luxury homeowners the last eight years or so, he hasn’t seen much downsizing in the Orange County coastal markets. If they are, they’re looking for the same features as Maxine and Marti reported in San Diego: more manageable, less costly, single level, and still in a luxury neighborhood.

Maxine & Marti Gellens report that a large part of their luxury clientele are downsizing to something more manageable or affordable as they age. Click To Tweet

Reasons luxury homeowners would downsize: 

What are younger vs. older buyers looking for in a luxury home in terms of amenities?

Younger luxury homebuyers are looking for: 

Older luxury homebuyers are looking for: 

Are you buying or selling a luxury home in Southern California this year? Connect with one of our luxury specialists or call Maxine and Marti Gellens or Aaron Valenty

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