Posted 1.10.14 @ 12:40
It’s said that you can spot a recession by how boxy the homes are – but the brilliant designs, the designs that push the envelope and stick with us, those only happen when times are good. Today many luxury developers are putting money into homes, condos and developments that not only break the mould, but do it with style.
The question we have to ask is if it’s actually going to pay off. Just taking a few quick glances at some of the spec buildings out there (this one and this one are great examples), meaning there is no buyer waiting to buy it. There is nothing like a multi-million dollar spec building to show just hope optimistic luxury developers really are.
Luxury Spec Homes Catching Fire
Not literal fire, luckily, but you get what we mean! The idea of a spec house, building something rather fantastical with no buyer lined up, is popular more now than ever. In L.A., for example, there is a 15,000+ sq. ft. home nearing completion in the retro-futuristic style of Richard Neutra listed at $50m, with no one sure if the thing will sell.
Can you imagine buying a home with a 24 foot ceiling, a 20x20’ concrete wall with an embedded 8” deep relief of an oak tree in the living room? What about third storey panoramic views of Lake Ontario, built on prime real estate no one is sure that anyone will ever buy?
These crystal castles are embellished with super luxury, transitional designs and open floor plans framed by massive glass panels, stone and wood. Spec homes are expected to have multipurpose rooms, plenty of high tech gizmos and a step apart from the tradition home – it’s even been said that traditional homes with their walled off home plans
Pricing These Luxury Homes a Little More Difficult
But you’ll have more latitude when it comes to setting prices in comparison with more conventional homes, but it really is a buyer’s market. These homes are often a little… different in comparison with their neighbours, and it’s not strange to see a spec home sticking out in with its adventurous design. The good thing about these is that since modern homes take less time to build, a high concept home ends up looking like a fantastic choice.
It’s not all about wood and stone though – you’ll find high concept and spec homes that blend together 19th century Victorian designs with accordion glass walls, minimal lines set about fire pits and cabanas. But whatever way you look at it, building spec homes is a gamble for developers. Not only do developers not know if someone is going to buy the finished property, they also need to be able to get a 20% to 50% return on their investment.
Luxury spec homes may be the answer to the short supply of truly luxurious homes for sale – but credit is still on the tight side for both builders and developers.