Market Outlook 2023: Christie’s International Real Estate Ceos Discuss

The Worth Group


While it may come as a surprise to some, the luxury real estate market has shown little sign of slowing down thus far in 2023.
With demand still outpacing supply in many locations, a strong U.S. dollar, and the reopening of Asian markets, there is plenty to feel positive about despite the economic turbulence being felt around the globe.
In this interview, Mike Golden and Thad Wong, Co-CEOs of Christie’s International Real Estate, give their take on the current luxury property market and the trends that are shaping their upbeat outlook for the remainder of the year. 
Luxury estate in France

What is the current state of luxury property?

The last three years were unprecedented in terms of luxury home sales, but we’re entering a period now that may be even better in terms of stability and sustainability.

Granted, the cost of money has increased, but a number of other factors point to a positive trend. One long-term effect of the pandemic is that it refocused people’s attention on real estate.

Obviously, a great deal of wealth has been created in recent years, the 2022 equity markets notwithstanding. We’ll likely see a boomlet behind the reopening of Asia. Plus a weak euro has drawn foreign property buyers to the EU. And in a lot of luxury markets, demand still outpaces supply.

Buyers are definitely a little more judicious now, which is good, but looking ahead several years, we believe we’re set up for a strong global luxury market.

How has it changed in the past year? 

There is a more rational approach in the marketplace, and, again, that’s a positive. “A-plus” properties are still selling quickly and commanding, in many cases, record prices. But most properties aren’t perfect – whether it’s location, condition, design, etc. And those sellers are going to have to accept a commensurate discount.

That’s just a normal market. And we’re really encouraged by the level of activity we’re seeing this spring.

There were a lot of people predicting disaster in 2023, and we haven’t seen anything close to that. It’s been a very fluid, stable market in the luxury sector and even in the lower price ranges too.

How are you feeling about late spring/summer 2023 and beyond? 

Looking ahead to late spring, summer and beyond, we’re optimistic.

Most encouraging is that demand appears to be stronger than the market was betting on at the end of last year. And to the extent that interest rates impact the high end, the resilience of buyers has been somewhat of a revelation.

People have adjusted more quickly to higher rates, understanding that it’s a temporary situation that can be actively managed.
Contemporary home

What is the outlook – what do you think will happen to inventory and prices?

In the U.S. market, inventory is the biggest challenge today – more than rates, more than price, more than consumer confidence.

It’s not that there aren’t homes for sale. It’s that many are held in the private market, and the quality properties that do make it to the open market sell very quickly.

We don’t see the inventory picture changing much throughout 2023. We’re going to be dealing with lower-than-normal levels, and the silver lining there is that it’s going to buoy prices.

People talk about a soft landing in the economy, and we’re watching a similar dynamic in the housing market – the delicate dance of inventory, demand, prices, borrowing costs and, to some degree, employment, and where it all settles. Right now, fingers crossed, things are looking pretty good.

How about selling times?

One of the big surprises this spring has been that homes are selling very quickly. Some properties are even receiving multiple offers.

A lot of buyers who took a step back last fall and winter came out early in 2023 in search of opportunity. But a key here is that sellers need to be priced to market, and their homes need to be turnkey. The days of buyers looking past condition and cost are over.

What is the outlook for first-time buyers? 

In our opinion, the high-end first-time buyer is going to drive the market in 2023.

These are people who don’t have a home to sell. They aren’t looking at trading out of a 3-percent mortgage. And they’re paying record-high rents. So, home prices in the high six figures or even above $1 million, which is the entry point in many prime markets, are not going to hold them back.

Nor are interest rates, which, in the U.S., will be in the 5 percent range soon enough. So, it’s a good market for first-time buyers. They’re just going to have to prepare themselves to act quickly when they see something they like.
Mansion in New Jersey

And for investors adding to their portfolio? 

During the pandemic, cash buyers had a big advantage, and we saw that play out from Main Street to Wall Street.

The market reached a tipping point in 2022 where a lot of investors pulled back. But there are always opportunities.

Internationally, a weak euro has brought buyers from Asia, the Middle East, and North America to the EU countries. The global luxury travel market is expected to grow at a high rate through 2030, and that creates opportunities in vacation markets like the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

There are plenty of emerging luxury markets, and in more established markets, like Aspen and St. Barth’s for example, you have permanently constrained supply.

So we’re bullish on luxury long-term, and if you have a long time horizon, now is a good time to add to your portfolio.

What kinds of property are buyers investing in in 2023 and beyond? 

It’s across the board, but if you could summarize what’s driving a lot of the activity in the luxury market, it’s lifestyle.

So, whether that’s skiing or being on the water or wellness or being in a dynamic global center with access to art and culture, there’s an awareness on the part of buyers of, ‘How does this property enhance a lifestyle that is personal to me and that also has become even more important to me during, and now after, the pandemic?’

A couple of trends to watch… no big surprises here: sustainability and concierge communities and branded residences.
Luxury villa in Thailand

What buyers are interested in your specific market?

A lot of the pandemic-era trends are holding strong in our market. Larger lots – both urban and suburban indoor and outdoor recreation spaces waterfront.

In multi-family, there’s a big premium on new and newer construction, and buyers want that vertical country club, if you will.

Has anything surprised you?

Heading into 2023, both of us felt the market was going to be better and stronger than what a lot of the housing bears were predicting.

Even so, the resilience of buyers and sellers has been a little surprising. You kind of expect that the response to the exuberance of mid-2020 through mid-’22 might be a similar level of fear. That hasn’t been the case. Buyers and sellers have been relatively calm and rational.

With all the noise out there – inflation, politics, etc. – the consumer deserves a ton of credit for keeping their head and acting in their best interests, which in a lot of cases means going ahead with that purchase or sale.


The Worth Group specializes in coordinating real estate development projects in all phases, from conception to completion, to deliver their clients luxurious, state-of-the-art condominiums and estates in the heart of Boca Raton in Florida.

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