We always muse at holiday time about how quickly the year has moved, but this one seems to gone by in an even faster blur of magnificent spaces, places, and faces. The ultra luxury market exploded in 2015, immune to concerns over bubbling appreciation and rising interest rate considerations, and as we move into a new year, expectations for another banner year are high. But before we usher in 2016, it’s time to look back at the stories that made the biggest impact on our readers this year.
You clicked, we noticed and we’ve rounded up your favorites below. Not surprisingly, the most-read articles on Previews Inside Out® centered on a few of our favorite things: the state of the luxury real estate market overall, those who are making a significant impact on business, art, culture and glorious homes around the world that make us want to pack a bag (or all of them!) for a tropical getaway or a complete change of permanent scenery.
Here are the most-read stories of 2015.
1. Florida Lakefront Colonial Revival — Between the pristine Windermere, FL location, the $30 million new Colonial Revival construction on 18 private acres fronting Lake Down, and the pedigree as a playground to everyone from Tiger Woods to Shaquille O’Neil to Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl, it’s not surprising this luxury home feature was our most-read story of the year.
2. The New Classic — Coming in at No. 2 is our profile on classical pianist Yuja Wang. We’re not surprised readers were taken by this modern day muse, who is just as likely to be found stroking the keys as she is striking a pose for a fashion mag. Wang gave us insight into her new album, her love of performing live, and an intriguing confluence of personal faves—couture, hip-hop, and the Steinway that takes up almost her entire New York living room.
3. Beachfront Buys — When it comes to getaways, nothing compares to the beach. Our No. 3 most-read story of the year showcased eight great Coldwell Banker Previews International® beachfront homes that are also surprisingly great buys, like this $450,000 Balinese style beach house on The Bahamas’ Rose Island and this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, fully renovated Front Street, Lahaina, Hawaii oceanfront priced at $4,950,000.
4. Palace of Love — A feature on one of the most expensive residential listings in the country was also one of our most popular posts of the year. What’s not to love about a 25-acre Beverly Hills compound featuring a palatial Mediterranean-style villa complete with: a floating glass walkway over the pool; a Tuscan vineyard; 70-year-old olive trees; and a 15,000 square foot entertainment complex complete with disco/ballroom, DJ booth, laser-light system, 50-seat private screening room, and bowling alley.
5. Luxury Hovercraft Takes Flight — Its looks are inspired by the Bugatti Veyron and Maserati Gran Turismo, it bests the competition’s speed record by a lot, and it hovers? No wonder so many of you read this article spotlighting the Mercier-JonesSupercraft. We’re still marveling at how CEO and co-founder Michael Mercier fashioned his first air vehicle at age 13 from a vacuum cleaner motor, plywood, and a shower curtain.
6. Luxury Market Report Fall 2015 — Our fall Luxury Market Report published by Coldwell Banker Previews International®/NRT is a perennial reader favorite. You clicked on our No. 6 story this year for some interesting market insights, focusing on the perennial hyper-luxury markets of Florida and California and looking at rising cities like Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle—a new frontier in high-end real estate. Also featured is a data-filled survey of high-net-worth investors that can be downloaded here.
7. Luxury Panel: What Millennials Want — Millennials are the “it” target in real estate (and every other business), and countless studies, articles, blog posts, and in-depth reports have been done trying to key in on their motivation. Previews’ Luxury Panel: What Millennials Want went right to the source to get answers. Our panel weighed in on everything from the true meaning of luxury to why millenials need to feel special. Clearly, you found it as illuminating as we did.
8. Trophy Properties — Our No. 8 article is our beginning-of-the-year look at trophy homes—a nice tie-in to awards season. And the Previews® properties we showcased are certainly worthy of a few golden statues. You clicked for a better look at this $9,009,010 Kelowna, BC contemporary that won a Tommie Award for master suite design and single-family home design and a Pinnacle Award for luxury pool design.
9. Best In Luxury Travel — Vacation time is sacred, and we’re all looking for an edge in choosing the most exquisite places to spend time away from work and home. Fortunately, we have Christine Gray, editor-in-chief ofLuxuryTravelMagazine.com to give us recommendations like Santa Cruz Island in Galápagos (one volcano-topped lodge and a private Tortoise Reserve, please!), the healing spas of Los Cabos, and the yachter’s paradise of Portofino. Judging by this article’s popularity as the No. 8 most read of the year, you want to get away as much as we do. #weknewit
10. Luxury Market Report Spring 2015 — Rounding out the Top 10 is Coldwell Banker Previews International’s® inaugural 2015 Luxury Market Report, which detailed explosive growth in cities like Aspen, Santa Barbara, New York and Laguna Beach. The report also spotlighted “luxury’s new frontiers”—the destinations being sought out by un-tethered ultra high net worth individuals. Want more information? Download the full report at the bottom of the story.
We want to thank our readers for another great year and for making Previews your choice for all things luxury. There’s more to come in 2016, and we bring you the best in real estate, lifestyle, culture, and entertainment, inside and out.