The Luxury Home Market Is Climbing Again

The Luxury Home Market Is Climbing Again

The housing market in Chicagoland is hotter than the national news would have you believe, and opulent homes in the area are especially in demand these days. 

For homes listed in the $1 million dollar plus range, home prices are up substantially compared to a recent mid-2020 dip, and are approaching autumn 2019 highs. The availability of homes for purchase (“inventory”) in this price range is also at the lowest they’ve been in decades. 

While real estate is almost always considered a safe investment, luxury properties are more desirable and therefore much more valuable. 

What qualities make a home “luxurious,” and is all that really worth the premium sales price? Is this kind of property your best choice for an investment or your family’s dream home? Let’s take a closer look at this burgeoning market and highlight some of the reasons it could be just right for you.

Unique and exclusive

A luxury home is typically one that’s priced in the top 10% of the market. As Chicago home values have risen dramatically since January 2021, there’s been an increase in properties listed for $1M or more. 

At the same time, the inventory of available housing sharply declined throughout 2021 and is only just now beginning to come back, with urban construction experiencing a resurgence as people start coming back to high-density communities.

But don’t discount the suburbs. They remain a major player in this market, and affluent areas like the North Shore, Glencoe, and Winnetka are extremely popular with buyers that yearn for more space and privacy. 

Outdoor entertaining is also quite fashionable now as a way to spend time with family and friends while avoiding more public venues, so secluded properties with backyard oasis potential are highly sought after. 

Security is also another concern for some potential executive buyers, and they’re searching for private, gated communities and properties with cameras, security lighting, and high-tech alarm systems. 

Standing out

Many high-end buyers these days have a substantial budget, but they demand plenty of amenities for the price. With so many more homes listing above the million-dollar mark, sellers need to put in extra effort to offer the features that potential luxury homeowners crave

There is a multitude of factors that boost a home’s asking price to the rarefied “luxury” level. One of the most important aspects of a piece of real estate is where it’s located. Exclusive neighborhoods with excellent schools and proximity to a waterfront always have an effect on property values.

What are the hottest luxury home trends in the market right now? Here are a few must-haves for big-budget consumers:


The kitchen is the heart of the home, and that’s especially true today as people want culinary heaven with tons of counter space, a huge island, a dine-in area, and, of course, top-of-the-line restaurant-quality appliances. Walk-in butler’s pantries are a frequent request, as well as custom countertops and backsplashes, bespoke lighting fixtures, and smart home capabilities.

Spa baths

Only the most elegant bathrooms will do in a luxury-priced property. Since the pandemic, customers are searching for the relaxing atmosphere and effortless refinement of a spa experience without having to leave the house. Steam rooms and infrared saunas are both becoming more common in exclusive residences.

Impressive home offices

Remote work is here to stay, especially for successful C-suite executives who are in the market for an expensive new house. Bigger is better, and business people want more room to feel inspired and productive. Built-in cabinetry and storage, technology hubs, and abundant natural light are key for an appealing home office. 

Natural materials

While granite countertops are now de rigeur, more extensive use of stone, wood and other natural elements throughout the house is coming into vogue. Marble or butcher block counters, slate flooring, and cedar paneling are all enjoying an increase in demand. 


More than just a buzzword, it’s a mindset that more and more people are adopting and want to incorporate into their homes. Luxury-level requires environmentally friendly paint, sustainably sourced building materials, and furniture and decking created with recycled materials. Beautifully maintained vintage features also appeal to wealthy homeowners.

Movie star qualities

People who can afford it want to feel glamorous and affluent in their dream home, so amenities like vast walk-in closets, resort-style pools, smart home automation, high-tech game rooms, fully equipped home gyms, and immense temperature-controlled wine cellars are all in demand. 

Vacation escape

Many in the luxury market are looking for a second home as a vacation getaway. Luxury condos or single-family dwellings in swanky locales like ski resorts or a tropical paradise can be a shrewd investment, especially for owners who choose to rent out their beach house or mountain chalet when they’re not in residence. 

Working with a property manager can make this process practically effortless on the part of the homeowner, as these companies handle reservations, cleaning, maintenance, and any tenant issues. 

Urban dreams

For those that want to enjoy the big city lifestyle, Chicago has a delectable inventory of luxurious urban flats and townhomes for wealthy buyers. The iconic lakefront Gold Coast neighborhood offers high-rise living in the lap of luxury with rooftop pools and concierge services.

Areas like the West Loop are seeing new construction of luxury boutique condominiums that offer stunning views in addition to thoroughly modern design and full amenities. But Chicagoland is also home to many historic residences that have been professionally restored to their former glory yet come equipped with all the newest modern conveniences.

Find your luxury

Since 1855, Baird & Warner has helped pair qualified buyers with the finest high-end properties throughout the region. From private country estates to lakefront penthouses, our experienced agents utilize the latest technology to make purchasing an exquisite home as easy as possible. 
If you’re ready to seize the opportunity to live the luxury lifestyle you deserve, reach out to our exclusive full-service team today!

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