Palm Beach is the Hottest Domestic Luxury Travel Market

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Gemini Villa Palm Beach
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Palm Beach luxury prices simply skyrocketed this past summer, according to a recent news story. On the other hand, nearby Miami had a rough season, as the high-end condos on the market experienced a 10 percent drop in costs. What happened?

Luxury Travel Market

The tale of the two counties in South Florida has a very good reason. But first, let us see the context of the contrasting trends in luxury prices for the travel market. According to Redfin, a real estate brokerage that indexes luxury house prices, Delray Beach in Palm Beach County was a sure No. 1 over the summer.

In the third quarter of 2016, the Redfin index tracked luxury sales in over 1,000 cities across the nation. According to the report’s definition, a home fits in the “luxury” category if it is among the top 5 percent most expensive homes sold in its city.

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Palm Beach: A Rising Luxury Star

Over the past year, Delray Beach saw a significant increase in the average price of a luxury home. After the 70 percent jump, it now stands at a whopping price. Boca Raton ranked second place, with prices rising around 38 percent. In third place, West Palm Beach saw an almost 22 percent spike.

Alex Garcia, one of the Redfin agents in Palm Beach County, believes the boom in luxury prices is tightly linked to the reurbanization of downtown areas and the building of new waterfront areas.

“We are seeing builders tearing down older homes on waterfront and water-accessible properties and rebuilding with all the bells and whistles of a modern property. Luxury buyers in Delray and Boca are drawn to single-family homes with water access, but also proximity to revitalized downtown areas with trendy restaurants and shopping.”

Even though most buyers are looking for vacation homes in Palm Beach – which make for the majority of the luxury market – there are plenty of affluent people looking to buy a primary residence.

The third quarter also brought a 20 percent increase in luxury homes in Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco. The former city is currently undergoing the most influential residential boon since the 1920s. Consequently, many wealthy house-hunters that would otherwise be more attracted to Los Angeles, New York, or Miami, are now interested in buying a residence in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Seattle is a constant attraction for rich tech industry workers, seeing that many IT companies have set up shop in the West Coast city.

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Miami’s Downfall

In contrast, Miami’s luxury prices have plummeted 10 percent over the past year. The average is now on solid price, due to the overabundance of expensive condos on the local market.

While the glut of luxury condo supply in Miami is not news, the Redfin agency predicts prices will continue to be low as long as home buyers know they have plenty of negotiating power and choices.

U.S. Luxury Price Tendencies

On a national level, Redfin’s report found that sales of homes have seen a slight increase (6.8 percent) in the third quarter, compared to a year earlier. This fact was surprising, given the political and economic uncertainty that existed in the run up to the U.S. election. Luxury home prices also rose with 1.4 percent over the same time period.

However, what the headline figures didn’t show is that the featured a slowdown. It was spurred by two factors: An oversupply of luxurious homes on the market and a weakening demand. The inventory of homes priced increased 17.2 percent, while the sales remained mostly flat, inching up just 0.4 percent.

According to Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin, “The super high-end homes are particularly out of sync with the rest of the market and seem to be bending toward a price correction given the tepid sales growth and double-digit pop in inventory at price points over $5 million.”

If you are interested in buying a luxury home in Palm Beach – whether for a vacation location or a permanent residence – below is a list of the most valued ones.

Villa Venezia, Ocean Boulevard

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Jeffery W. Smith, who designed this unique Venetian palazzo, created gorgeous rooms of unparalleled proportions to highlight the expansive water views along the estate. Built in 2000, the fairly new Villa Venezia sublimely combines modern amenities with a sophisticated feeling of old world elegance.

The Lakefront estate features more than 19,240 square feet of living space, which is divided among the main house, a garden house, and a cozy guest house. The expansive manicured grounds and the relaxing tropical landscaping are enough of an incentive to make you want to step into the timeless elegance of the villa.

Both the outdoor and indoor spaces beautifully highlight the sweeping water panoramas. It is noteworthy that the designer included elements of style such as the delicate craftsmanship of the stunning arched entry and the Old Venetian Plaster. Also, there are a number of coquina stone fireplaces and stenciled Cypress ceilings, to name just a few.

The indoor and outdoor spaces and the perfectly scaled rooms all come together to create an inviting atmosphere. The magical estate is perfect for any size gathering, offering the true feeling of Palm Beach living.

Viento y Mar, Gulf Stream, Palm Beach

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This private parades is enchantingly nestled in between the dunes on 200 feet of oceanfront. Located right across the Gulf Stream Golf Club, the estate went through a painstaking, over-three-year restoration before it came back to life. With its unique elements, the historic jewel combines luxurious elements sourced by the owner from all over the globe. The result is an uncharacteristic blend of timeless luxury and comfort.

Gulf Stream, the home of the villa, is an oceanfront treasure hidden in the heart of South Florida’s Gold Coast. Located just north of Delray Beach, the estate is 15 miles south of Palm Beach.

One of the key features of this paradise is the fountained entrance courtyard. It eases seamlessly into a foyer guarded by galleries around the central courtyard. What’s more romantic than a fountain center with a view to the ocean?

Keeping with the diamond-patterned antique limestone floors, the anteroom also features a beautiful cypress cathedral ceiling. The 19th-century, scrolling ironwork gates that surround the glass-enclosed oceanfront loggia also comes with a fireplace with a gorgeous 18th-century antique French mantelpiece.

An oceanside dance studio is located next to the main house, featuring a relaxing full bath and a wet bar. The gatehouse contains a living room, kitchen, dining area, powder room, two bedrooms, and two baths. The garden house, on the other hand, is ideal for staff, hosting the detached garage and an upstairs studio apartment.

Gemini, Manalapan

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The visitor feels a sense of wonder even before reaching the Manalapan’s luxurious barrier island. Just 20 minutes away from Palm Beach, the long gated drive is laden with tropical trees. It also unfurls along a dramatic panorama above the Intracoastal Waterway. The estate is a gem inside the expansive Ocean-to-Intracoastal haven.

This entire paradise is meant to leave you undeniably breathless. However, its most mesmerizing quality is that of the Ocean-to-Intracoastal “private island” property where the bifurcating road simply disappears. The magical effect is created by the residence’s large wings on the ocean as well as the Intracoastal side.

A unique 15-foot-wide residential gallery joins the two sides. It begins at ground level near the pool on the Intracoastal side and imperceptibly eases into a skylit foyer on the ocean side. This feature makes the two sides of the compound “twins,” inspiring the original name of the property: Gemini.

Gemini’s gorgeous grounds are a luxurious Caribbean-themed botanical garden. Even though they seem to be decades old, they provide modern amenities and a lavish setting for outdoor recreation. On the oceanfront, the serene beach is reinforced with dunes that border a golf practice area.

Lake Way, Palm Beach

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This custom-built lakefront estate with its magnificent front and rear elevation – not to mention the expansive water views – is one of the best picks on our list. You will feel presidential with the formal arrival through the manicured hedge, brick and pebble driveway into the court.

As soon as you enter the home, you are swept away by the Intracoastal views that brighten the home. Passing through the living room, you arrive in the formal dining, and then in the expansive family room. There’s also a chef’s kitchen and a cozy library. The estate features two full master suites, one on the ground floor and another upstairs.

This Palm Beach residence comes with an oversize pool and a private wood and aluminum dock. Stone and hardwood floors feature as luxurious interior finishes, as well as upgraded fittings and exotic marble. As one of the island’s best locations, the entire property is of the highest caliber and with careful attention to each detail.


Palm Beach is definitely at the top of luxurious vacation destination. Not just in the U.S., but worldwide, too, given its wide offering of accommodation options. While you can buy a vacation home, you can also book a room in one of the many hotels spread across the coastline.

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