Within the past few years, the sale of luxury homes (worth more than $1 million) has risen as the housing market recovers. But instead of choosing typical luxury locales, buyers are opting for something a little different, tending towards cities that abound in natural beauty and are more quiet than they are cosmopolitan. EmpireCLS recently took a look at the top five fastest-growing places for luxury homes, according to Christie’s International Real Estate.

Auckland, New Zealand—Luxury sales have grown over 60 percent in this coastal city on New Zealand’s North Island. Like most places on this list, Auckland seems a rather unassuming location, lacking the overt glamour of more cosmopolitan locations like New York or London. If the growth of Auckland’s luxury market is anything to go by, it looks like an unassuming, peaceful location is exactly what luxury buyers look for these days. Auckland combines the best of a quietly thriving cultural hub with a rural retreat where trailways and rocky coastlines are never too far away. Plus, Auckland’s strong economy and lack of visa requirements, capital gains tax and stamp duty are appealing.

Toronto, Canada—Real estate agents have reported sales of high-end Toronto homes that have been on market for a mere 4 weeks. The city’s economic stability and business boom have been extremely attractive to luxury home buyers, and its growing population recently made the city larger than Chicago. Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in North America, and its citizens’ pride in their hometown’s progressive, peaceful culture is matchless. The city’s cultural beauty is also paralleled by the contrast between its striking post-industrial architecture and lush wine country just beyond Toronto’s limits.

Victoria, Canada—Another, very different Canadian city sits just below Toronto on the list of luxury hotspots. Victoria is another culturally-rich city that tempers its urban landscape with surroundings on clear water and white mountains. Victoria has a reputation for retaining its Britishness, sometimes to the point of being stuffy. However, in recent years, afternoon tea till holds a place in the Victorian heart, but has made way for lattes and kombucha, as well. This combination of refinement, trendiness and natural beauty has made it an irresistible location for buyers.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming—Wyoming’s reputation as a somewhat desolate, hardscrabble place might make it surprising that Jackson Hole is a prime luxury location—but one look at this rural destination puts that perception to rest. The “Hole” is actually a 400 square foot valley surrounded on all sides by towering mountains, free-roaming wildlife, pristine water, open land and prime skiing territory. Not to mention, the tough Wild West image of Wyoming belies a warmth and friendliness rarely found in larger cities.

Portland, Oregon—Portland’s reputation as an eco-conscious, left-wing hipster city is so ingrained that it’s earned an entire TV show dedicated to parsing it quirks. Thanks to the tech industry generating an economic boom, it’s also slowly becoming a luxury bastion, though “slow” might be an understatement, since Portland’s luxury housing market has grown by 40%. (Don’t worry, Portlandians—the city’s still weird.)

Even if you don’t plan on buying a home in these locations, we highly recommend a visit to each of them. Learn more
about how we can help get you there with chauffeured, luxury car service by visiting EmpireCLS’s homepage.

Photo: flickr