Wall Street recovery leads to luxury property boom

Property markets in the US and Europe may be recovering at a generally slow pace, but there's one category that's rebounding faster than the rest – luxury property. Across the traditional high-end destinations in the international property market, agents have reported an increase in enquiries and sales for homes above the million mark, as stock market rebounds make the super-rich more secure in their income than they have been in several years.

With Wall Street stock prices now almost double their 2009 lows, property sales are picking up rapidly in the wealthy investor's first port of call – New York. A total of 70 Manhattan listings above $4 million went into contract last month, the highest number since before the crash in January 2007.

CNN also reports a nationwide increase in luxury property sales across the US. According to real estate data provider DataQuick Information Systems, sales of million-dollar homes rose in all 20 major metropolitan areas across the country last year, with the highest increase in San Jose, California, where sales rose 27.4%. Outside of this bracket, however, sales fell by 2.8%.

Across the pond, British estate agents Knight Frank have also reported an increase in high-end enquiries within their overseas property sector. Liam Bailey, head of residential research at the firm, indentified the Swiss ski resort of St Moritz, the Cap Ferrat area in the French Riviera and the Portuguese golfing haven of the Algarve as hot spots for luxury property investment in 2011. "Wealthy residents from a growing number of countries are investing more of their portfolios in luxury residential property across a wide variety of locations", said Bailey.