James Harris sells some of Los Angeles’s most expensive homes while starring in the reality TV series, Million Dollar Listing, and prepping for the release of his upcoming real estate newsletter, The Blueprint.
For him, “The real estate comes first, the show comes second,” so we got on the phone and chatted about the real estate market, industry trends, and the bloody (he’s British btw) unbelievable amenities high net worth clients request for their not-so-humble abodes.
How is the real estate market looking?
It is absolutely fantastic. It’s been the strongest year and a half of real estate I’ve ever seen. The market right now is fueled by interest rates being as low as they are—debt is unbelievably cheap to borrow from the bank. On top of that, the home has always been the sanctuary. But when Covid hit, the home really became the sanctuary, creating a bull market. And that’s not just in California. That’s across America and really even across the world.
What are the biggest trends you’re seeing in luxury real estate lately?
Wellness. It used to be, “Oh, we’ll just put in a sauna or a steam room and we’ll be done.” Now it’s like a cold plunge, a sauna, a steam…I saw a house recently that had a bloody surgery room in it.
What’s the most requested amenity among high net worth clients?
I don’t want to repeat myself, but it is wellness right now. People also love the idea of two kitchens: Having your display kitchen that’s galleried in the main living area, and then having a chef’s kitchen, which is separated from the main area of the home so that you don’t have to make a big mess in your house and you can keep it tucked away from everything else.
In the LA luxury market, what are the biggest deal breakers for your clients?
If you can believe it, no elevator. Also, not having privacy. Everybody wants privacy.
What is the next up-and-coming real estate market besides Austin?
Well, everyone’s saying Austin right now. But also, all the secondary markets have gone through the roof: Nantucket, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, any secondary market right now is booming.
Do you have a go-to celebration when you close a big deal?
I don’t have a go-to celebration, but I do love to go away for the weekend with my family. And I love to just enjoy time by the beach and actually enjoy the win because a lot of people don’t actually enjoy the win. They just go, go, go. And that’s what I did for many, many years.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.