As luxury home sales slow, sellers are looking at popular and valuable upgrades to boost returns.

High-end home sales grew 7 percent in October annually, which is the second slowest increase in more than two years, according to Realtor Magazine.

Inventories of homes for sale, however, are surging. The number of U.S. properties listed at $1 million or more is posting double-digit increases.

As a result of the slow down and growing supply, sellers are looking at upgrades throughout the home. Here are some of the most popular improvements, according to a broad report from The Wall Street Journal, which spoke with a variety of brokers, real estate agents, developers, and designers.

Smart home tech


Extensive technology is expected in luxury homes. Such systems as smart thermostats, security cameras, window shades, and smart locks are all popular additions. A variety of powerful software options make a smart home upgrade not as expensive as you might think.

Tall ceilings


Cathedral, vaulted and ten-foot ceilings are popular features in luxury homes. Buyers often care as much about ceiling height as they do square footage, according to the report. Depending on how steep your roof pitch is, vaulting a 20-by-20-foot room creates a new ceiling that’s 11 to 12 feet high at its peak, which will cost  $18,000 to $25,000, according to House Logic.

Quartzite on your countertops


This natural stone is stronger than granite and less prone to stains than marble. “Light whites and grays are replacing darker granites,” said Susan Boss, a broker-associate with Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty in Houston. “Buyers like to see a light, neutral countertop, not something so personalized or so busy that it’s competing with the tile on the backsplash.”

Retractable glass walls

Those eyeing high-end homes seem to love movable glass walls. Offering style and flexibility with spaces, movable glass walls are often replacing French doors in many luxury homes. “They give traditional floor pans that contemporary, updated look,” said Collette McDonald, an Atlanta RE/MAX real estate professional.

Big garages


Even if it’s just a couple, luxury homeowners tend to have more than just two cars. As such, they’re looking for homes with three- or four-car garages. 

Neutral colors

Light gray walls or flooring are popular colors for luxury homes. In fact,
gray is the most popular color for bathroom walls and floors across most homes, according to 1,144 U.S. homeowners surveyed by Houzz. Gray cabinets are also gaining popularity, climbing from a 10 percent share in 2016 to 16 percent in 2018.

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