Greenland's real-estate prices are on the rise, and the increased interest in the area mirrors the shifting interests of luxury buyers and travelers around the world

Business Insider US
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  • Real estate in Greenland's biggest cities is booming, reported Candace Taylor for The Wall Street Journal.
  • Several factors, including Trump's recent comments about buying Greenland, are fueling the fire, Taylor wrote.
  • But Greenland's appeal also lies in its exclusivity, from its remote location to property-buying challenges.
  • It correlates to the shifting interests of luxury real-estate buyers and travellers worldwide - they want an experience that's hard to obtain for others.
  • For more stories go to

Greenland may be cold, but its real-estate market is anything but.

Prices in the country's big cities, like Ilulissat and Nuuk, its capital, are rising, reported Candace Taylor for The Wall Street Journal. They're most expensive in Nuuk, she wrote, where luxury housing starts at $589,000 (R8 million ) and the highest-priced home sold for $1.25 million (R8 million) in 2018.

The increase in attention and the price hikes stem from a variety of factors, Taylor wrote: people leaving Greenland's smaller towns for better opportunities; an increase in Airbnbs (although Airbnb told Taylor there's no correlation between Airbnb listings and housing affordability); and President Trump's recent comments about buying Greenland. Interest is also coming from international buyers, she added.

But Greenland's exclusivity also holds a major appeal.

It has one airport, limited developable land, and areas so remote that some places "are reachable only by boat, plane, or dogsled," Taylor wrote.

That's not to mention the country's air of mystery. "They think we ride polar bears and live in igloos," Kenneth Mortensen, a Nuuk real-estate agent told Taylor.

It's all indicative of a shifting interest among luxury real-estate buyers, who look not only for aesthetics or a high price tag, but an experience that others can't buy.

Luxury is about experience and exclusivity

In a June interview with Mansion Global, New York-based designer Andrew Kotchen, founding principal of architecture and design firm Workshop/APD, said that luxury is more about experience than being a place, thing, or product.

And experience can take many forms. In the case of luxury condo developers in the US, pouring money into "well-being" amenities is currently the trend. Los Angeles condominium 1030 Kings, for one has an outdoor yoga deck; Arbor18 in Brooklyn boasts not only a zen garden but also an infrared sauna with built-in chromotherapy.

For others, experience as a luxury revolves around heading to unknown destinations.

"There's no more formality in luxury and hotels need to understand our guests," Jenni Benzaquen, vice president of luxury brands in Europe for Marriott International, told Deanna Ting of Skift. "They want what's unforgettable and unique, and they have a thirst for the unknown and they are going to markets where their friends haven't been before."

It's the same thing affluent travelers seek: an exclusive experience. As Business Insider's Lina Batarags previously reported, the elite "want personalised experiences that are either inherently unique or specifically tailored to them."

Between its far-flung location and its scenery, Greenland real-estate is the perfect exclusivity-meets-experience combination that luxury buyers and luxury travelers are seeking.

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