Most luxury homebuyers are looking for two amenities when they start house shopping.

A survey by looked at what luxury homebuyers want the most in a house. The majority of respondents – 54 percent – said they wanted a chef’s kitchen. Another large group – 44 percent of people surveyed – said they wanted a sprawling view of oceans, mountains or cityscapes. Fewer people surveyed – 36 percent – said the master suite was a must-have.

Luxury homebuyers are on the rise around the country. In my home city of Chicago, for example, third-quarter ultra-luxury home sales priced at $3 million or more were at their highest levels since the first quarter of 2008. Relatively moderate luxury price points vary – from one million dollars on the East and West Coasts to $500,000 or more in the South and Midwest.

So who are these luxury buyers? The survey asked respondents what prompted their search and 19 percent said it was a recent success in their career while 17 percent said they entered the market because they were newly retired.

Perhaps the biggest surprise about these luxury homebuyers is that their interests aren’t that different from the middle class. They’re not necessarily looking for indoor tennis courts or dollar-sign-shaped swimming pools. In fact, 40 percent of those surveyed said the toughest part of their housing search was finding a place to fit their family’s needs.

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