Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
By Robert Lockard
This is my last blog entry in this luxury real estate blog. After more than a year and a half of blogging, I'm afraid my time has come to an end. I'm about to move on to something new and scary, but I suppose change always involves some degree of fear and discomfort. I will no longer be the editor of the Luxury Real Estate Blog.
Thank you very much, everyone who has taken the time to share their thoughts on this blog. I'm sorry if I wasn't able to respond to all of your comments, but I definitely read them all and tried to incorporate what I learned from them into future posts. I have grown a lot in the past year and a half and I think you can definitely see that by going back through my many blog entries and seeing me try to articulate my feelings and ideas.
I don't know if I'll be able to respond to your comments on this blog entry, so I hope you won't be offended if you write me something and I am unable to respond for some time. Thank you again for sharing a wonderful discussion with me. I would say more, but once again I feel compelled to hold my tongue and simply encourage you to keep holding to hope in these perilous times. Don't put your trust in men, but build your foundation on something sure.
Farewell, my friends.
By Cedric Choi
SEPTEMBER 2008 STATISTICS FOR SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCES – HONOLULU, HAWAII
Honolulu Board of REALTORS’® Monthly Statistical Report for September 2008 (released October 1, 2008). Each month, the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® issues a statistical report analyzing residential real estate activity on the island of Oahu. In addition to the general island-wide statistics, following is information for select individual neighborhoods:
Waialae/Kahala – See page 8 of Monthly Statistical Report
The statistics for this month are significantly different from last month, it is amazing! Comparing September 2007 to September 2008, the median price for a home in 2008 was down 33.3% (the same comparison for August 2007 and August 2008 showed the median price was up 37.8%). For the year-to-date statistics for January through September of 2007 versus January through September 2008, the median price for the neighborhood was up 7%.
Diamond Head – See page 8 of Monthly Statistical Report
The statistics are not specific (as provided by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®), since the Diamond Head area (a high-end neighborhood) is mixed into the Kapahulu area (a moderately priced neighborhood). For the Kapahulu-Diamond Head area, the median price decreased by 3.3% compared to the same month in 2007. For the year-to-date (January through September of 2007 compared to 2008), the median price decreased by 3.3%.
Kailua-Waimanalo – See page 8 of Monthly Statistical Report
September 2007 compared to September 2008 had a -14.1% increase in the median price. Comparing January through September 2007 and the same period in 2008 shows a decrease of 4.9% in the median price.
Other Specific Neighborhoods – There is no substitute for market information from people who are qualified and who know your market. The best way to view a specific neighborhood is to have your agent prepare and review a Comparative Market Analysis with you. For example, the MLS service permits us to do searches within very discrete Oahu neighborhoods, including Kahala/Black Point, Diamond Head, Ala Moana/Kaka’ako, Waikiki/Gold Coast, Hawaii Kai/Portlock, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Kailua/Lanikai and the North Shore.
It has been our experience that the neighborhoods that we concentrate on are less volatile than the market as a whole, which is down about 10%. Part of that involves the worldwide demand for spectacular luxury properties in outstanding locations.
Relative to the overall Oahu market, according to Harvey Shapiro, the Research Economist for the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, “It appears that the Oahu housing market is reacting to the economic crisis that has been affecting financial markets worldwide.”
Cedric Choi is the Vice President and Administrative Manager of Choi International, a member of the Luxury Real Estate Board of Regents. As a practicing attorney for more than 25 years, Mr. Choi has principally concentrated in areas involving commercial matters. Very interesting blog entry. Every one I post on the Luxury Real Estate Blog seems completely distinct in both tone and voice from every other. You can see similarities and fun little patterns when you read one person’s blog entries over a period of time, but it’s also fun to get a breadth of styles and information from a bunch of different sources, as well. Be sure to visit www.ChoiRealty.com for more resources on buying a luxury home in Hawaii.
By Jim Walberg
From his blog: Some East Bay Real Estate Is On The Slippery Slide Of FEAR!
Once you get on the Slipper Slide of Fear, it is difficult to get off! Please stay off that slippery slide!
So, I picked up USA Today last Saturday on my flight to the Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in Philadelphia where I was a presenter. The USA Today headline was, “FEAR is a slippery slide!” In some of my past comments I have used the sailor’s mantra, “Do not be fearful!” It still applies today, in spite of an almost 900-point recovery on the Dow Jones the past two days. Don’t forget… once you step on the “slippery slide” of fear, the momentum carries you away very quickly.
The voice of experience, the voice of the local authority, and the voice of credibility can still prevail. And we are the ones that need to be that voice. I just completed a walk from the Philadelphia Ritz Carlton to Constitution Hall, the Liberty Bell, and other reminders of the work our founding fathers did on our behalf 230+ years ago. What an inspiring day! (You may recall this is the organization that is the acknowledged authority of luxury real estate! It was founded by John Brian Losh with a vision of connecting the best luxury brokers and agents in the world – 1,900 members from 65 countries.)
Do you think they were afraid? Of course they were. But, the consequence of letting fear paralyze them from action was not acceptable. Instead of the “slippery slide” of fear taking them away from the liberty and freedom they so dearly wanted for our country, they discovered – step by step – the actions needed to create the most incredible democracy in our world’s history. It was very hard. Thousands of lives were lost as part of that payment for liberty. And, the founding fathers never lost site of end result that was required – FREEDOM!
There is a book I have enjoyed reading several times – “The Tipping Point.” They have a very insightful analysis of Paul Revere’s ride in Boston a few days before the Revolutionary War was officially declared. His ride was so effective that it mobilized the citizens along his route in a manner that called them to action in stopping the British from confiscating their arms stored in Concord. Did you know there was a second rider who was sent in a different direction to alert another section of Massachusetts to immediately prepare to defend Concord. Does anyone remember his name? In fact, I had never heard of him before I read “The Tipping Piont.” He was totally and utterly ineffective in his call to arms.
What was the difference between these two men with similar intentions? Paul Revere was one of the most respected local authorities on what was happening within the colonies which he believed required a liberation movement to break away from British rule – even if it meant war. I would like to be as effective as Paul Revere during these uncertain economic times. We are the local citizens calling our “citizens” to action in order to work through the financial crisis we are in. Will you join me as we serve our clients and communities, and help them off the “Slippery Slide of Fear?” (You get bonus points if you email me with the other freedom rider’s name whose ride was a waste of time.) Contact me with your thoughts. Until next time…
Jim Walberg is the co-Broker/Owner of The Bay Area Team, the most-successful team at Keller Williams Realty-Danville. He is also a member of the global Luxury Real Estate network. Jim is an exceptional blogger, as you can see by visiting his blogs, East Bay Real Estate and Caribbean Islands Realty, and reading his great blog entries like the one above. He is the master of fractionals and other luxury homes in the Bay Area and the Caribbean, and he always has a lot of great opportunities to share. Simply marvelous. This is the last blog entry from Jim that I will have the privilege of editing and posting to the Luxury Real Estate Blog. I am always impressed by his enthusiasm, cheerful disposition and unparalleled kindness. Thank you, Jim, for being such a good person and being a light to a world of shadows and fear. You are amazing.
By Robert Lockard
I have some very fun news to share. A new TNT movie starring Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. is currently filming in the Detroit area, and part of the filming is being done at a waterfront luxury home on Windmill Point Drive in Grosse Pointe Park. This property is being represented by Higbie Maxon Agney, Inc. Realtors, a member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and the Board of Regents.
Check out this wonderful story in the Grosse Pointe News that I received earlier this week. Sorry I don’t have a link to the story online. Apparently, that newspaper doesn’t post some of their stories on their Web site, but luckily I have a PDF version of the printed article.
The movie is called “Gifted Hands: The Story of Ben Carson” and it follows the life of Ben Carson, born into poor conditions, who was able to lift himself up and become a famed pediatric neurosurgeon. It’s scheduled to debut on TNT on Feb. 7, 2009. I love inspirational stories about good people triumphing over difficult circumstances. Actually, this discussion reminds of a blog entry that Jim Walberg, the co-Owner/Broker of The Bay Area Team, just wrote about not giving in to fear despite our difficult financial market.
The luxury property on Windmill Pointe Drive is quite remarkable. It includes near two acres of land, its own private dock and 12,000 square feet of living space for $7.3 million. If you’d like more information, you can contact Heather Adragna Ulku or check out this brochure on the property.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate's newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. Feel free to share your good news like this with us, as well. I love reading and writing good stories for the Luxury Real Estate Blog. The photo of Cuba Gooding Jr. is from www.flickr.com/photos/rafamado/2635448556 and it is the copyright of Rafael Amado Deras.
By Serge Cowan
Cyprus offers a superb tax system whereby foreign pensions will only ever be taxed at 5 percent – maximum. “This is exceptional,” says Serge Cowan, MD at Unique Living, specialist property agents offering supreme luxury and lifestyle homes around the world including luxury homes for sale in Limassol.
“When looking for a retirement home, one has to consider not just what the country has to offer but also where you stand financially. Cyprus must come high on people’s agenda because it has so many benefits”.
In some countries you could be paying tax in your home country on pension income of 40 percent or even higher, so the 5 percent is something that really needs to be taken into consideration when buying abroad.
Cyprus also has many other benefits: good year-round weather, low crime rate, you drive on the left, a cosmopolitan atmosphere, quality golf courses, European Union membership and superbly located at the east end of the Mediterranean, providing convenient access to the Middle East and Far East as well as Europe.
In addition, the Government of Southern Cyprus is making big strides to be a serious contender in the world of “movers and shakers.” Developments are increasingly for the luxury market, and soon to be released is a Marina Resort in Limassol. This is to include a manmade island for residential villas, plus there is rumoured to be a 5-star hotel and berths for 600 privately owned boats. All of which is to be in the heart of the old town of Limassol and its rapidly growing commercial and business centre.
“Southern Cyprus is rapidly changing and those who are astute can be part of this altering picture – one that is creating a supremely elegant and sophisticated island to appeal to discerning buyers from around the world. A shrewd buyer looking at the current market place will not be disappointed with Cyprus and in particular luxury real estate in Limassol,” concludes Serge.
Founded in 2002 by Serge Cowan and Sophie Hammond, Unique Living’s portfolio of luxury properties for sale includes new property developments, resale property, villas, townhouses, penthouses and apartments in prime locations around the world. Unique Living is headquartered in London and it is a member of Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate. Let’s see, in the past week or so we’ve received blog entries on Costa Rica, Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia, Vanuatu, France and now Cyprus. This is very exciting. Keep checking the Luxury Real Estate Blog for great information like this. Also, feel free to submit your own blog entries for consideration. The photo of the Limassol, Cyprus shoreline is from www.flickr.com/photos/mamchenkov/281322233 and it is the copyright of Leonid Mamchenkov.
By Todd Cutter
Breathtaking beaches, stunning rainforests teeming with wildlife, pristine waterfalls, lakes, and rivers, along with endless activities ranging from adrenaline-boosting eco-adventures to soothing relaxation in some of the worlds premier resorts are just a few of the reasons why Costa Rica has become a Mecca for vacationers, retirees and investors from the world over. Costa Rica’s stunning natural beauty and abundance of wildlife are matched only by the warmhearted and peace-loving people who call this paradise home.
The unique combination of tropical rainforests, stunning beaches, active volcanoes, world-class surfing, an array of adventure activities, some of the world's most breathtaking rivers, waterfalls, and other dazzling natural phenomenon have made Costa Rica an ideal location for travelers from all walks of life, looking to rediscover the natural wonders which inspire us all. In recent years, Costa Rica has also become increasingly well-known for its investment potential, stable democracy, inexpensive cost of living, first-class health-care system, and overall lifestyle it can offer the international community.
With an environment of enormous potential, Costa Rica has investors, retirees, as well as vacationers from all over the globe flocking to seize on the opportunities to own their own piece of this tropical paradise. Whether you are looking for a vacation getaway for you family, a rental property offering secure annual returns and appreciation, or the retirement spot of your dreams, Costa Rica offers the answer.
Finding a more complete destination is nearly impossible. To have such a spectacular natural backdrop, without sacrificing a peaceful and stable democracy, tremendous investment potential, a fantastic health care system, booming tourism, and an ever-expanding infrastructure makes Costa Rica a truly unique destination for investors, vacationers and retirees alike.
Todd Cutter is a real-estate agent with 2Costa Rica Real Estate, a member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. Originally from Birmingham, Ala., Cutter came to Costa Rica in 1998 after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Spanish for International Business. Upon his arrival, he founded an online travel business. Although his travel business is still in operation today, he sold the business to dedicate all of his time and energy to 2Costa Rica Real Estate. He specializes in large development parcels, hotel development and marketing programs for developer partners. Another LuxuryRealEstate.com member has submitted content to the Luxury Real Estate Blog. This is wonderful. That’s a lot of praise for Costa Rica! I’ve been hearing quite a bit about great investments to be found in that beautiful country. Maybe that would be a good place to seek your new luxury home.
By Jim Walberg
From his blog: Caribbean Fractionals Expanding To Botany Bay Resort!
St. Thomas, USVI is the location, and the former Preserve At Botany Bay is the spot!
Caribbean fractionals continue to be THE real estate choice of thousands of Caribbean buyers. Last week David Burden – founder and CEO of Timbers Resorts – announced that the ultra-luxury resort located on the western tip of St. Thomas will be managed by the international hospitality management group – Jumeirah Group, which is a member of Dubai Holding. This announcement was made at the signing ceremony with Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of Jumeirah (Remember my past article about the Virgin Islands fractional market?).
“We selected Jumeirah as the ideal hotel company to partner with at this unprecedented resort on the secluded western tip of St. Thomas,” remarked David Burden. “Based on their internationally renowned hotel experience in luxury service, they will be a perfect match for our discerning owners and resort guests.”
Jumeirah Botany Bay Resort is one of the true world-class luxury resorts which include mashed-potato sand beaches, private coves to explore, protected coral reefs and a nature conservancy, ultra-fine dining, a beach club as well as a Talise Wellness Spa.
Jumeirah Group will manage the five-star luxury hotel of 84 rooms, spread over nine tropical buildings in a very secluded setting on St. Thomas’ western shores. Scheduled to open in 2011, the 400-acre resort will also include 30 fractional residences, 30 whole-ownership villas and 20 grand estates. These full-service residences will be managed by Jumeirah Living, combining the luxury of a prestige hotel with all the privacy and comforts of your home away from home.
Jumeirah Group is also in the midst of ultra-luxury resort developments in Phuket, Shanghai, Argentina, Mallorca, London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Jordan, among others. “We are impressed by Timbers Resorts’ commitment to responsible development and the care with which they intend to develop this protected enclave,” said Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of the Jumeirah Group. “With its secluded location in a tropical environment, the Jumeirah Botany Bay Resort will be true to our ‘STAY DIFFERENT’ promise.”
Timbers Resorts is a world-class developer that we have enjoyed working with in serving our client’s needs. The Timbers Collection is a group of small, private, luxury resort properties in the world’s most sought-after ski, golf, beach and scenic countryside locations. They include One Steamboat Place in Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Botany Bay Resort on St. Thomas in the USVI; Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Italy; The Rocks Luxury Residence Club in Scottsdale, Arizona; Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; The Timbers Club in Snowmass, Colorado; and there latest is The Orchard at The Carneros Inn in Napa Valley.
For further information regarding Botany Bay Resort, or any other of the Jumeirah and Timbers Collection, contact me today! We are standing ready to serve any of your luxury real estate needs around the world! I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Jim Walberg is the co-Broker/Owner of The Bay Area Team, the most-successful team at Keller Williams Realty-Danville. He is also a member of the global Luxury Real Estate network. Jim is an exceptional blogger, as you can see by visiting his blogs, East Bay Real Estate and Caribbean Islands Realty, and reading his great blog entries like the one above. He is the master of fractionals and other luxury homes in the Bay Area and the Caribbean, and he always has a lot of great opportunities to share. Hmm… Botany Bay. You know what that reminds me of? Call me crazy, but Botany Bay brings to mind Khan Noonien Singh, the famous villain in one of my favorite films of all time, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. As Khan would say: Ah, Jim Walberg… my old friend. Do you know the proverb that says vacations are a dish best served warm? It is very warm and pleasant… in the Caribbean! Feel free to nerd out in the Comments section if you know what I’m talking about.
By Robert Lockard
Ilya Moshenskiy, the Principal Photographer of Ilya’s Photography, recently came home from an eventful trip to Cannes for the International Boat & Yacht Show. He arrived with a whole bunch of beautiful photos highlighting the celebration of luxurious watercraft of all shapes and sizes. Check out his collection of photos here:
Ilya is no stranger to covering big events with his keen eye for small details. Near the end of summer this year, he took time to photograph beautiful images at Seafair in Seattle. He has also been present at many Luxury Real Estate conferences, and he will be at the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference on Oct. 11-14, 2008. He’s such a hard worker and we definitely appreciate all of his efforts here at Luxury Real Estate.
Enjoy some of his amazing work below. Be sure to contact him at Contact him at ilya (at) ilyaestate.com or 425.883.2246 for all of your photography needs, including luxury homes, events, food and more.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate's newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. All of the photos in this blog entry are the copyright of Ilya’s Photography.
By Michael Marquette
From his blog: Australia’s most expensive apartment SOLD in Potts Point
Potts Point in Sydney has achieved Australia’s record apartment price with a $20 million penthouse sale.
An undisclosed “prominent Sydney businessman” bought the apartment off-the-plan after the Sydney City Council approved the development on Monday.
The two-level penthouse, with views across Woolloomooloo Bay towards the central business district, Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, will have 530 square metres of internal space and 115 square metres of balcony.
The Wylde Street sale trumps an $18.2 million off-the-plan penthouse sale in East Melbourne and the $16.8 million Sydney record sale in Macquarie Street’s Bennelong block earlier this year.
The Ashington Group, chaired by mortgage broker Mark Bouris, bought the development site for $15.5 million last year, indicating it viewed Potts Point as one of the true urban villages of Sydney.
“The sale was a sign that buyers will act quickly for distinctive apartment product,” Ashington’s director, Craig Minahan, said yesterday.
The design by architects Tzannes Associates echoes the curved glazing and copper roofing in the neighbouring 1930s heritage-listed Wyldefel Gardens residential complex.
The nine apartments included in the development with the penthouse will have interiors by fashion designer Alex Perry.
Interestingly, the Australian newspaper incorrectly quoted the apartment as being in Point Piper, not Potts Point.
Michael Marquette is the co-Founder and Director of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, a member of Luxury Real Estate in East Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Founded on Australia Day 2007 by Marquette and Simon Turner, Marquette Turner is a property consultancy company covering the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Marquette has a background in medicine and a large retail and wholesale business. Marquette and Turner just can’t stop providing excellent content like this for the Luxury Real Estate Blog. People are still interested in purchasing luxury properties for the right price. Keep looking for good news and you’re sure to find it.
By Benjamin Pradel
From his blog: [TELEVISION 3] HGTV & R. CHAYLA Immobilier - "House Hunters international"
Pie Town Productions est une importante société de production américaine basée à Los Angeles et à Chicago.
Elle cumule aujourd’hui plus de 3200 émissions de télévision de tous les styles. Elle s’est tournée ces dernières années vers des émissions de décoration et de rénovation qui font fureur actuellement dans tous les pays anglophones et dont on commence à voir quelques exemples sur nos chaînes françaises. De leur série d’émissions House Hunters international (n°1 aux usa) diffusée sur la chaine américaine HGTV (Home and Garden Television) ils parcourent le monde à la recherche d’agents immobiliers spécialistes des transactions internationales. Cette émission au format Télé réalité, diffusée dans de nombreux pays anglophones (USA, Grande Bretagne, Canada, Australie, Nouvelle Zélande & Finlande), détaille les différentes étapes de l’acquisition de biens immobiliers par des clients étrangers. Pour les besoins de leurs émissions dynamiques à très forte audience, (91 millions de foyers rien que sur les USA), que vous pouvez revoir sur leur site internet www.hgtv.com ou sur celui de la société de production Pie Town TV (www.pietown.tv), ils filment des achats de biens immobiliers à Paris pour un appartement ayant vue sur la Tour Eiffel, ainsi qu’à São Paulo, Prague, en Jamaïque, Hollande, en Ecosse, aux Bahamas... et en passant par cet épisode qui vient de se tourner au sein de notre agence de Limoux.
Notre agence communique régulièrement sur des supports internationaux en direction notamment des Américains. Les producteurs nous ont donc contacté pour organiser un tournage sur notre activité et afin de détailler un processus d’acquisition d’un logement de caractère dans notre région. Une équipe de télévision a donc débarqué à Limoux, afin de tourner un scénario dans l’Aude. Le tournage a attiré de nombreux curieux, passionné les employés de l’agence et devrait, si l’on considère la forte audience de ces émissions, attirer des investisseurs d’outre Atlantique.
Billet issu de l’article rédigé par “Le Journal de Carcassonne” à qui nous adressons un grand merci, contrairement aux autres quotidiens et médias locaux qui nous ont informés être surchargés pour cause de vendanges !
Rendez-vous pris pour le tournage d’une suite d’ici 6 mois que nous ne manquerons pas de diffuser sur ce blog.
Don’t speak French? Click here for an English version of this blog entry. Benjamin Pradel is an Information and Technology Specialist with R. CHAYLA Immobilier in Carcassonne, France. Founded in 1991, R. CHAYLA has a multilingual team, agencies with cutting-edge technology and exposure on dozens of Web sites. They are known across France, and their international exposure grows daily. They are members of the global Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network and regular contributors to the Luxury Real Estate Blog. What a positive development! It’s very smart to work with media companies like HGTV to gain exposure for luxury properties. By the way, “House Hunters” is the most popular show on HGTV, I believe.
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