Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
The Visendum technological wood, manufactured in Spain, is an intelligent and sustainable alternative to the tropical wood and the chemically treated wood for outdoor use. Visendum contributes in this way, towards the prevention of climate change, because the material derives from recycled wood, no more tree felling! Luxury Homes by VAPF has been using this innovative material for many years now and is a regular feature on the pool terraces and bar-b-q areas of its luxury homes, such as the villa model Llorença at the Sol Luxury Reserve on the North Costa Blanca in Spain.
Visendum is a microcomposite of wood primarily obtained from recycled wood, chips or sawdust. These are mixed with a polymer resin, with a major proportion of wood. The material resulting from this mixture is almost the finished product: technological wood that may acquire the shape, texture and colour desired, allowing for an extensive variety of products, fully recyclable.
Visendum is a technological wood for exterior use which is maintenance free, rot-proof, durable, safe, practical, aesthetic and sustainable, substituting tropical timber. The technology involves the extrusion of wood thus combining the advantages of this transformation method: regularity, precision, complex shapes with the advantage of wood, insulation, rigidity and appearance.
On top of this, the production process is clean, requires little energy and does not pollute.
Some of the most outstanding properties of the technological wood outdoor paving are:
- Safe - It contains no toxic products, it’s non-slip and does not splinter.
- Durable – It does not loose your colour, is water resistant, resistant also to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, termites and fungi.
- Comfortable – It’s maintenance free, with no need to be protected with oil or varnish. Just use water to clean.
- Versatile and Recyclable – It can have any shape, texture and colour, allowing for a variety of recyclable products.
- Resistant - Being a solid material, it leaves no space for water to accumulate and become rotten, and it supports 450 kg/sqm.
One of the most frequent questions asked by our customers when viewing our property portfolio at the Cumbre del Sol residential estate on the Costa Blanca in Spain is: “How far is it to the nearest private school?”
Well, this is a really easy question for us to answer as, situated within the residential estate is the The Lady Elizabeth International Junior School, belonging to the Laude Education Group. Colegios LAUDE, is a network of private and independent schools in Spain and England in which the learning experience goes beyond the walls of the classroom and the limits of the teaching programmes, with multilingual education at all school levels.
When young families relocate to other countries for whatever reason (normally, when it comes to choosing Spain, the reason for relocating is a better quality of life and the great weather), they look for an educational institution which will provide their children with a solid background so that they will be capable of choosing for themselves where they will like to live and work in the future. A multilingual education designed to allow students to perform skilfully in international and multicultural environments; a multidisciplinary education, integral and advanced, which will provide them with essential IT and multimedia skills, and which will encourage the creation of social skills through the sports and complementary activities promoted in each of Laude´s schools.
The School follows the British EYFS guidance and Primary National Curriculum, with the addition of Spanish for all pupils, and is accredited with homologation within the Spanish System. A wide range of extra-curricular activities including sports, arts and third languages (French, German and Russian) is also provided. There are Specialist teachers for Spanish, PE, ICT, Music, Drama and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). ESOL pupils have the opportunity to study for Cambridge English examinations. The School is also a Centre for LAMDA examinations in verse and prose. Take a look at the video featuring the schools installations on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf6GwxJZy7I.
Students and teachers alike at The Lady Elizabeth School can be extremely proud of the results of last year’s Cambridge International Examinations, with the following top places in the world ranking awarded to students at the school:
o Child Development: Top in the World.
o English Language: Top in Spain.
o Art and Design: Top in the World.
o Business Studies: Top in Spain.
o Literature in English: Top in Spain.
Luxury Homes by VAPF not only provides the customer with his/her ideal dream home, completely personalized to suit their individual requirements, but also the location and the services available, such as this prestigious international school, make the full package the ideal solution for worry-free relocation.
That seems to be the nagging question 365 days a year, and there’s no reprieve while on vacation. In fact, it can be even more challenging when you have children of varying ages with specific likes and dislikes to deal with – and let’s face it, they all have likes and dislikes! While you and your spouse might be dying to try that fine dining Hawaiian Fusion restaurant that everyone has been raving about, you know that little Johnny will have no part of seafood, and keeping Sally entertained in the highchair will require nothing short of a live appearance from Elmo himself. This poses the ultimate vacation challenge, because it’s not a mere question of “What’s for Dinner tonight?” you need to know what’s for breakfast and lunch, too – times 7! So, on your typical week vacation this question will beg to be answered 21 times!
Let’s consider you have the stamina to repeatedly answer this question each day, and are equipped with the ingenuity to satisfy everyone’s palate. Now you have to take into consideration the expense of eating out 21 times. Let’s see, a family of four, three times a day (don’t forget to carry the 1), and Cha-Ching! – you could have stayed another night!
Ok, you see where I’m going with this. Finicky kids + Added Expense = Why are we doing this again?
Enter Private Trade Winds Villa Vacations (can you hear the hallelujah chorus?). Renting a villa as opposed to a hotel room has multiple advantages, but for Johnny and Sally’s parent’s sake, I’m just going to focus on meals. Private Trade Winds villas are equipped with either a complete or gourmet kitchen, with the former complete kitchen offering guests the ability to prepare a standard meal, and the gourmet kitchen is equipped with all the high-end appliances and cookware needed to prepare an entire Thanksgiving feast! With the added convenience of a kitchen, the need to dine out for every meal is eliminated and money and sanity are restored.
Another service provided by Private Trade Winds is the option of pre arrival grocery shopping. Families love this service, and our Travel Advisors coordinate this so groceries are conveniently stocked in the cupboards and refrigerator upon your arrival. The only thing you need to do is fill out the shopping list. The last thing you want to deal with after a long plane ride is a stop at the grocery store to stock your villa, and shopping at an unfamiliar store takes so much longer, because you’re not sure where everything is. Pre arrival grocery shopping takes that stress away and allows you to start enjoying your vacation immediately upon arrival.
Of course, going out to dinner is relaxing when you don’t have to go out for every single meal. Our Concierge will not only book your dinner reservations, but will arrange a babysitter so you can spend a nice romantic evening at that Hawaiian Fusion place for just you and your spouse.
The main concern most people have in booking a villa vacation is that they fear they will forfeit the service and amenities typically found only in high-end resorts. That is a valid concern, and you should avoid randomly booking a villa without doing your due diligence, but a company such as Private Trade Winds specializes in villa rentals, and we do our due diligence to guarantee a 5-star experience for you. Not only will you not sacrifice the service and amenities found in a hotel, but you will gain a place at the table for Johnny and Sally. And you know that when Johnny and Sally are happy –everybody’s happy!
William Raveis’ Data Paints Clearer Picture of Key Housing Trends
A confluence of low interest rates, extremely low home prices and the highest affordability rate in U.S. history have created ideal conditions for homebuyers. However, you wouldn’t think that with the onslaught of negative reports from national indicies and various media outlets.
Home values have fallen dramatically since 2006. The New York Times recently referred to Case-Shiller’s national index, stating 20 large cities slumped for the 7th month in a row in February. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard Review dwelled on the excess inventory on the market. Any of this sound familiar? It should. You can’t open a web browser or scan through a news reader without encountering these kinds of bleak statistics.
An age old adage comes to mind-what is it again? Ah yes, real estate is local. As a key economic barometer for this and many countries, the real estate market is rife with implications of consumer sentiment and mindset. But, how are consumers to make educated real estate decisions about a home purchase in East Longmeadow, MA by assessing average sales prices in Nebraska? If you said they can’t, you’re right.
William Raveis Real Estate, the ninth largest real estate brokerage in the country, is encouraging agents and clients to take a more intelligent approach to the housing market by looking at seasonal trends and the latest data within their own markets. William Raveis utilizes a comprehensive system that tracks major local market indicators from Maine to New York, known as Local Housing Data. This system collects raw data from 16 MLSs’ throughout the northeast-representing the activity of over 65,000 REALTORS- to compile a bird’s eye view into local markets.
“The national indexes are misleading the public to what’s actually occurring in their local markets,” said Bill Raveis, Chairman and CEO of William Raveis Real Estate. “Local Housing Data draws numbers directly from the MLS, rather than relying on formulas used by national indexes. These indexes may be helpful to investors, but do not necessarily measure what homebuyers or homeowners care about,” he continued. Using Case-Shiller as an example, the index does not provide a full representation of the market, focusing only on changes in average sales prices. In addition to average sales prices, Local Housing Data presents key market variables, such as unit sales, median sales prices, inventory, market time and price per square foot. A reader can analyze by price ranges using Local Housing Data, whereas Case-Shiller simply provides composite averages. Looking at the dates of each report, one can see the index is not timely, featuring data with an approximate 2-3 month lag time. Local Housing Data furnishes state, county and town numbers between the 7th-10th business day after the end of the month.
To see an example of the disparity between state and national indexes and local numbers, look no further than Case-Shiller’s most recent housing report for April 2011 and The University of Connecticut’s Real Estate Market Update, published July 15th. Case Shiller showed the nation’s 20 major cities experiencing a drop in home prices for April 2011 vs. April 2010 and The University of Connecticut’s report indicated that the absence of the homebuyer tax credit is depressing Connecticut home prices. However, Local Housing Data presents a different trend. For the past 3 months, including April, average sales prices pointed upwards by as much as 16% in CT and other states covered by William Raveis. Year-to-date, average sales prices were up by as much as 12.5%. “Some of this data, particularly from University of Connecticut, is just plain erroneous,” said Mr. Raveis. “We have the data from the trenches, from the MLSs’, that points to price appreciation despite the lack of a homebuyer tax credit.” The table below displays further detail on price increases for single family homes and condominiums:
Each county and town is driven by hyperlocal market trends, as Local Housing Data proves. In fact, marked differences can be seen between towns that are only within 35 minutes of each other. Shelton and Wilton, two towns in CT about 20 miles apart, show substantial differences in inventory and average sales prices. Shelton’s inventory stands at a relatively healthy 9 months, year-to-date, while Wilton is at 14 months for the same time period. Shelton’s average sales price is $318,268 and Wilton’s is substantially higher at $909,318, both year-to-date.
Local Housing Data has been referenced by major news publications in the northeast to assess market conditions. These numbers, along with careful analysis by William Raveis’ office VP’s, portray key market indicators to be on a brighter path, not heading in the wrong direction.
As an example, PJ Louis, Sales Vice President of William Raveis’ Avon, Connecticut office assesses Local Housing Data for his market, “Unit sales are up, average sales prices are up by almost 14 percent and we are seeing activity in all price points.” “Our local market is definitely going against the national reported trend,” he continued. Louis described this year’s brutal winter to be deterrent to homebuyers and sellers, contributing to a slow paced 1st quarter. However, as soon as the spring market took off, so did a launch in demand. Louis admits this isn’t a 2006 market, but the last couple months in his office have felt busier than the past 4 years.
Further south in Greenwich, site to some of Connecticut’s premiere homes, there is movement in all price points. Sales Vice President, Beckie Hanley cited very encouraging data, including a 14% increase in average sales prices and a unit sales jump by 40% in May 2011 versus same time last year. “We are seeing multiple offers in the $2-$3 million dollar range and buyers who are ready to put their money down when they see value,” said Hanley. Her point draws on an important trend happening in the northeast and other parts of the country: an equilibrium between buyer and seller needs presenting sales opportunities. Simply stated: buyers are ready to make a purchase when sellers set prices relative to the home’s current market value.
This trend is also present in William Raveis markets in other parts of the northeast, such as Massachusetts. Hingham, a beautiful seaside town in MA’s South Shore, is home to very particular buyers. “All buyers are seeking ‘value’ in all price ranges,” says David Friend, Sales Vice President of William Raveis, Hingham. “Buyers are picky about details, but still buying.” A ‘good deal’ is what homebuyers are after and sellers pricing their homes in accordance with market tendencies are receiving multiple offers.
Despite the search for a ‘good deal,’ William Raveis agents have experienced some record breaking offers on unique homes. In Rye, New York there is a pending deal on the market for $12.5 million. “This sale will close at the highest number thus far in MLS history for Rye,” said Marylin Hoffman, Vice President of Sales for William Raveis, Rye.
Record breaking offers aside, the real estate market could very well be improving for a variety of income levels, contrary to reports that the upper echelon of wage earners are the only group of people ploughing through a down market. This is what Wendy Beaulieu, Sales Vice President of William Raveis, Cape Cod, believes is happening in her market. Baby boomers are purchasing second homes due to the high level of affordability on the Cape. Citing Local Housing Data, Wendy states, “average sales prices on the Cape are $370,000. Since affordability is so high and prices are so low, middle class buyers are seeing this as an opportunity to get the coveted second home.”
Milford, Connecticut, is seeing positive movement, as well. Despite the lack of the homebuyer tax credit, which helped buoy housing demand for much of the first half of 2010, Milford’s median sales price has stayed nearly the same for the first half of 2011. “Last year, our median price was $286,000 and this year it was $284,500,” said Herb Mehlman, Vice President of Sales for William Raveis, Milford. This may be a vital sign that the market is beginning to correct itself, without the creation of artificial demand from the government.
As you can see, the proof is in the numbers. Several local markets are showing movement in the right direction and even national reports are bringing some optimism to the industry. The most recent Case-Shiller index reported 13 of 20 major metropolitan areas showed an increase in home prices. Inman News talked about stronger economic data pushing up mortgage rates.
So next time you feel you are about to get trapped in a sense of hopelessness because you hear a scary real estate report on the evening news, do yourself a favor and check your Local Housing Data numbers on raveis.com. You may be surprised find that your town is doing just fine.
It has always been true that borrowing was easiest for people who did not need the money. Of course since the Lehman collapse even rich people have not had such an easy time borrowing money. And since Dodd-Frank (the bill which Congress enacted post-meltdown to more closely regulate the banking and mortgage industries) became law it is also becoming harder and harder for mortgage brokers to help buyers FIND money, both because more and more capital sources want to do their own loans and because the provisions of Dodd-Frank make it harder than ever for mortgage brokers to get paid. So here we are, in an environment in which money is hard to come by, mortgage brokers are more challenged than ever, and most funding sources want to be approached directly. Who can get a mortgage, and how?
At Warburg, we are increasingly working with direct sources. Met Life, with whom we now have an affiliation, has worked closely with us and our buyers on new development deals. They are smart and proactive in their strategizing to get loans made. Many buyers are going to Wells Fargo or to Chase or Citibank. We also like many of the local banks, which make the loans for their own portfolios.
If you are looking for a loan, it is worth finding out from your agent or the building’s managing agent what banks have recently financed in the building. While this can be a Catch-22, since banks are only willing to make a certain number of loans in a building before they reach their maximum, the advantage is that the bank must have previously approved the building in order to have loaned there. And bank approval of a building is no small thing. Until 2009 we never had a situation in which a buyer’s credit was approved and then the bank wouldn’t lend in the building. After the recession began, that became commonplace. Did the co-op have adequate reserves in their annual budget for capital projects? No? No loan. Did the building have adequate insurance in the opinion of the lender? No? No loan. And so it goes. Things are a little easier now, but make no mistake about it - the lending environment has changed forever.
And credit scores? Another absolute Catch-22 situation. Do you have TOO MANY cards? Uh oh - bad for your score! Do you have too few? Uh oh - bad for your score! Do you have cards you don’t use? Uh oh-bad for your score! And, my personal favorite, has your credit score been checked too often? Uh oh - bad for your score! Thank God they now have credit brokers who can help you scrub your score when you discover that, even though you pay your bills regularly, your credit isn’t so hot for reasons you absolutely can’t understand.
Finally, if your credit is good enough, and your bank actually has money which it is willing to lend, and your building passes muster, then the actual appraisal has to come in at the right number. New York is a specialized marketplace, but in the wake of the real estate meltdown and the subsequent regulatory intervention, banks have been forced to relinquished control over which appraisers assess the properties on which they are offering loans. So appraisers from outside New York, who sometimes don’t even know what a co-op is, much less how to distinguish the qualities of one from another, show up and completely misjudge our properties. When the appraisals come in low (and they NEVER come in too high) either the lender reduces the amount of the loan or the buyer wants to renegotiate the deal. That is another reason we like MetLife: they work with a panel of local appraisers who actually know the buildings we work in!
Luckily all these steps are a little easier than they were in 2009, so if you are trying today you probably WILL get a loan. There now, that wasn’t so bad, was it…?
Private Trade Winds is on a "Royal" roll between last month's addition of our 5-story, 3-bedroom townhouse in Regents Park, London, and now this month's 3-bedroom showstopper in the Seychelles - the exclusive locale where Prince William and Kate Middleton, now called The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed their honeymoon escape. One of our clients jokingly asked if the addition of the two villas was intentionally timed to coincide with the marriage and honeymoon of the Royal Couple, but the fact is we just seem to have a knack for predicting the next 5-star destination.
The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean is a most spectacular getaway for those seeking romance, privacy and unprecedented beauty. Think “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” and you won’t be remotely disappointed.
Seeking out a private island is no small task and should be left to the professionals for an experience custom tailored to the likes of each traveler. While the rare sensual beauty of the islands has been known to lure lovers from around the world, most are family-friendly as well, and a memorable experience can be made for those ranging in age from 2 to 102.
Mahe, with its lush botanical gardens is also home to Intendence, a half mile stretch of the most powdery white sanded beach in all the Indian Ocean. It is also the transportation hub for island-hops and day excursions to neighboring islands, and all other islands within Seychelles.
This is my 105th blog. I had no idea I had written so many. I started writing the blogs because I wanted to create points of entry for lay people and colleagues alike into what real estate agents do, how we think, and how consumers can more effectively advocate for themselves within the broker/client relationship. I wanted to demonstrate some of the complexity inherent in our jobs as well as the multiple pleasures. Our business involves strategizing, it involves relationship management, it involves aesthetics, it involves negotiating skill, and it often involves being a strong hand within the softest velvet glove. There is no other work quite like it.
So who are the people who succeed at this work? Recently Warburg’s management team has tried to standardize the way our three Sales Directors interview broker candidates. Certain things are givens – we need a resume, we need a list of sales broken down by year for anyone with a history in the business, and we require a DISC test, which is a remarkably accurate 7 minute online personality assessment. We have found over the years that a certain type tends to do well in brokerage: good people skills and enough backbone to be a closer. The timid, or those excessively interested in people pleasing, rarely close deals.
As the group discussed what we are looking for in candidates, a number of things became clear to us. Like every business, we want people who are at ease with technology. The world of the broker revolves around computers, the more sophisticated the better. Good math skills are important; not only the ability to quickly calculate 5% or 6% in your head, but also the ability to understand complex financial statements and organize them clearly for Board review. A great Rolodex helps, but it provides no guarantee that its possessor knows what to do with it. It needs to be accompanied by a tight business plan. And we try to never hire anyone who says they want to become an agent because they “like people” or “like architecture!” That’s fine, but it simply isn’t enough.
As I have noted before in these blogs, the changes in the information superhighway have transformed our business. As we have moved out of the information business and into the expertise business our core competencies have had to evolve. Negotiating is more fast paced and much of the background information is now transmitted by e-mail. But it is a foolish agent who conducts negotiations on the computer. They require the nuanced understanding only voice to voice communication can provide. In fact one of today’s core skills is knowing when NOT to use technology! A good broker does much more research than he or she did 15 years ago – on the market comps, closed sales, prices per square foot, scalability of pricing by floor, by view, by condition. But interpreting the mass of data available to both us and our clients is more important and complex than ever before. Hence the expertise!
So this is why I blog: I want to underline the professionalism which agents acquire but for which they are rarely recognized and the skills which the work demands. I want consumers to be aware of what we do and of what they need to do to make sure their real estate transactions run as smoothly as I can. I want to provide real time information about the market and how it reflects and counters economic trends. And I hope those with the skills described above will consider a career in the residential sales business. It’s rewarding, it’s endlessly interesting and various, and it’s fun. True, it eats your life, but I suspect almost every engaging job does that. Warburg and the other top firms employ ex-bankers, lawyers, teachers, performers, actors, and, increasingly, ambitious young men and women just out of college who see residential as their lifetime career. Do YOU love what YOU do?
Courtesy of Rimontgó
The Real club de Golf de Pedreña is unusual in many ways. Firstly, founded in 1928 it is one of the older and more established golf clubs in Spain, but whereas most of the country’s courses are scattered along the Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca, these verdant corridors are situated in the beautiful region of Cantabria, on Spain’s Atlantic north coast.
Here, across the bay from the elegant city of Santander and near the exclusive village of Somo, keeping the courses green comes naturally, for while this region has itself got a noteworthy history as a stylish summer destination, the intense greenery of the landscape reminds one of Ireland. Often called the ‘other Spain’, it is an area of immense beauty, where the green of the land competes with the deep blue of the sea. Cantabria is marked by valleys and coves that afford the land a certain intimacy and romance that has made the likes of Santander a classic gem in the tradition of Biarritz, Nice or San Remo.
It is within this setting that the renowned golf club finds itself, overlooking the bay and the lights of Santander across it, yet surrounded by peace and nature. Originally formed out 274 smallholdings, the Real Golf de Pedreña rapidly became a favourite of the then-reigning royal family – a tradition that has been revived under the current king, Don Juan Carlos I. As the course evolved it also became the scene of many a national and international competition, including three Spanish Open championships and memorable encounters between some of the world’s best players.
Most prominent among these is the legendary Severiano Ballesteros, who can be considered a local and indeed a son of the club. The Real Golf de Pedreña will forever be linked to Spain’s greatest player, a further feather in the cap of a club that carries an ambience of undeniable refinement about it. A classic in every sense of the word, this is golf club with a course that has evolved and been improved over the years, but which retains the original spirit that gave it life. Today the original 18-hole course is complimented by a modern 9-hole addition – designed by none other than Seve Ballesteros.
An elegant clubhouse with restaurant, bar, terrace, swimming pools, youth club and padel tennis courts completes the list of facilities, but it is the effortless refinement of this club that continues to make it one of the most distinguished golf clubs in all of Spain.
Courtesy of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
SEATTLE, WA – The senior development loan on The Sanctuary -- a century-old church in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that was converted into a 12-unit multifamily community -- has been sold by a syndicate of lenders to Pathfinder Pollin Sanctuary Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners, LLC, a leading acquirer of loans and properties from financial institutions.
According to Robert Nall, managing member of Resource Transition Consultants, LLC (RTC), which has served as the court-appointed receiver for the lender syndicate since September 2010, the loan sale is a key step toward rejuvenating the long-stalled development and reintroducing The Sanctuary to the market at dramatically reduced prices.
Guardian Real Estate Services, a national real estate investment bank, represented the selling lenders. RTC will remain in place and oversee remaining construction and sales activities. Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty has been appointed the exclusive listing broker.
Originally built in 1908 as The First Church of Christ the Scientist, The Sanctuary was redeveloped a century later, as 12, fee simple concrete and steel townhomes within the historic structure. The original borrower defaulted on the development loan in August 2010 and construction and marketing has been halted for more than a year, Nall said. “With the support of our new lender, we can now complete construction and sell the individual residences,” Nall added.
Ranging from 1,278- to 2,438-square-feet, the townhomes will be marketed at significantly less than the original asking price – which averaged over $1 million apiece -- when complete in fall of 2011. “While the original developer had an incredible vision that we intend to fully realize, we also recognize that values must be recalibrated for today’s homebuyer,” Nall said. “We anticipate our prices will start at below $600,000.” Additionally, new homeowners will enjoy a 10-year property tax abatement, with a special assessment designation for historic structures.
Celebrating the architectural significance of the historic structure, The Sanctuary project has already won numerous design awards, including “Building Restoration of the Year (2009)” from Seattle magazine. The development features an expansive stained-glass dome, now the building’s atrium, which provides abundant natural light. Residences feature high-end finishes and amenities, including soaring 35-foot-high ceilings, metalwork and cabinets by Seattle area artisans, solid wood stair risers, re-purposed marble from the original church and top-of-the-line kitchen and plumbing fixtures. Each unit has a street level entrance, as well as a shared elevator to secured underground parking. Some units have rooftop terraces with expansive views of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay.
Dean Jones, principal of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, anticipates that The Sanctuary will be a welcome addition to the in-city housing market. “Buyers and brokers are starving for exciting new inventory like this, as the for-sale pipeline has been shut down for several years and no new developments are planned,” said Jones. Additionally, “this is a unique development – one part residence, one part architectural landmark, one part objet d’art – and with just 12 homes available, we expect them to be in high demand.”
Visit www.liveatsanctuary.com for photos and further information.
About Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
Seattle-based Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty is a nationally-recognized, full-service real estate brokerage that specializes in new construction sales and marketing services for its developer and lender clientele. Representing numerous high-profile multifamily communities in the Seattle area, the firm is a top selling residential brokerage in King County by dollar volume for condominiums, according to Trendgraphix. For more information, visit www.realogicssothebysrealty.com.
About Resource Transition Consultants
RTC, headquartered in Edmonds, WA, was founded in 2008 by Robert Nall, Douglas Barnes and Kevin Hanchett to provide receivership services to lenders on financially distressed real estate transactions. The firm has been active in the successful disposition of eight communities over the past three years in addition to numerous distressed commercial and business assets. For more information, visit www.rtcreceivers.com.
About Guardian Real Estate Services
With a specialization in real estate, loan sales, and asset management transactions, Guardian delivers solutions to asset managers, bankers, and investors. Through an innovative process that combines capital market experience and local market knowledge, Guardian also offers a combination of expertise for transactions of all sizes, leveraging the Guardian MarketMaker platform to connect buyers and sellers dealing in distressed properties, single-asset, and portfolio loans of all sizes. Visit www.gres.com or www.guardianmarketmaker.com for more information.
EDITORS NOTE: For high-resolution photography of The Sanctuary, please contact Sydnie Moore at 619-823-8448.
Like the national economy, the New York City real estate marketplace keeps moving two steps forward and one step back. Of course, since the national real estate market takes one step forward followed by TWO steps back, this is not so bad! Nonetheless, the local market’s gyrations can confuse veteran and novice alike, so I will try to deconstruct it, from a high altitude, to the best of my ability.
First, at all price levels and in most neighborhoods, the trajectories of the co-op and condo markets continue to diverge. As the world economy lurches from anxious moment to anxious moment, foreign investors continue to pour their money into real estate in Manhattan. From Latin America, from Asia, from Europe - we are seeing buyers from all over the globe eager to park their cash in the relative safety of condominiums in New York. And with vacancies in the rental market at historic lows, and rents therefore at historic highs, properties of all sizes are easily and profitably rentable. Well located condos from one to four bedrooms, from the Financial District to Harlem, trade briskly provided they are appropriately priced, with the vast majority of buyers (especially south of 110th Street) coming from out of town or out of the country.
Of course, some local buyers purchase condos too, frequently because everything is new. Condition has emerged as a key factor in determining what sells and what doesn’t. The time, expense, and uncertainty of renovation appeal to buyers less and less, and many have been willing to pay a premium to buy older properties in mint condition. Since the beginning of June, however, the resurging problems with Greece and the poor national employment numbers suggest a slowing recovery, which has given pause to domestic buyers even as foreigners remain willing to purchase promptly. The co-op market, always more oriented to domestic and usually local buyers, has shown the effects of this increased anxiety. Most agents I speak with confirm that they are showing their exclusives less, and that properties which they expected to trade quickly are not receiving offers or even frequent requests to show. This phenomenon can be seen at all price levels, although it is particularly noticeable at the top of the market, for which the second quarter of 2011 was the strongest in many years.
While there have been several trophy trades in June, there is a definite feeling of slowdown in the $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 co-op market, which had been both quick and hot leading into Memorial Day. And for units trading between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000, a similar dynamic applies. Under $1,000,000 the market remains sluggish, as it has been for most of 2011 outside the new condo sector. The relative strength and high pricing in the rental market reflect, as they so often do, a reluctance to purchase on the part of studio, one, and two bedroom clients.
More than at any time in the past several years, condition and pricing dictate the speed with which transactions take place. For very well priced units with fabulous views or unique features or perfect condition (not to mention some combination of the above), multiple offers and competitive bids over the asking price still occur. But the frequency of even those occurrences has diminished markedly in the past five weeks.
Looking ahead, our economic realities remain uncertain. Nationally and internationally, deleveraging has a long way to go before debt subsides to manageable levels. Luckily that is probably good news for New York. As America’s most international city we will continue to be a hub for global business and its practitioners both foreign and domestic. Their presence and the deep wells of capital which they have injected into our real estate environment have lent it a stability which has insulated us against the worst of the ongoing real estate crisis, in which foreclosed homes and short sales (of which we have had few) have been the backbone of real estate sales activity throughout most of the nation. And stability is just what we are hoping for as we segue into summer.
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