Luxury Real Estate Service

Real Estate ServiceFirstly, one of the main things that you can expect with such an agency is an exceptional standard of marketing services when it comes to selling a property. As they are dealing with a specific sector of the housing market with a very particular clientele, it is necessary to follow certain steps to ensure success.

This can include employing a specialist team who will work to design and execute marketing materials to an exceptionally high standard. As a brochure or profile of your property will need to be of the highest quality possible in order to attract buyers, a dedicated team in this department is often what a luxury agency will deliver.

In addition to this, you can expect your luxury real estate agent to also put great care into advertising your property in a number of the most prestigious publications. Rather than advertising in the same material as a ‘regular’ property on the market, luxury property that is being sold to a very specific sector of wealthy buyers needs to be marketed in a specific way.

This can also include direct marketing and outreach marketing which can lead to attracting more buyers for the property. Public relations also play a very important role, with the marketing team working to tailor their campaign in order to reach and impress a very exclusive set of individuals.

In addition to a dedicated marketing team, another thing that you can expect from such an agency is a personal agent for each property. Whereas standard agencies may be handling a number of properties at the same time, the professionals dealing with the upper end of the housing market will often assign one agent whose job it is to oversee all details concerning the property in question.

Furthermore, you will often find that this kind of agency will have a wider reach, including not only local and national markets but also the international market. This is especially true when dealing with luxury property havens such as cities like New York, Barcelona, London and Paris.

Rather than just marketing properties locally, the team at the agency will extend their marketing and promotional material to buyers elsewhere. This will improve the chances of selling a property rapidly and for a good price.

You can also expect that the professionals that you are working with have extensive experience in the particular field of luxury property. In fact, you should not expect anything less but complete expertise in the sector – this is true when you are buying or selling any property, but is even more so in the area of luxury property.

The reason for this is that it is a niche market, and buyers will be fewer and competition is fiercer. Your agency will need to be both experienced and knowledgeable about the market in order for you to sell your property rapidly or buy the property of your dreams.

These are just a few of the ways that a luxury real estate service can differ from a regular estate agency. From the high quality of marketing right through to the expertise and experience of the staff, service can be expected to be of exceptionally high quality in order to match the value of the property that you are buying or selling.


Residential Log Cabins Offer Great Summer Fun

rs1Residential log cabins have become extremely popular lately. It seems that simplicity is making a comeback in an age of interconnected clutter. But what is it about residential log cabins that attracts so many people? For the majority of us, these cabins offer a vista into the world of minimalism. For any summer traveller looking to get away from it all, this is a perfect world to enter.

Enjoy nature inside and out

Whether it’s fishing, hunting, hiking or just enjoying the warm summer air, a residential log cabin will be where you want to go. It offers a pleasant retreat from the day’s activities, and when evening comes, you’ll love the wooden atmosphere as you settle in for the night. The natural interior makes you feel at home in a world where so much of living is manufactured. You have the perfect place to find peace from the constant noise and movement of modern day life. You can enjoy your world at a slower pace and make sure that you don’t miss a thing.

Summertime is, for most, the only chance we get to break outside of the workplace and drop into nature. Residential log cabins are the perfect place to spend long summer nights with those you love. They offer small, quaint style at an affordable rate, and they bring traditional class with a modern flare that you can customize. Most people love the rustic façade, but who’s to say the interior should follow suit? In a residential log cabin, you can feel free to add your personal touch and fulfil your wildest interior design dreams. Just peruse Pinterest for five minutes, and you’ll be swamped with brilliant décor ideas.

Holidays are better with a residential log cabin

Residential log cabins can make for a great destination holiday with cabins strewn all across Europe. But for those who might already own a good plot of land, building your own cabin won’t take too much trouble, either. Of course, if you aren’t up to the task of chopping your own logs, there are plenty of contracting companies who will survey your plot and build you your dream residential log cabin very quickly and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional brick and mortar house.

Do you have a tight holiday budget? Residential log cabins can be rented or bought, but neither option is going to break the bank. Unlike lavish country summer homes, residential log cabins offer just enough space for what you really need. Most cabins register in the range of 6m by 11m, though you can certainly find options larger or smaller in order to accommodate your needs. Residential log cabins are either fixed or mobile, but even the mobile models can fit four bedrooms, an en-suite, a lounge, a kitchen, and a dining room. More economical living quarters means more time together as friends and family and less time spent paying energy bills or cleaning the empty spare bedroom.

Making the right choice

With the demand for residential log cabins so high, the hard part is choosing what you want yours to look like. You can definitely opt for the traditional A-frame style, or you can take a modern twist and find something that is a little more elegant, striking, or charming. Some designs allow for plenty of natural light, allowing you to bask in the sunshine (which is the reason you took a summer holiday in the first place, right?), and others bring out the sights and sounds of the woods, making you feel as if you’re in the middle of a thicket.

Unlike the draughty old wooden homes of yesteryear, modern residential log cabins are built with your comfort in mind. Though the classic single-layer wooden wall is still available, those who want to live year-round in their cabins have the option to build them with a dual-layer wall, or “twin skin,” with up to 50mm of insulation between two wooden walls. This ensures a healthy, comfortable temperature no matter what the weather is like outside. And speaking of weather, Mother Nature can’t harm a well-built cabin as much as a traditional concrete structure. Residential log cabins are sustainable and durable through heat, snow or rain. Some traditionally built cabins have been standing for over 300 years. Talk about reliability!

Residential log cabins also require a fairly low amount of maintenance, which means that they will not demand too much of your time. You’ll be able to relax more often than you will have to work to keep your house in good shape. The natural strength of the wood protects it from the common elements far better than brick or concrete homes. Most residential log cabins call for limited preparatory maintenance just before winter, but beyond that, nature will not distract you from what you want to do most.

People who have the pleasure of owning and living in log cabins have described them as inviting and warming. Others have said that hey evoke peacefulness. For some it’s the smell of fresh perked coffee and baked bread that comes to mind whenever they’re inside. The other most appreciated feature is the ability to incorporate a truly personal decoration style ranging from very rustic to modern/contemporary. As for visitors who get to spend some time with their friends living in the woods, they compare it to paradise, and the proud owners agree as they could not imagine living anywhere else.

So many people love their residential log cabins, yet despite all the praise they get, these cabins seem to be one of the best kept secrets of summer fun. If you haven’t given much thought to the idea before today, now is the time to seize the opportunity and find yourself a summer residential log cabin. You never really know what it’s like to live, sleep, and dine in a cabin until you’ve experienced it first hand, and once you enjoy a few nights away from it all, you’ll have a tough time going back to reality.


Why Is Bangalore a Favorite Realty Destination

The Bangalore real estate market is one of the most promising real estate markets in the country. IT companies have played a major role in the growth of the real estate market.

The city is one of the most livable cities with good physical and social infrastructure facilities, best educational institutions, famous hospitals, shopping malls, retail outlets, nightlife, etc. The city with all these facilities and attractive climate have attracted a number of people. The residential market has seen excellent growth over time. Many micro markets are known for the residential purpose and few promising and attractive markets include, Sarjapur Road, Whitefield, Outer Ring Road (ORR) and North Bangalore.

Sarjapur Road:

The micro market is located in the South-East of the city. The area is connected to the prime IT hubs like Electronic City, Whitefield and Marathahalli. The area is known for the international schools and reputed colleges. The area has various options for shopping like malls and stand-alone retail outlets of international brands. The micro market enjoys a good hospitality sector and good healthcare facilities. The locality is favorite among the IT/ITes employees as it is well connected to the IT regions. The locality is known for affordable housing. The micro market also has villas and row houses. If you are looking for villas in Bangalore for sale, then you can consider this locality. The locality has good growth potential and is expected to give good returns over the years. Infrastructure projects like the proposed Central Silk Board – Hebbal line metro will benefit this area as this will link the locality. The commercial market in the area is very active and Infosys is coming up with a large campus on Sarjapur Road.


Surrounded by important micro markets like Mahadevapura, Marathahalli, Bellandur and Krishnaraja Puram. Whitefield is one of the most sought after residential locality after the invention of the IT sector in the area. The locality is seeing demand for the high-end residential apartments and for the villa projects. The area is seeing good demand for the mid-income housing and the demand is mainly driven by the IT population. The micro market enjoys good social infrastructure and the locality is seeing good developments in physical infrastructure as well. This is one of the major reason which is pushing the demand for the luxury projects. Infrastructure developments like the proposed roads, proposed phase II of the metro rail, etc. further boost the realty value of the region. The area is also seeing developments in the commercial market of the locality with the proposed malls like Virginia mall, Embassy mall, etc.

North Bangalore:

The advantage of the locality being the proximity to the International Airport and connectivity is one of the major factors contributing to the growth of the area. The micro market also enjoys a good and planned physical and social infrastructure. These reasons are driving the demand for the high-end residential projects in the area. Home buyers looking for a villa for sale in Bangalore can consider the locality.


Realtors Need a Unique Success Mantra

The real estate demand has reached around 1.35 billion square feet by 2020 in India. This is said to be up from around 900 million square feet currently. Out of the total numbers around 85% will be for the residential properties in India.

According to the reports, the sale of residential properties have slowed down due to low demands by customers at the current rates. This is leading to an inventory overhang is metropolitan and other major cities. Due to this slowdown, the builders have increased the discounts and are offering attractive offers so that there is some improvement that is seen in the condition of residential properties in India. However, the developers as well as the real estate sector needs to do something very differently to achieve success in this sector.

There has been a change in the real estate model and this will change more often and continuously and at a more rapid speed. However, the developers need to find the ways that these changing scenario can be a profitable one for them as well as the buyers. The builders are not able to understand this changing scenario and how should they cope-up with these changes. Once they get a hand on experience about these changing scenarios, definitely, there is no looking back for the residential properties in India.

Traditionally the charges that were attributable to the real estate firm was in managing approvals, land acquisition and agglomeration. However, now people are constructing sustainable, concrete business and value creating industries around very good process managed real estate along with very good execution skills. These definitely are the ways one can be successful in this changing scenario of the real estate in India and with this the developers need to understand and cater to the demands to the buyers so that they do not hesitate in buying their dream home. Thus, the real estate firms needs to upgrade themselves with the changing environment and reach new heights.

There will be financial protection for the home buyers whose projects do not complete on time. Any delay in the construction will provide benefits to the buyers. The buyers are allowed to claim for tax benefits of Rs 2 lakhs after possession if they invest in any under-construction building and it does not complete within 3 years. However, there will be a reduction of 30,000 if the builder delays the construction beyond the limit and thus they will have to pay higher interest. Also, the first-time buyers have to pay additional rent if they are buying homes for self-use.


The Best of Milton Real Estate

How special it feels to be living or moving in to a place which is the fastest growing municipality in the Golden Horseshoe. Fastest growth means more development, better opportunities and modern architecture. You will be able to find various kind of flats, apartments and houses fulfilling all of your needs.

Whether you want compact apartments and houses for your single use or your small family, maybe you want a massive house built with wide rooms and bedrooms for your large family, or maybe you want to go for more luxurious villas… you will get well-built real estate of your choice in Milton.


Milton is the fastest growing municipality according to the census conducted in 2006 and 2011. The census showed that Milton is experiencing approx. 71% rise in population from the year 2001 to 2006 and saw roughly a 56% surge in population from 2006 to 2011. The population of Milton, in 2014, is approximately 100,000, but as it is growing rapidly, its population in 2031 is forecasted to be approx. 220,000.

You will also have no problem communicating with the people in Milton as approximately 70% of the population are native English speakers, according to the census of 2011. The remaining 30% people can also communicate in English as their secondary language.

Residency and Growth

With population, the residential growth also saw a massive increase in Milton. This is also due to the successful completion of the project dubbed “the big pipe”, which was about making a piping structure which will deliver water from Lake Ontario to Milton.

By 2006, Milton had 7 new subdivisions, which included Hawthorne Village. Many new subdivisions from the list are developing, which means that there will be constant development – which is the secret of developed regions.

The council of Milton, in 2014, approved the making of more homes in Milton, which saw a surge of 25,000 residents. Moreover, there are vast numbers of home constructions at any given time in Milton, which is attracting more and more residents. In the numbers of residents, there is a fair amount of people coming from other areas of Ontario too.


The town has an easy access to the highway 401 and 407 from Oakville and Hamilton. The town has its carriage railway lines for consignments. It has railway transportation service for passengers from Go transit and Via Rail.

If you take the highway 401, you are only 40 km far from the largest International airport (according to the passenger volume) Toronto Pearson. However, the town has a closer airport in the neighboring Burlington, the Burlington airport. The airport does provide passenger services but the services are not regular.

Why it is Becoming So Popular among New Residents?

1. Many people want to live in Toronto or near it. As Milton is 56 km away from Toronto, it is becoming a favorite choice of many.

2. As it is one of the developed towns out there in Ontario, people here can earn better and can improve their lifestyle.

3. As it is a town, it is getting much attraction from people who don’t like the city thing, but still want to live in an advanced but less ‘noisy’ place.

4. For retired and rich people, this place has its attraction as a suburb where they can live in peace and tranquility.


How Buyer’s and Seller’s Markets Impact Homes for Sale

Nothing is as fickle as real estate. Housing prices may rise or fall for any number of reasons. Although they can make investing in your own property a bit of a risk, with a little bit of knowledge the informed shopper can easily make the best decision possible when looking at homes for sale.

Buyer’s Market

Simply put, a buyer’s market is a result of the economic principle of supply and demand. In this case, there are more properties in supply (i.e. for sale) than there is a demand for them, meaning that those looking to invest in real estate have a lot of options to choose from. Supply and demand fluctuate depending on how many new customers enter an area and how many homeowners in the region have decided to stay in their properties.

In these circumstances, there are plentiful homes for sale, which favors those interested in investing in residential property. The geographic region and price ranges are favorable and the cost to purchase is relatively low. If housing in an area tends to take more than six months to sell, then it is considered a buyer’s market. You can easily find how many days a property has been listed on various real estate sites.

Seller’s Market

In a seller’s market, it is harder to find homes for sale. The supply is low in comparison to the demand to purchase property. Prices are typically a little higher and houses don’t tend to stay listed for as long a period of time.

When this occurs, there are a limited number of options. Buyers will have less opportunity to negotiate-because sellers can entertain other offers-and as a result, will pay more than they would in a buyer’s market. Sellers can increase their prices and, as long as the homes appraise for the asking price, receive more than they otherwise could.

What Stimulates the Change

As with everything, housing properties will fluctuate between shortage and surplus. While there is no clear determination on how long the current stage will last, there are several factors that can impact the supply and demand of homes for sale in your area. Things like interest rates, consumer confidence, and economic conditions have a high impact. A growing regional economy coupled with low-interest rates and high confidence can lead more people to buy houses.

However, just because more people are buying doesn’t mean there are also more people selling. Supply tends to lag behind demand in real estate. While you may think that low rates and good economic growth would spur a buyer’s market, it is actually more favorable to sellers. That is because there are more parties competing for a limited number of houses.

When the economy slows down, or interest rates increase, demand diminishes. When that happens, homes for sale will stay listed for longer periods of time. With more real estate options available, qualified purchasers have better chances of finding good deals on housing in their areas. Buyers can often negotiate with the seller on a much lower price than what the seller had originally intended.


Lakeview in New Orleans The Comeback

Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches that followed absolutely decimated Lakeview in New Orleans. However, Lakeview, perhaps more than any other neighborhood in the New Orleans, put forth an extremely robust rebuilding effort. This neighborhood has made a most incredible recovery since the storm. Lakeview always was a very family oriented neighborhood. Young professionals have flocked to the area to rear their children. The safety of the neighborhood coupled with the fact that it is in New Orleans make it one of the more thriving neighborhoods in the city.

Lakeview and Hurricane Katrina

Lakeview was one of the most spoken about areas of New Orleans during the massive press coverage provided from the hurricane. With a multitude of photos showing the devastation of the area, Lakeview became a household name and the keynote neighborhood referenced when the press referenced New Orleans homes affected by the massive storm. Because the Lakeview subdivision is located so close to the levee breach, it represented the defining point between the areas affected and not affected by the breach of the levee.

Since many of the homes in Lakeview were owned outright and were not required to have flood insurance by a lender, many Lakeview properties didn’t have flood insurance when tragedy struck. This had many homeowners in the area looking for other forms of financial assistance to assist in rebuilding. Once again, this put Lakeview in the forefront of conversations of “how to rebuild New Orleans”.

Lakeview Demographics

Lakeview in New Orleans is surrounded by bodies of water on three sides. On the northern boundary lies Lake Pontchartrain. The Orleans Avenue Canal is to the north and the 17th street canal is to the West. This is another draw to the neighborhood. Daily residents can be found boating on the lake, fishing right off the bank, or simply people watching on the concrete steps of Lake Pontchartrain. If it’s seafood you crave you can catch it yourself. Pull out your crab traps and shrimp nets and enjoy the bounty the water surrounding you has to offer.

Statistics from tell us that the majority of the people living in Lakeview are white collar professionals. More than 22 percent of male residents are employed in a management role. Almost another 20 percent are employed in sales or office occupations. Other business and financial occupations make up roughly 10 percent of the jobs males in the area hold. Women living in Lakeview are similar in the occupations they hold. Over 25 percent are employed in an office or sales capacity. Another 14 percent are employed in technical or healthcare occupations and another 10 percent make their living in some educational field.

How Katrina Affected Lakeview Real Estate

Hurricane Katrina changed Lakeview forever. Prior to the hurricane, Lakeview was a desirable area but many of the homes had not been updated in years. Because Lakeview was focused on by the media as the epicenter of the housing crises from the hurricane, real estate investors from all over the country flocked in to purchase the “flooded and gutted” homes in Lakeview. As a result, property values of Lakeview homes for sale shot up. In many instances, unlivable homes without walls were selling for more than they were in full living condition prior to the storm. Since many of the homes in Lakeview were quickly rebuilt by investors for a quick sale, Lakeview became one of the few areas that residents could move back to and real estate values increased substantially. With freshly redone homes on the market, Lakeview homes became a hot commodity. Today, real estate searches for “Lakeview Real Estate” rank among the top real estate searches in the country according to

New Orleans Amenities

Orleans Parish also enjoys one of the largest areas of green space in the country. Established in 1854 New Orleans City Park is yet another beautiful draw to the Lakeview neighborhood. It is one of the oldest urban parks in the country. After the Great Depression, President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration was at the heart of City Park’s growth and development. Close to 20,000 out of work residents were given jobs to put up the roads and fountains, and Tad Gormley stadium. The many art pieces of City Park came from this era as well. City Park occupies 1300 acres, making it the 6th largest park in the country and almost twice the size of Central Park in New York. Some of the beautiful Live Oaks that are scattered throughout the park are estimated to be over 600 years old with one being almost 800 years old. Hurricane Katrina had a devastating effect killing off roughly 2000 of these majestic trees, but at least 5000 have been planted since then to take their place.

City Park in New Orleans is home to the famed Dueling Oak. This was the hotspot for gentleman to settle their scores via duels using pistols. It is located on Dueling Oaks Drive; and is situated between the Besthoff Sculpture Garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art. The brother in law of Governor William C.C. Claiborne, Micajah Green Lewis was killed here after being shot by former president of the state senate Bernard de Marigny. Dueling was banned in 1890; but while there may not be any more duels, City Park still remains a great source of inspiration and beauty for the residents of Lakeview and the many visitors that come to New Orleans each year.

Another New Orleans institution that had added flavor to the Lakeview area in recent years is Morning Call. In 2012 the New Orleans beignet machine opened a location inside the Casino building on Dreyfous Avenue. Originally established in 1870, Morning Call is also known for its rich café au lait, blended with chicory coffee. Cash is the only form of payment accepted. Of course, the residents of Lakeview are well aware so they will always have the cash on hand.

Lakeview Today

Lakeview in New Orleans is one of the finest neighborhoods New Orleans has to offer. Whether it is a young family looking to purchase a home in the city without being “in” the city, or you’re a college student looking for a rental; Lakeview has you covered. It is not known for its diversity, but it more than makes up for that with its roots and the determination of its residents to continue making it one of the safest, most family oriented of neighborhoods in the city of New Orleans.


Northern Virginia Real Estate Looking At Seller’s Disclosure In Virginia

Unlike other states, Virginia’s main disclosure statute requires sellers to disclose very little about their houses. Virginia law requires sellers to disclose the following information:

  • Whether the property is in an area where military air installation is located
  • If the house has a defective drywall
  • If the property has previously been used as a meth lab and hasn’t been cleaned according to the state guidelines
  • Whether the property has a septic system that needs to be repaired, but the owner has obtained a waiver from the Virginia board of health. The seller should let the buyer know whether the waiver will apply to the buyer
  • Sellers may choose to disclose whether the property is in a designated tourism activity zone.
  • In Virginia, newly constructed homes are usually exempted from statute disclosure rules.
  • In addition to the state disclosures, sellers must also meet the federal disclosure requirements. Sellers with houses constructed before 1978 are required with federal Title X disclosures. These are disclosures regarding lead-based paint and hazards.
  • As the seller you should give EPA-approved information pamphlet to buyers. These pamphlets should give information relating to lead in your home. It’s also required that you give buyers the option of conducting lead-based paint assessment.

A seller disclosure is of great importance to you as a buyer as it gives you more details about the home that you are looking to buy.

If you are looking to buy a house in Virginia, you need to do the donkey work by yourself. You should inspect the house or hire a professional to help you out. When doing your own inspection you need to focus on the following areas:

Grounds: inspect septic tank, drainage systems, driveway, sidewalk and fence.

Electrical system: it’s impossible to do this by yourself thus you have to hire a professional to do it for you. The professional should ensure that the electrical system is up to code and the system is working perfectly.

Structural elements: you should go through the house and ensure that the construction is well done and there is no evidence of bowing or sagging.

Exterior surfaces: ensure that there is correct clearance between siding material and ground.

Roof: you should inspect the condition of the shingles, chimney, vents and gutters. As rule of thumb ensure that everything is perfect.

Interior plumbing: hire a professional plumber to help you identify any damaged or leaking pipes. Ensure that the toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs are fully functioning.

Prohibitions put in place

While the seller’s disclosure obligations are minimal, Virginia law has standards that the seller must follow. The law requires that the seller shouldn’t do or say anything that distracts the buyer from finding a problem. The seller also shouldn’t cover up a known defect.


Should You Buy a Ready Possession Flat or Get a Home Constructed

Living in your own flat or house provides you with the great feeling of security, independence and happiness. The ultimate dream of everyone is to own a place to live. When a person starts to earn, the first thing that comes into his mind is to own a house and starts to save a lot towards this purpose. When it comes to own a house, you have got two options, buy a ready possession flat for sale or buy your own land and build a house in it. Both these ideas have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s analyse some of them to decide between these two great options to own a living space for ourselves.

Building Your Own House

Every person has a dream to construct a house that suits to the needs and requirements of the family members. It gets fulfilled when you plan and construct a house for you. Here, your liking and preferences of interior decoration, a color of paint, types of tiles and marbles and a lot of other features of the house give preference. You can choose between costly and cheap materials of construction. You can supervise the laborers and technicians who work to construct your house. Meanwhile, you can save a lot of money. Again, you can construct your house part by part. It is not necessary for you to construct it at a stretch. You can complete the work as and when you have money. Hence, your house becomes a fulfillment of your wishes and dreams. At the same time, there are a lot of disadvantages too. Constructing a house by you takes away a lot of your time and energy. If your knowledge in the construction field is limited, you may make mistakes in choosing the right materials and laborers for the construction. These days labour is not easily available. In the case of a sudden financial crunch, your dream to construct your dream house may not get fulfilled.

Buy a Flat

When you buy ready possession flats for sale, you have a lot of advantages. The most appealing benefit of buying a flat is that you can move as soon as you complete the buying formalities. There are no worries and hurries of construction. You become the owner of a beautiful home overnight. Your confidence and self-esteem will shoot up and you will achieve the status of being the proud owner of a flat. When you choose a ready to possession flat for sale, you choose to live in a highly developed are in your society. The disadvantage of buying a flat is that you have to find a large amount of money to buy it. There are also options to meet these financial requirements. The quality of construction also may worry you a lot.


The Chill in US Real Estate

You know things are starting to get dicey out there when even a multimillion-dollar penthouse in Manhattan can’t sell.

It seems a developer in SoHo, having just recently finished primary construction for his high-rise condo tower, realized the project’s focal point – a $45 million, 8,400-square-foot penthouse – was just a bit too much.

“The air is very thin up there in that buyer pool,” was the way the builder, Kevin Maloney, put it to Bloomberg.

You’ll love the Solomon-esque solution Maloney came up with.

The penthouse has a wonderfully grandiose name: the Summit of SoHo.

Sure, it has its own indoor pool. And yes, it has 23-foot living room ceilings. Plus, it has not one but two private elevators. One goes to the lobby; the other is so you don’t have to take the stairs to the penthouse’s upper levels (for entertaining, a spa and a rooftop kitchen and grill).

But the stock market cracked hard at the start of the year, with the S&P 500 down 11% at its lowest point in 2016, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped roughly 17%. In recent months, Chinese real estate buyers pulled a disappearing act from realtor offices all around the U.S. And after years of ultra low interest rates and easy lending policies, there’s now an excess of iconic luxury living quarters on the island of Manhattan.

The developer’s solution? Chop his project’s expansive space into two smaller penthouses – an $11 million, 3,000-square-foot unit (though at that size, it hardly seems big enough for one’s collection of bespoke suits), and a second, 5,400-square-foot unit for a comparatively cheap $29.5 million.

I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know if either gets a sale or not.

Red Hot Real Estate No More

These days, even the bond rating agencies, ever late to calling the turns in any market, are jumping on board…

Fitch Ratings noted last month that home prices in San Francisco have “risen to a level unsupportable by area income.” According to Fitch, that makes the local market overvalued by around 16% – which probably means that you’d need to double that figure to estimate a true “fair value” for this once white-hot luxury market.

Just in the last few days, the National Association of Realtors noted weakening demand among foreign buyers, blaming a strong dollar and rising U.S. home prices for pushing U.S. real estate beyond the bounds of affordability even for rich foreigners.

The crash of China’s Shanghai Composite stock index (down nearly 22% just since the start of 2016 with nary a bounce) forced many of the country’s wealthy elites to pull back on their property purchases. You can see the impact in regional news headlines around the country:

In San Francisco: “At High End, SF’s Housing Market Finally Cooling Off.”

From The Boston Globe: “High-end housing market cooling off.”

In Fort Lauderdale: “South Florida condo market cooling off.”

Will it get worse for premium real estate? I think we’re still in the early innings.

Uncle Sam’s War on Cash (Property Buyers)

The story didn’t get much media play back in January, but that’s when the U.S. Treasury Department and its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the issuance of “Geographic Targeting Orders” for New York City and Miami.

The “GTOs,” according to FinCEN’s press release, require “certain U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind companies used to pay ‘all cash’ for high-end residential real estate.”

Basically, the folks at the Treasury are worried whether corrupt foreign officials or “transnational criminals” might be laundering piles of dirty money through these multimillion-dollar property purchases.

Or is Uncle Sam just worried about the flood of Chinese cash into the American real estate market? “All cash” is practically a synonym for rich Chinese property buyers.

At least, that used to be the case. As we’ve seen in the “cooling off” headlines around the country, the absence of this class of real estate purchaser is starting to be felt in markets around the country.

An article in The New York Times late last year really brings the impact of Chinese property buyers into focus. When it comes to purchasing a home in America, they pay an average price of $831,000 – nearly double what international buyers from India ($460,000), Britain ($455,000) and Canada ($380,000) pay for their homes in the U.S.

In coming quarters, I believe the FinCEN “targeting orders” will likely spell the end of the property-speculation craze among Chinese buyers. The government action may only be limited to New York City and Miami, but it will have a deep chilling effect everywhere. After all, it only takes another press release from FinCEN to announce an expansion into other American cities of its inquiry into the identities of those big-money, anonymous all-cash property buyers.

The trend will take time, with the data trickling onto economists’ spreadsheets. But as Chinese elites continue to pull back from American real estate, well, get ready for a “Wile E. Coyote” moment in high-end luxury home prices – and more pressure on the Federal Reserve to reverse its stance on interest rates.


Corporate Real Estate Occupiers Are Aggressive on Expanding Offices in India

Recently, a popular property consultant firm conducted a research on mid-sized corporate real estate occupiers during the period June – July 2015, and gathered the responses of leading corporate firms headquartered in India and overseas. The research report says that, corporate real estate occupiers seem to be very aggressive in occupying office spaces across India.

Basically, the survey pointed to the choice of work space being progressively driven by the three main objectives; they are Talent (availability and cost), Infrastructure (social and physical) and Real Estate options. It has to be noted that the survey respondents included the corporates based across different industries and the representatives of typical Indian office space occupiers.

Below mentioned are a few key findings of the research:

  • The corporate occupiers in India are more likely to adopt the workplace strategies. The survey also revealed that the occupiers are being very efficient and are more inclined to adopt the efficient strategies, with most of the corporates mainly preferring to adopt open space workstation formats.
  • The leading corporate space occupiers continued to occupy the core locations and central business districts of major cities. The study also explored the preferences of the respondents across various occupation options, and the result indicated that, almost about 75% of the respondents preferred to lease, pre-lease or purchase the space within the prime locations of the cities.
  • IT/ITeS companies are planning to expand their operations across major cities in the southern part. The respondents of other key sectors like ecommerce firms, health care and others preferred Mumbai and Delhi NCR for their future expansions.
  • Office space occupiers across the leading industry segments were asked to chart out the direction in which they want to expand their office over the next two years. The results indicated that, most of the IT/ITeS firms (almost about 70%) of the respondents are more likely to expand their operations in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai, while the ecommerce and media firms chose to expand in Mumbai and Delhi NCR in the next two years.
  • It’s expected that the headcount of corporate offices will increase in the next two years as most of the respondents seemed to be very aggressive on expanding their operations in India. Almost 80% of the respondents from the sectors like IT/ITeS, consulting, research, ecommerce are planning to increase the employee headcount in the next two years.

Many respondents were comfortable with the corporate real estate strategies of expanding their operations within the existing markets. The above mentioned key findings clearly indicate that the occupier sentiment is highly positive towards the business environment of India for the next two years.


Pressures That Dominate Real Estate Value

When people usually think of real estate value they think of two forces; supply and demand. Yes, this is correct; however supply and demand only fall under the one of the four main categories that drive/depress real estate value. Supply and demand fall under the economic category of influences in real estate value. The other three include; social impact, government subjection and environmental forces.

When looking at social impact, there are a few things one would want to consider determining the effect it will have on real estate value. Most of all the value would fluctuate accordingly with population characteristics. This tie into the potential for demand in the economic section of value; the more demand, the more value a property can derive. Population however should be looked at in more depth by breaking down the sample by age and gender, rate of household formation and partition, as well as analysis of the social values such as education, law and order, and lifestyle preferences. Careful consideration of these factors will help establish trends in what would be reflected in real estate values.

Next is the government subjection, accounting for a large aspect of real estate value. This includes political and legal activities on several levels of government. These government influences have the power to overwhelm natural market forces such that you would find in the economic category. Government has their hand in providing facilities and services that affect values as well as a one of the main contributors to patterns of land use (zoning, by-laws, etc). The following are some things to look out for when assessing the government subjection of a market; fire and police services, garbage collection, transportation arrangement, utilities, zoning, building codes, health codes, and fiscal policies. Also the legislation that is set forth by the governmental factor must be accounted for, this would include; rent control laws, rights to farm, rights for managing forest, rights to agricultural land, restriction on ownership, new development laws, control of hazardous and toxic materials, and laws affecting investment power, loan terms, and mortgage lending institutions. All in all this is quite the category and its understanding will provide for a great idea of where values are currently and where they are headed.

In addition to the social impact, as well as government subjection, the environmental forces also play a part in real estate values. These can be natural or man-made and are analyzed by observing several aspects. Climatic conditions (snowfall, rainfall, temperature, humidity) would be an obvious one that would affect the values of building somewhere as well as maintenance and carrying costs, as well as the quality and type of build. Topography, soil and consideration of any toxic contaminants would also be of great importance as well as natural barriers, such as rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.

Just to get out of the 4 factors of real estate value; it is important to mention that there are some overlying factors that would be part of 2 or more of the categories. Once such factor is location, this is the link of a property in time/distance to any given origin or destination of a resident/user of the property. Location could fall under for environmental and economic, if not all categories. Due to the area and property type, properties access to public transport, schools, hospitals, stores, employment, suppliers, recreational and cultural facilities, parks, and places of worship would of importance.

This would also lead us back to the economic factor of influence on real estate value. The fundamental aspects to look for here include: employment, price levels, wage levels, industrial and commercial expansion, mortgage credit availability and cost, stock of vacant property, stock of improved property, occupancy rates, construction costs and rental/price trajectories of existing properties.