Real Estate Trends Around the World
Posted October 25th, 2012 | by The Update
The Dallas market continues to be extremely robust. Recent reports note that selling prices for top homes in Dallas and other luxury markets in Texas showed growth or continued strength. Dallas was one of the few markets to post gains in median sales price, ranking it 12th among S&P/Case-Schiller’s 20 index markets. All of that bodes well for the luxury home market. In the second quarter, I saw a renewal of confidence in homebuyers, and that came from lower interest rates. I haven’t seen that kind of confidence in a long time.
The Manhattan super-prime trophy market has been more active than ever. People are paying record prices for cooperatives and condominiums at the top of the market. The latest major transaction was the sale of the duplex penthouse at One 57th Street for more than $90 million. That will be the highest residential sale in New York City to date. Recent reports show that one-third of super-prime property in New York is selling to international buyers. According to Forbes, since 2009 the number of billionaires in Russia and Ukraine has more than tripled. There are a dozen new billionaires in Brazil and Turkey. Asia now has an estimated 43,000 ultra-high-net-worth individuals with a combined wealth of $6.2 trillion, CNBC reported in April. Much of this money is flowing into trophy projects in New York City, which, along with super-prime art, is seen as a safe haven. Indeed, international markets in high-end art and real estate are mirror images of one another, moving in synergistic lockstep.
Central London is the city’s hottest market for super-prime properties, many of which are being purchased by ultra-wealthy foreigners who buy during short visits and then leave the homes empty as safe havens for their money. Supply and new developments are scarce as money floods the London market from the Middle East, Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, India and the Far East, driving prices higher. The exclusive districts of Knightsbridge and Belgravia form the core of central London’s super-prime market. A penthouse in a new mixed-use development in Mayfair recently sold for £4,500 per square foot, while at One Hyde Park, prices have reached £6,000 per square foot. Still, approximately 20 percent unsold apartments in the building are priced at more than £100 million.
Hong Kong’s housing prices have increased by more than 70 percent since the start of 2009, helped by record-low mortgage rates and an influx of mainland Chinese buyers. Wealthy investors appear to be switching from cash to property amid the concerns caused by the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Recently, $57 million was spent for a five-bedroom, luxury duplex suite at one of Hong Kong ́s most prestigious addresses. That works out to a price per square foot of $9,256. The overall number of sales and purchase agreements of residential units rose 139 percent and 126 percent quarter-on-quarter respectively, during the three-month period ending May 2012.
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