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Discover The World’s Best Luxury Real Estate Markets

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The luxury real estate market contains the world’s most sought after properties.

These luxury properties are available on the market for prices in the region of $1 million to $66 million.

The current housing market

The current global markets are rising thanks to low-interest rates.

The top performing countries continue include:

  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • Australia

The two top performing countries for house prices are Canada and Sweden.

Housing prices in Russia and Brazil are going against current trends, and continue to fall due to high-interest rates, growing unemployment, and severe recessions.

The US housing market is continuing on a steady upward trend.

Contributing to this is a surge in demand and an improving jobs market.

 

Uncertainty in not just the housing market, but in the markets as a whole, has begun to surface due to the current unease in Europe.

Despite steep falls across the financial markets over the weekend, the markets appear to be stabilizing towards the end of the week with stock markets currently showing mostly growth.

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The luxury housing market

The top luxury housing markets in 2015-2016 have been:

  • London
  • Hong Kong
  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • and Singapore

What makes these places attractive to property buyers and how have the current markets affected them?

London

After a period of growth in 2013, the luxury housing market has been declining due to new tax policies.

Despite these declines, London continues to be popular with domestic and international property investors.

London boasts high numbers of luxury properties, the average price of luxury real estate is $2,356,292.

The EU referendum caused luxury-housing sales to slow down in the capital; however, the housing market has shown signs of growth despite the left vote winning.

It is uncertain if this will continue to be the case.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong boasts the most expensive luxury property sale, at $194 million in 2015.

Property sales have declined in the last year due to ongoing government regulations.

Hong Kong, however, remains popular with Chinese and international investors.

New York

New York boasts several high priced property sales and currently places just behind London for great sales.

The Stock market’s volatility has hit the New York luxury housing market due to low liquidity from buyers.

The hit on the luxury property market is affecting the whole of New York.

Los Angeles

The average sale of a luxury property in Los Angeles is $2,590,000, with the high end of the market hitting $60 million.

Los Angeles boasts many high profile properties and residents including Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion; the estates are sold in the region for $200 million.

Sale prices have shown a slight slowdown when you compare growth in 2015 with growth in 2014.

Singapore

The average price for a luxury property is in the region of $1 million, with the highest priced at $66 million.

The decline of house prices disturbing the luxury housing market is affecting Singapore, with the liquidity of buyers contributing to this gradual decline as well as Government cooling measures.

Other luxury property markers

These are not the only luxury property markets available; there are also luxury property markets available in:

  • Paris
  • Miami
  • San Francisco
  • Toronto
  • Sydney

Despite stock market fluctuations and shifting in the fortunes of buyers, the luxury property market is carrying on.

Conclusion

The whole of the global housing market is currently on a gradual rise, although how long for remains is unknown due to uncertainty in the financial markets.

Despite predictions of global chaos, the stock market has shown slight signs of growth.

However, experts believe that we have not yet seen the fall-out from the EU referendum.

Currently, there are increases in house prices seen across the globe with the expectation of Brazil and Russia.

Brazil and Russia are going against the trend due to many economic problems such as high-interest rates and low employment levels.

The luxury housing market has seen a slowdown in house prices.

There are many reasons for this, however; economic issues, Government interventions, and reduced liquidity among buyers are the most common contributing factors.

Each of the cities listed all have different strengths and weaknesses.

London boasts the most amounts of luxury properties, however; Los Angeles is famous as the home for the rich and famous.

The luxury property market, much like the rest of the financial markets, appear to be holding on despite all the trouble already faced and that which may be yet to come.

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Renters Staying Put Because Of Student Loan Debt

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Renters Staying Put Because Of Student Loan Debt

Getting on the housing ladder is becoming more difficult than ever.

As populations grow and asset-holders gain more bargaining power over asset seekers and renters, the prices go up as demand outstrips supply.

People are moving into cities and looking for places, but the number of options available increases slowly as fewer greenfield sites become a stark reality, in comparison to decades gone by.

This article details more on the topic.

Market feeling the pinch

While it is a seller’s market, confidence is falling.

House prices, both in terms of buying and renting, are rising so much that open house viewings have lower footfall, and fewer young professionals are deciding to take a mortgage because of the spiraling costs.

See the graph below for this illustrated:

p4.1

For example, a survey done by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) adds to the picture of a failing market.

Some three-quarters of US citizens responded positively to questions about whether now was a good time to buy; it is a falling percentage, especially among those stuck in high cost renting.

And those aged under 35 were the least optimistic.

Unsurprising, seeing as they have the lowest rate of ownership in history.

And the grass is greener on the side of the landlords, as you’d expect: 4 out of 5 said that it is a good time to buy. equity for them has risen dramatically, as data from Black Knight Finance Services said home equity has risen in the period January to April by a whopping $260 billion.

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Rising prices, rising demand

The all-time peak price for existing-homes was pipped earlier in spring, and there has been an average of 5% growth in house prices, with much higher growth, as high as 10% in the area where there is short supply and high demand.

One famous example is San Francisco, where Silicon Valley’s growth pushed up rents, pushing out residents on lower wages to make way for high earning tech workers.

Homeowners wishing to sell can do so fairly quickly, with investors and first-time buyers seeking to snap up properties left, right and center.

Then they can use their significant equity that’s accumulated over the years towards a new purchase.

And the increase in homes owned by investors and profit-seeking landlords helps to push up the prices renters have to pay.

Those already in debt unlikely to want more

And it is those saddled with debt already, recent graduates or not-so-recent graduates who haven’t managed to pay off their student loans, who are the least likely to respond positively.

Half under 35 who had not paid off their loans said they did not want a mortgage nor believed they would qualify.

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Lawrence Yun is an economist for NAR.

He says that at the time when people are in the prime to get a mortgage, around their early 30’s, they are often put off by the emotional and financial impact of still paying off a student loan.

This has huge effects down the line for stability, both social and financial.

Jorge from Northern Virginia, aged 32, rented for a whole seven years before he bought a home in the spring.

He co-owns a restaurant, and had a salary of below 100k a year, but had already managed to pay off his student debt, which made the process a little easier and less stressful.

He could only afford a one-bedroom flat, and this was largely thanks to a housing program for low-income individuals wishing to get on the property ladder in the DC area.

He says it was a really long process, and he ended up having to simply choose a small apartment.

Saving for the down payment was difficult, but Jorge is thankful he has finally gotten onto the property ladder thanks to the association.

Without it, he would not have been able to do so.

Final Word

New homeowners are currently at an all-time low, at about one-third when the historical average is about 40%.

Higher costs of construction have shifted building trends to more upmarket projects rather than affordable homes, pushing those at the bottom out of the housing market altogether.

The end of the graph shows construction flat-lining while the population continues to increase steadily:

p4.2

Were the supply of homes at the lower spectrum of house prices built more, this would not be such a problem, but there just isn’t the political will to do this at the moment.

Another problem is easier international transfers as opposed to decades gone by, allowing the upper classes and elites in developing countries to buy homes as investments.

The flip side is that the higher prices are allowing more homeowners to consider selling.

61%, according to the survey introduced before, said that it was a good time to sell, an increase of 6% from the beginning of the year.

So if you have the funds, there is the will to sell.

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8 Places Where You Can Live Off $200K Retirement Savings

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8 Places Where You Can Live Off $200K Retirement Savings

For Retirees in the United States, $200,000 in savings would be unlikely to last a 30-year retirement.

It’s little wonder why more and more Americans are choosing to spend their twilight years abroad.

Retiring abroad has many benefits – like cheaper healthcare, a lower cost of living, and a much-needed change of scenery.

When considering retiring abroad, you must consider the:

  • Cost – An obvious one. Can you afford to move there? Will it be cheaper than living in the USA, when including all flights and other expenses?
  • Culture – Are you familiar with that country’s culture? If you’re going to be living there for the rest of your life, then it makes sense to know how the people are.
  • Language – Are you able to get by, day to day, knowing as much of that language as you do? Will you be able to talk to the landlord properly? A very basic thing, but something that could cause problems during your stay.

Stretching your savings is even easier when you receive social security benefits.

In 2016, the average amount came to $1,341 for the average retiree.

$200,000, along with social security payments, should be enough to last thirty years in any of these countries.

p5.1

Many countries also offer retirement schemes, which can give you a handy tax-break or discounted transport costs.

With the right planning, you can make your money stretch.

Ecuador

The former Spanish colony boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes around, making it a hotbed for retirees and tourists.

Ecuador also has a better healthcare system than the United States, meaning any unfortunate accidents or illnesses can be rectified quickly, and without picking up a huge bill.

Apartments in the capital city of Quito start for just $538 per month – with the added cost of utilities for a mere $53 a month.

The Ecuadorian government also extends generous benefits to retirees to attract them to the country – included discounted services and transportation.

Nicaragua

Located right in the heart of Central America, Nicaragua is a first-class retirement destination without the first-class price tag.

Like Ecuador, the Nicaraguan government has sales tax exemptions on construction materials if retirees want to build a home.

To qualify for this, a retiree must be at least 45 years old and must have a monthly income of at least $600 – which could be appealing to people planning an early retirement.

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Thailand

Moving out of the Americas, we come to the Southeast Asian country of Thailand.

Known for its tropical beaches and ancient ruins, Thailand is a popular destination for retirees.

For Americans, the Asian culture will offer something exotic and foreign – a feeling which may not be matched within the home continent.

Retirement visas are available to people aged over 49 years old – so much time as they meet the minimum requirement of earning at least $1,863 a month, or having $23,000 in a savings account.

Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, is one of the more expensive areas of the country – although it is still around 50% cheaper than New York.

However, living in more rural areas could bring down the price dramatically.

Belize

Heading back to the Americas, we get to the east-coast nation of Belize.

The Central American country boasts sandy beaches and scuba diving – as well has having a barrier reef to explore.

With a Caribbean shoreline on the east and a dense jungle to the west, it is the perfect place for an adventurous couple looking to fill their twilight years with excitement.

Belize’s forests are also full of historical Mayan ruins waiting to be discovered, and with an incredibly small population of just 331,000 people, it’s unlikely that there’ll ever be a queue to find your Mayan Calendar and send the Western world into a panic.

Belize City is a popular retiree destination – and not just for the views.

Rent on a fully furnished house can go for as little as $377 a month.

It is also a haven for wealthy individuals, as the Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Program allows retirees aged 45 and above not to pay any tax on earnings made outside of Belize.

Panama

Panama is a little bigger and a little richer than many of the options on this list – and therefore their housing isn’t quite as cheap.

Rental prices in Panama City are pretty similar to what one would find in the United States.

However, going out into more rural areas would bring down the price significantly.

The Pensionado Program allows foreign retirees to save a little extra cash by offering discounts on hospital services, utilities, flights and more.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is well known for being popular with tourists – but what is little known is that it is ideally suited as a nursing home.

If you decide to live in the capital city of San Jose, rental prices can go as low as just $417 per month.

Utilities are also very cheap – typically between $48 and $79 per month.

Roughly a quarter of the country is covered in protected jungle – teaming with animals like monkeys and quetzal birds.

Malaysia

Malaysia’s cost of living is considerably cheaper than it is in the United States.

Especially when it comes to housing – rent prices are 69% lower than they are in the US.

The exotic culture and low prices make it a hotbed for tourists and retirees alike.

Your money can stretch a long way in this country – especially if you take advantage of government schemes for retirees, like the Malaysia My Second Home Program.

Spain

Perhaps the most well-known country on the list, Spain offers a rich heritage and culture and, being in mainland Europe, is in a prime location for those who may wish to travel in their retirement.

The cost of living is not dramatically lower than in the United States – around 20% lower.

However, one of the biggest expenses, rent, is roughly 50% cheaper – which would likely save you an enormous amount of money in comparison to living in the USA.

Qualifying for a Spanish Visa is not a massively complex process – you only have to be able to show proof of residency and proof of income, as well as being free from any illness which may be classed as a threat to public health.

In conclusion

Having an enjoyable retirement for less than $200,000 is not impossible at all – you just have to be willing to look at some somewhat unusual places, which can add to the excitement of it.

All of these countries are very different regarding culture and lifestyle – but one thing they all have in common is that they are considerably cheaper than the United States.

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New York’s Historical Real Estate on Boom!

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New York's Historical Real Estate on Boom!

Sure, we all know that it is expensive to live in New York, and real estate is big business. That is just one of the cities where Donald Trump has made significant moves. Manhattan’s real estate managed some huge sales recently.

Over the last two years, major commercial property purchases have been made, with some traditional buildings changing hands. Here we take a look at some of the significant properties sold and quickly bought in Manhattan.

Interesting Points

There are some interesting points about all of these real estate deals that went down in Manhattan. Here are some of them.

  • All the deals listed here occurred within one year, from November of 2014 through November 2015.
  • 11 Madison Avenue’s sale at $2.29 billion was the largest deal ever done for New York City real estate.
  • 3 of the ten properties purchased in the list below were by Asian investors. Two were Chinese, and one was South Korea.
  • Only one of these ten deals went for less than $500 million.
  • The Crown Building’s availability was extremely short, being on the market for only one day.

Top Seller

SL Green Realty Corp. made history when they purchased the building at 11 Madison Avenue. $2.29 billion was the handsome sum paid to Sapir Organization, who also had CIM Group as a minor owner. The profit was quite nice, given that the previous owner paid less than $700 million for the property back in 2003.

Legendary Hotel Changes Hands

Of all the famed hotels in New York (or the world, for that matter), none has that certain ring when you say the name like the Waldorf Astoria. The Blackstone Group’s Hilton Worldwide Holdings remained the operator, only giving up the ownership of the Manhattan icon. It was China’s Anbang Insurance Group that bought it, paying almost $2 billion for the Park Avenue fixture.

Here Comes Canada

Montreal’s Ivanhoe Cambridge and Callahan Capital Properties went down to New York to pick up 3 Bryant Park from Blackstone Group. $2.2 billion was what it took to acquire the home of MetLife.

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Helmsley Building Up For Sale

The Park Avenue’s Helmsley Building sold for a small profit. The building was bought in 2007 for $1.15 billion by Invesco, Monday Properties, and South Korea’s National Pension Service. The buyer was RXR Realty, who came together with Blackstone Group to make the purchase.

Super-Quick Seller

$4,551 was the price per square foot for the Crown Building. $1.78 billion was the total price tag for this building, formerly owned by Spitzer Enterprises and Winter Organization. The buyer just took a day to step up. Jeff Sutton and General Growth Properties teamed up to make the buy.

Slight Name Change

The New York Palace Hotel, which sits on East 50th Street, was sold for just over $800 million. The name has now changed to Lotte Hotels and Resorts. The Lotte Group was the buyer, taking over the building from Northwood Investors. The New York Palace hotel purchase was by far the biggest South Korean purchase of U.S. property ever made.

The Lone Exceptions

$870 million was the price tag which saw HFZ Capital Group pick up the property at 501 West 17th Street, which is on the High Line. Although the maximum allowable height of a building in this area is 220 feet, HFZ got to go higher with its proposed buildings, which will be 300 and 400 feet high. Edison Properties, the seller, is building a new park next to High Line, which made the permit for the taller buildings possible.

Home of Victoria’s Secret

On 1740 Broadway one can find the corporate offices of Victoria’s Secret. The building was sold by Vornado Realty Trust to Blackstone Group for just over $600 million.

Park Completion Almost Ready

Bryant Park is nearly complete, according to Tommy Craig, the managing director for Hines Development. Along with J.P. Morgan Chase, 7 Bryant Park was sold to Bank of China for just under $600 million. Hines switched roles, going from owner to property manager, with a tower 30 stories high close to being finished.

Last but Not Least

Coming in as the only entry that went for less than $500 million, Clarion Partners signed for CalSTRS and MHP Real Estate Services, buying 180 Maiden Lane from The Moinian Group and SL Green Realty Corp. The Holborn Corporation was the first to move in after Goldman Sachs moved out.

Other Items of Note

There are a few things to make note of about this list of sales.

  • These are only the top 10 real estate deals regarding value
  • In the 11/2014-11/2015 period, only deals that are on property records were listed
  • The properties listed were single property sales only
  • Blackstone Group was the most common name among this list, occurring in 4 of the ten deals, twice as the buyer and twice as the seller.
  • At least 3 of the buildings constructed in the early 1900’s. In 1931, the Waldorf Astoria was built.

 

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