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Les Calvert is the owner of and many other property and travel related websites. Les writes news and articles on the overseas property market for leading websites, trade magazines and newspapers.

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In the years since 2009, the general trend has been for luxury property to lead the recovery.  It’s been a return to health with its roots in major cities and its main support has come from wealthy individuals buying homes: the recovery may have driven up house prices in global hotspots like London and it has created a two-tier housing market, but it isn’t an investor’s market; it’s driven by purchases.

Now, though, it’s time for the recovery to take a holiday.  According to Savills’ new report, Spotlight on Prime Residential Retreats, the recovery left beachfront properties in former hotspots like the Mediterranean, Alps, South Africa and the Caribbean high and dry while the rising tide floated boats in New York, Paris, Berlin and London.

In 2013 that story began to change.  A renewed appetite for leisure property saw growth of up to 10% in some leisure property markets, with more forecast.  Savills sees recovery in this sector led by Tuscany, the Balearics and the Caribbean – places characterised by the same combination of high quality and low supply that make London’s markets glow red-hot.

A major player in the new international property market is the investor-purchaser.  He’s not looking for a property to make money from: he’s looking for somewhere secure to put his money.  Bricks and mortar has always been option number one for the cautious investor, but properties in cities with strong markets are returning to full valuation (some say, and then some), leading investor-purchasers to look elsewhere.  Regional cities in Europe have been beneficiaries of this trend already but the markets of Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal represent too great a gamble.  Overseas prime leisure property is the answer.

Low interest rates in the Eurozone are another stimulatory factor for this market.  As the Eurozone’s governments try to make borrowing cheaper as an economic stimulant, overseas loans get cheaper and more attractive.

A final impetus is provided by the ‘Golden Visa’ schemes rolled out by various countries in the Caribbean and elsewhere with varying amounts of fanfare.  While they differ in their particulars, these schemes all operate by offering residency status to purchasers of properties above a certain value.

The French Riviera is the most desirable location for second home purchases.  The market is recovering, especially in terms of transaction volumes, though it’s starting from a low base.  An extremely limited stock, with little opportunity for new builds to match currently available quality, because of stringent French planning laws and the fact that in many cases the age of the property is part of its appeal, must be balanced against increasing demand from buyers worldwide.  Supply is inelastic, while demand is growing, making the outlook for the Riviera prices look sunny.

Currently, prices are running about a quarter below their 2007 peak, meaning that there are still some undervalued properties to be snapped up by savvy bargain hunters, though they’ll have to be starting with a solid financial base in a market where the average 4-bedroom house costs £2m and upwards.  Already got that Mayfair flat, St. John’s Wood house or Kensington mews?  The Riviera beckons…

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Image of Barbados
Investing in Barbados

Investment in the caribbean is taking off this year as holiday traffic to the Caribbean is increasing and the investor environment in the area is becoming more favourable: a double advantage for buyers.

The Caribbean has long been a favoured destination for Americans, and throughout the last couple of decades Europeans have caught on too, and the region is now a very mature tourist destination offering everything from classic sun, sea and sand vacations to more specialized eco-tourism, luxury spas and it’s one of the world’s top destinations for honeymoons.

It’s that tourism trade that underpins investment in the Caribbean increasing its overall appeal as an investment location. In fact, one of the most significant trends in property investment over the last few years has been the growth in dual citizenship opportunities and tax advantages in the Caribbean. St. Kitts, Dominica, Belize and Barbados have already implemented these and they are soon to be joined by Grenada and Antigua.

Knight Frank’s Caribbean Prime Residential Insight report 2014 said the number of prime sales rose by 10% to 15% in Barbados and the British Virgin islands. While prime sales are rising, sales in lower price brackets are following suit and prices are stabilizing following the 2008 crash.

The great advantages for individual investors in the Caribbean region are that many islands have few or no residency requirements, and many operate Citizenship by Investment programmes deliberately to foster overseas investment. The terms of the programme offer to grant citizenship to investors in the local property market, making it far easier to do business in their more favourable tax environments and simultaneously improving liquidity in local property markets and in the local economy as a whole.

The World Travel and Tourism Council has predicted that Grenada, shortly to introduce its own Citizenship for Investment programme, will be the fastest growing market in the region between 2011 and 2021. The organization expects the programme to benefit not just high net worth individuals, but the market as a whole, by its positive impact on property values.

One solid recommendation for the returns possible from Caribbean investment is the increase in Chinese investment in the region. By 2013, according to analyst Richard L. Bernal, China was the area’s largest single source of foreign investment and the rise in Chinese involvement in the region continues.

And it’s not just the Chinese: foreign investment from all sources reached a record high in the Caribbean last year, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development. Trade flows to the region increased by 18%, to total an estimated $294bn, or 38% of the world’s total.

It’s the tourist market in the area that underpins the growth of its property market, with Google search engine activity indicating a growth in searches for ‘holidays in the Caribbean’ of 48% in the year to January 2014.

That upsurge in interest in the region is confirmed by James Mannings, of Top Villas, who comments that ‘we have seen an increase of 31% from last year… it certainly seems as though those renting or looking to rent in the Caribbean are expected to benefit in 2014 and onwards with the continuing popularity of the islands.’

Check out our property search for Barbados properties for sale

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The top end of Canada’s real estate market is set for a boost from rising numbers of mobile, wealthy individuals looking for both residences and investment opportunities.  That’s the news from Frank Knight, a global property consultancy based in London.

In a report published last week, Frank Knight identified both the highest concentrations of wealth creation, and the likeliest places for the new money to be spent.  They estimated that the number of ‘High-Net-Worth Individuals’ (HNWIs), defined as ‘someone with $30m or more in net assets,’ would increase by 50% in the coming decade, pointing out that the numbers of such people had risen by 5% in 2012 alone.  The key locations for wealth creation were identified as being in Asia and Latin America, and the most popular markets for property investment were London and New York.

Liam Bailey, Head of Residential Research at Frank Knight, said: ‘The largest concentration of wealth is currently based in the established centres of North America and Europe, but there is set to be rapid growth in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.  In the next decade we will see the biggest increase in ultra-wealthy individuals in cities such as Sao Paulo, Beijing, and Mumbai.’

Mr. Bailey went on to note that ‘according to a survey of advisors with 15, 000 ultra-wealthy clients, London and New York are still the most important destinations in the world.’  In London’s case especially, that’s explained in large part by its status as a ‘safe haven’ for investors seeking places to put their money that aren’t affected by the fluctuating markets, tax initiatives and economic downturns of the USA and Europe.

Of course, that puts Canada in a good position to benefit from the growth in the number of HNWIs.  But they will increasingly look away from their traditional markets. That’s partly because of pressure on prices, in both London and New York, and partly because of a globally limited stock of luxury property.  ‘Demand is ever rising,’ as Frank Knight’s report has it, ‘while the stock of desirable locations remains virtually static.’

Andrew Hay, head of global residential property at Frank Knight, told the Globe and Mail last week that the current weakness in Canada’s luxury real estate market is ‘probably a temporary thing.’  Over the long term, Mr. Hay predicted that Canada would become a prime location for luxury investment.  Along with other likely growth markets such as New Zealand and Australia, ‘the rule of law, strong domestic balance sheets, political stability’ were likely to top the list of reasons why investors chose these markets, but Mr. Hay thought the clincher might be that ‘they are lovely places to live.’

And there are already signs that the market is being affected by the flow of money from newly minted HNWIs, primarily Asians.  According to Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Calgary led Canada in sales growth in luxury properties.  ‘The trend has been upward and we don’t see any sign of that changing for awhile,’ said Ross Macredie, president and chief executive of Sotheby’s Canada.

Mr. Macredie cited Sotheby’s research showing that ‘Calgary is really starting to become a city of high net worth people and investment coming into the country,’ and pointed to Sotheby’s own Top-Tier Real Estate Report, a biannual study aimed at highlighting market trends for Canadian luxury properties, which indicates that the market for luxury homes across Canada is expected to gain momentum and ‘generate increasing demand from local and international buyers.’  In Calgary listings of properties over $1m were up 38% from 2011 and sales in the same category were up 21%, according to the Calgary Herald.  ‘High-end neighbourhoods like Elbow Park and Glencoe were among those to see strong demand,’ according to Sotheby’s.

What has been Calgary’s experience in 2012 is now expected to be repeated throughout Canada’s major cities, but especially Vancouver, according to Mr. Hay.  And there should be good news for high-end real estate outside of metropolitan areas, according to Don Campbell, a senior analyst at Real Estate Investment Network in Vancouver.  ‘You are starting to see the wealthy not being concentrated in the hear of old Toronto and [Vancouver’s] West Van and British Properties,’ Mr. Campbell said.

Photo credits: Brian via Flickr

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Hong Kong is one of the most competitive real estate markets on earth.  Financial Secretary John Tsang told the New York Times that property prices had risen by 120% since 2008.  Obviously, that hasn’t been matched by an increase in income anywhere, let alone in Hong Kong, so while expatriates might be in a stronger buying position than natives, they are still priced out of the market.  If you want a Hong Kong apartment, you don’t stand a ghost of a chance – unless you’re willing to share with a ghost.

That’s because Hong Kong’s residents are Chinese enough to share that country’s abiding fear of the supernatural.  Where else in the world is there a word for ‘a house haunted by the ghost of a former resident, who has died an unnatural death’?

In Hong Kong, though, ‘hongza’ means just that.  Hongza sell for significantly less on the open market, and one Hong Kong business, Ng Goon Lau, has made a career and a modest fortune, in buying hongza at a discount and letting or reselling, often to expatriates desperate for accommodation and less superstitious than Hong Kong natives.

That’s not hard.  Other cultures have two-or three day festivities, or a Day of the Dead; in Hong Kong, an entire month is devoted to the Hungry Ghost Festival.  Every summer, spirits are believed to visit the city and need to be fed and entertained.  The city’s main daily English-language paper, the South China Morning Post, even hired monks to cleanse the newsroom after staffers reported seeing ghosts in the bathroom.  According to Niall Fraser, deputy news editor at the paper, ‘everybody seemed quite happy’ with the result, and the ritual ‘seemed to do the trick’ – the ghosts weren’t seen again.

As a measure of the difference that ghosts can make to Hong Kong people, it’s convincing.  But more convincing still are the figures.  Mr. Ng said that he usually expected a ‘death discount’ of 15-20%, less if the property was merely adjacent to a funeral home or cemetery, more if a previous occupant had died there in suspicious circumstances.  He said the discount could go as high as 33%, a dramatic reduction that assured Mr. Ng a healthy profit margin for several years.

Mr. Ng started in the hongza business when a workman working on Mr. Ng’s own house was killed in an accident.  Since that time, he’s segued from his old business, shark fin sales, into the newly profitable haunted-house business.  And one thing that helped him was the cash from his old business.  Most Hong Kong banks share the same superstitions as the general population and won’t offer any kind of mortgage on hongza.

But there’s been a sharp reduction in his profit margins recently.  Mr Ng is shocked: the death discount has dropped to as little as 5%, cutting deeply into his profit margins.  The inroads made by other agencies spotting a profitable market, together with the pressure on prices from the market at large, has meant that Mr. Ng was able to purchase only one hongza in 2012.  ‘The market is crazy now,’ Mr. Ng says.

The upside is that Mr. Ng, though he must pay more for hongza now, can ask his tenants or buyers to do the same.  He hopes to rent hongza at market value now, and expects to continue to make a profit on his haunted houses: ‘they’re still more profitable than shark’s fins,’ he says.

It seems the only thing that can drive Hong Kong people out of a property is ghosts – and the only thing that can drive out the ghosts is a boom!

Photo credits: Timothy via Flickr



The U.S. saw its biggest year-on-year house price rises since July 2006 in December 2012, according to Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, released February this year.

The rise in prices across 20 U.S cities was 6.8%, and the national 1-year change was 7.3%.  That’s slightly over the 6.62% rise widely expected by economists.  The highest-performing city was Phoenix, Arizona, posting a 23% 1-year increase, while the poorest performers were Chicago, at 2.2%, and New York, which saw a 0.5% fall in property prices.  That compares with a growth rate for the economy as a whole of around 2%.

Unlike the year-on-year rise, which was led by Phoenix, the month-on-month rise in house prices was led by Las Vegas and Los Angeles.  The final quarter of 2012 saw prices fall by 0.3% from the previous quarter, but still 7.3% above their fourth-quarter 2011 figures.  However, the year-on-year figures are a better indicator of trends in prices, according to a panel of economists that includes Karl Case and Robert Shiller, the economists who came up with the Case-Shiller index.  ‘As of the fourth quarter of 2012,’ says Standard and Poor’s press release, ‘average home prices across the United States are back at their Autumn 2003 levels.’

Overall, ‘home prices ended 2012 with solid gains,’ says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.  ‘Housing and residential construction led the economy in the 2012 fourth quarter,’ Mr. Blitzer went on.  Purchases of previously-owned homes rose in January even as depleted inventories restrained further improvement.  The National Association of Realtors reported last week that about 4.66m existing homes were sold last year, the highest figure since 2007.

Not everyone agrees that it’s a ‘real and sustainable recovery,’ though, in the words of one doubter, Quinn W. Eddins, Director of Research at RadarLogic, a data and analytics business.  Mr. Edins says he expects home prices to decline temporarily this year, as the rise in supply caused by the increase in prices last year tilts the market back towards oversupply.  ‘Home prices are likely to follow such a saw-tooth pattern form a number of years, until consumer demand increases and inventories of distressed homes return to historical norms,’ Mr. Eddins writes, referencing his belief that job growth and rising consumer confidence are not playing a sufficient part in the housing market.

It’s possible to self-inflate a housing market for a while, with construction and sales driving each other without input from the wider economy, though it usually ends in disaster.  And sometimes even city-wide statistics can disguise rises in prices at one end of the market while the rest founders.  We’ve seen recent examples of a two-tier housing recovery in the USA, when luxury properties recover or even boom while foreclosures rise.  But that isn’t happening here.

Borrowing costs, though they have risen slightly, are still at near-record lows and gains in employment are fuelling demand.  Property values are rising as foreclosures fall and the number of houses on the market is also decreasing, indicating a general recovery in the market.

It’s not local to one area, either.  ‘The key here,’ says Brian Jones, a senior US economist at Societe Generale in New York, ‘is it’s not as if we’re getting all the juice from one area, it’s broadly based across the country.’  Mr. Jones correctly predicted the rate of rise over 2012.  He goes on to explain, ‘rates are low, prices are attractive, so affordability is high, and the labor market is gradually healing as well.’ He goes on to offer this advice: ‘If you were in the market to buy a home, now it’s a good time.’

Photo credits: Dean via Flickr

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Kingkey 100, Shenzen, China - 10th Tallest Building in the World

America used to lead the world in skyscrapers – in fact there once were none outside the USA. But once balloon-frame construction caught on across the globe, the Flatiron Building, the Tacoma in new York and 1913’s Cass Gilbert-designed Woolworth Building were rapidly eclipsed.

Tall buildings make sense in cities where ground space is at a premium, but there’s a race for prestige and fame involved as well. The competition to house the world’s tallest building is seen as a struggle for status, and the tallest offerings are in the East, where Dubai’s Burj Dubai building is nearing completion. The tower, a multi-use monster described on its website as a ‘vertical odyssey,’ is 2,717 feet tall, easily the world’s tallest building. But maybe not for long-¦

Here’s our list of the world’s tallest buildings, ending with the lowdown on the Burjj – and the good word on the newest contender for the altitude crown!

#10: Kingkey 100, Shenzen, China – 1,449 feet high

Kingkey 100, Shenzen, China - 10th Tallest Building in the World

Currently the tallest building in Shenzen as well as the tenth tallest worldwide, the Kingkey 100 building is a financial office tower with a boat-like appearance, curving to a pointed tip. The building’s 1,449 feet of height, designed by Ted Farrells, contain 100 floors – 68 floors of office space as well as a six-star business hotel. Its top four floors house a garden and several restaurants. See some more photos on Dezeen.

#9: Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower), Chicago, USA – 1,451 feet high

At 1,451 feet high there’s not much between the old Sears Tower and the Kingkey building in terms of height, though they’re separated by a lot of geography. The tower was renamed for London insurance broker Willis Group Holdings in 2009, and held the ‘world’s tallest’ title for over 25 years from its completion in 1973. It’s now the tallest building in both the USA and the Western Hemishpere.

The Willis Tower uses an innovative design: the ‘bundled tubes’ method. Nine tubes on a 3X3 grid, each essentially a building in its own right, rise to various heights, giving the building a ‘tapered’ look that viewers of the Burjj Dubai building may find familiar.

Apart from dominating Chicago’s skyline and serving as a memorial to the hopes of the Sears Roebuck company, the Willis Tower is also famous for its ‘skydeck‘ – three observation platforms 1, 300 feet above ground and made entirely of glass, including the floors.

#8: Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China – 1,480 feet high

 Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China - 8th Tallest Building in the World

Zifeng Tower, full name Greenland Square Zifeng Tower, is a 1, 480 structure using the same ‘bundled tube’ construction as the Willis Tower, unsurprising since the same firm of architects, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, designed it. The tower features 66 stories, and office space and other uses are separated in different tubes, allowing for a ‘zoned’ design. The building has views of nearby mountains and lakes.

#7: Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 1,483 feet high

 Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Petronas Towers, sometimes referred to as the Petronas Twin Towers, are the design of Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli. The two towers are connected by a ‘skybridge’ 560 feet above the ground, and the towers continue past it to reach a height of 1, 242 feet. The Petronas Towers are another ex-colossus on this list, holding the ‘world’s tallest’ from 1998 to 2004, and their 4.25m square feet of floor space, distributed over 88 floors, holds office space galore but also tourist centres and even a gift shop; the towers are a big draw in themselves.

#6: International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong – 1,588 feet high

International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong - 6th Tallest Building in the World

The International Commerce Centre is a 1,588-foot structure, located in Hong Kong. It’s the tallest building in Hong Kong, and is home to the Ritz Cartlon Hong Kong and to office space, retail and serviced apartments. Anchor tenants include Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, and it’s also home to the lung-and leg-busting Vertical Run for the Chest stair-racing event!

There’s also a 1m-square foot shopping mall, and the tower forms part of a complex of structures built around the Kowloon Mass Transport station, a bonus for residents and visitors. One of the building’s unusual features is an ‘infinity edge’ swimming pool on the top floor, with a glass wall facing out over the city. Not for the faint hearted!

#5: Shanghai World Financial Centre, Shanghai, China 1,621 feet high

Shanghai World Financial Centre, Shanghai, China - 5th Tallest Building in the World

The Shanghai World Financial Centre is a mixed-use skyscraper dominating the Shanghai skyline, and incorporating offices, hotels, a ground-floor shopping mall and conference rooms as well as observation decks.

Designed by US architects Kopf Pederson Fox, the Centre offers views over the Huangpu River from the world’s highest observation decks.

The Centre was intended to serve as a business centre for all needs, so there’s a studio, press conference hall and meeting rooms as well as a multi-use coffee hall and bar with views of the Huangpu River.

#4: Taipei 101, Xinyi, Taipei, Taiwan – 1,674 feet high

Taipei 101, Xinyi, Taipei, Taiwan - 4th Tallest Building in the World

The world’s tallest building from 2004 until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in 2010, the Taipei 101 is named for its location and its 101 floors. Like the Petronas Towers, which are laid out on a geometric basis which has significance in Islam, the Taipei 101 building owes much of its design to its cultural background. Its shape is designed to recall traditional Southern Chinese architecture, and it’s constructed in 8 rising sections, 8 being a lucky number in Chinese culture.

Like the Shanghai World Financial Centre, the Taipei 101 is intended to be a multi-use structure oriented to business customers, with office space and conference facilities, a restaurant located near the top of the tower and observation decks.

Representative of the trend for such buildings to brand themselves is the Taipei 101’s prize for photography, and the building’s website displays the awards it has won over the years since its completion in 2004.

#3: Mecca Royal Clock Tower, Mecca, Saudi Arabia – 1,972 feet high

Mecca Royal Clock Tower, Mecca, Saudi Arabia - 3rd Tallest Building in the World

The structure, also known as the Abraj Al-Bait Towers, stands 1,972 feet, overlooking the Grand Mosque. There are twenty stories of shopping malls and the rest of the structure is given over to luxury hotels and serviced apartments, as well as indoor parking for over a thousand vehicles.

The Towers were built as part of a Saudi effort to modernise Mecca for Muslim pilgrims, a controversial move in some eyes as historic parts of the old city had to be removed.

Uniquely for a building on this list the Clock Tower serves a religious function: its clock visible from nearly 20 miles away and inscribed with ‘Allah Aqba’ (‘God is Great’), calls the faithful to prayer five times a day.

#2: Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 2,722 feet high

Burj Khalifa Dubai, UAE - 2nd Tallest Building in the World

The Burj comfortably outclasses all its competitors in the tallest building stakes. At 2,722 feet high, it’s 800 feet taller even than the Mecca Clock Tower, and far outstrips any other skyscraper currently in existence.

So why is it not number one?

Read on to find out€¦

The Burj was designed to be the centrepiece of a mixed-use development that would include homes and offices as well as parkland and an artificial lake. It’s another offering from Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and follows the trend of incorporating cultural elements particular to the region in its design, following an Islamic geometric pattern.

The Burj contains the blend of facilities we’ve come to expect from prestige mixed-use skyscrapers, including two floors with swimming pools, 900 private residential apartments reaching up to the 108th floor, and the first of four planned Armani hotels occupying the lower floors.

Because of its size the Tower required systems like its elevators and cleaning to be developed or re-engineered anew, and is responsible for several innovations. It also offers observation decks, with views over Dubai and the Gulf of Arabia.

#1: Sky City, Changsa, China – 2,749 feet high

Sky City, Changsa China - Tallest Building in the World

Mainland China’s contribution to the skyscraper size race is the Sky City building in Changsa. Construction on this edifice has not yet even begun, but it is planned to be 2, 749 feet high, just edging over the Burj in Dubai. The two will be members of a new class of ‘superskyscraper’ – the only buildings in the world that are the best part of 3,000 feet high. How long that will last is anyone’s guess, of course€¦

Sky City has an additional claim to fame. The Chinese Government has claimed that the building will be completed, groundbreaking to spire, in 90 days – compared to the more than five years it tok Dubai to complete the Burj.

The company responsible for its construction, Broad Sustainable Building, has never built anything taller than 30 stories before. Nevertheless, as senior vice-president Juliet Jiang told reporters, the construction ‘will go on as planned, with the completion of five stories a day.’

Chart of Worlds Tallest Buildings

Teams of engineers who worked on the Burj will be helping design the Sky City tower and there is expected to be a surge in very tall building in China as the country urbanizes rapidly. So the reign of the Burj as the world’s tallest building is to be a short one – but Sky City’s may be even shorter.

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and unsurprisingly, it’s on a golf course.  Michael Jordan’s love of golf is almost proverbial, and the NBA star already owns a 28,000 square foot mansion in Jupiter, Florida, also home to a great set of links.  His Airness’ Florida home was chosen for its proximity to the Bear’s Club and his neighbour is Tiger Woods.

But Jordan can’t stay home full time.  He has a sports team to manage.  In the winter of 2010 Mr. Jordan took over as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, replacing Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson.  So he needs a home in North Carolina, preferably one with golf course access.

A little shopping around found Mr. Jordan this foreclosed 12, 310-square foot property, located on Lake Norman in Cornelius, about 22 miles from the Charlotte Bobcats’ Time Warner Cable Arena.  Mr. Jordan bought the $2.8m home through a trust, the Jordan Family Gift Trust.  And he got a deal on the house too: it was originally listed for $3.99m in 2011 and relisted in 2012 for $3.49m.  Cornelius Commissioner Dave Gilroy told the Charlotte Observer that he though the deal was “fantastic.  He got a great buy on that house.”

The home has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, a mansion by anybody’s standards but less than half the size of Mr. Jordan’s Jupiter home.  And Tiger Woods isn’t nearby either, but the house is on a golf course.  In fact it’s located at the seventh hole of The Peninsula Golf Club.  The listing states that the site features “stunning panoramic lake views from almost every room.”  It also has a jetty into the lake with its own launching platform.

And drag racer Doug Herbert, who previously owned the house, said the property is “a great place to entertain friends and have people over.”  Mr. Herbert only left the property after his two sons were killed in a freak traffic accident in 2008, on Jetton Road, near their home.  After the tragic loss of his sons Mr. Herbert said it became emotionally impossible for him to live there.  “It was a difficult trip to take every day to got to work,”  Mr. Herbert said.  “It became hard to live there.  It was time to go.”

The gated community is glad to have Mr. Jordan moving in.  Resident Patricia Potts said she hopes Mr. Jordan’s presence will put the country club on the map as a ‘five star golf community.’  Other residents said they were unsurprised that Mr. Jordan had chosen their community.  Given that other celebrity residents included former Boston Celtics centre Robert Parish and Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, ‘it makes sense,’ said resident Gary Marine.

Mr. Gilroy sums up local sentiment: ‘We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a legend like that as a Cornelius resident.’

One thing that Mr. Jordan’s new home lacks is the full-size regulation basketball court that graces his main home in Florida.  So he has to make do practicing with the now-conveniently close Bobcats.

According to team members, there’s a tradition of one-on-one practice at the Bobcats that endures despite Mr. Jordan’s relatively advanced years.  At nearly 50 does Mr. Jordan still have anything to offer as a trainer? According to Bobcats captain Gerald Henderson, “he’s the best ever to play and he’s still got that competitive nature.  He always feels he can help you.”  And coach Mike Dunlap feels he probably can: “There’s a stew down there – a mixture of instruction, humour, competitive spirit and care.  Also, if a guy is not feeling good about his game, it gets the cobwebs out.”








Photo of his $12.4m Florida Home


Article written by Kunle Campbell

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The Coalition government began its term of office with a clear policy focus, clearly defined aims and clearly defined methods.  George Osborne will be judged as a success or as a failure by the UK’s ability to improve economic performance by reducing sovereign debt.  To this end, cuts to welfare, to pensions and to benefits have been made, over objections from MPs and campaigners.  To this end the major focus of the Osborne plan has been to reduce government spending so that the nation can pay its debts.  To this end money has been poured into banks, to encourage them to lend and stimulate business, while the UK has seen the deficit fall by a quarter even as the flow of credit has failed to restimulate an economy headed for a triple-dip.

The Bank of England and another building from the City

It’s no coincidence that the country’s woes remind those with long memories of the chaotic, strike-stricken and economically sluggish late 1970s.  The last time Moody’s withdrew its stamp of approval, the AAA credit rating, was then; Britain has held the highest credit rating possible since 1978.

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The high cost of rent and difficulties of getting onto the housing ladder have conspired to prevent many young people from getting their own places to live after graduation.  Instead they have returned to the family home, in record numbers, earning themselves the soubriquet’boomerang generation.’  According to a report published late last year by housing charity Shelter, 1.7m adults between 20 and 40 are living with their parents purely because they cannot afford a place of their own.

It’s a long term trend in itself – since 1997, the number of people between 20 and 34 living with their parents has risen by 20%, or half a million people, and now rests at 1.6 million.