North American Property

New York City’s real estate is looking a bit shaky right now – especially Manhattan – since the second quarter figures were released. While Manhattan held its head high amidst the country wide housing disaster for the past three years, latest statistics have shown cracks appearing. So much so, that the 38% dump in sales was hard to overlook.

The Corcoran Group, New York’s biggest residential real estate group stated that this low is the biggest in five years. This is especially concerning since this low came right in the middle of the usual hottest property season.

X/O Condominiums is a two tower, super high-rise, with one tower 40 stories and the other 35. In total, X/O boats 487-units beautifully designed by architect Lucien Lagrange.

Scheduled to be completed in 2009, X/O was named, “Best New High Rise” this Spring by New Homes magazine. The award was based on price, amenities (state-of-the-art fitness center, pool and spa w/ outdoor misting park, movie screening room, and more!) and naturally, the design.

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Florida has always been a popular playground for city escapees who want to enjoy the sun, surf and of course the popular Mojito cocktail, while they watch the sun set over the ocean. Living in Florida is about the lifestyle and having fun.

Despite the great attraction, Florida seems to suffer too from the global property melt down. Foreign investors aren’t as active as they used to be only a couple of years ago. According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, some 25% of foreign buyers were investing in Florida. On first inspection, this figure doesn’t seem too bad. But when we take into account that the overall number of sold properties has gone down, it becomes clear that the market in Florida has slowed down.

Real estate magnate, Donald Trump is seeking billion dollar investments from the booming economic regions of the Arabian Gulf. Rodrigo Nino, president of Prodigy International, advisers to The Trump Organization said to the press on June 29th. “I expect to see at least $2bn of investment from the Middle East in the next 12 to 24 months.”

“We’re particularly targeting Middle East investors for our $2.5bn inventory in Manhattan and $1.5bn inventory in Panama,”  Nino told Zawya Dow Jones at the Dubai sales launch of the Trump Soho Hotel Condominium in New York.

The US sub-prime crisis continues to take it’s toll amongst developers and recent announcements from a variety of sources don’t seem to see any let up on the horizon. Some recent announcements this month include:

Toll Brothers Inc.(sic) said that its fiscal first-quarter home-building revenue fell 22% from year-earlier levels to $842.7 million and it doesn’t see any end in sight to housing-market woes. The company said it is still finalizing its first-quarter impairment analysis, but expects pretax write-downs of between $150 million and $300 million. “The housing market remains very weak in most areas. Based on current traffic and deposits, we are not yet seeing much light at the end of the tunnel,” said Robert Toll, the firm’s chairman and CEO. Toll will report full first-quarter results on February 27th.

Estate Agent vs Analyst

If anyone, either in the U.K or the U.S.A needed an incentive to look overseas for their next property investment, recent reports released in both counties should provide it.

Rightmove, an online U.K estate agent recently released a report that shows UK asking process have dropped for the third month in a row.

In the last month, the average asking price for a house in the UK dropped 0.8 per cent to £230,428, bringing the annual rate of increase down to 3.4 per cent – the lowest since December 2005.

The weak dollar is generating a lot of interest from foreign individuals and companies, interested in investing in the American economy. Particularly in the property sector. “We have had an overwhelming number of Europeans within the last six months asking about the Atlanta real estate market,” said Heather Stanton, an agent at Starate Real Estate Associates in Stockbridge, GA. “With the mortgage industry in the United States becoming so stringent with loaning money, the rental market is really increasing, and thus allowing investors from other countries to buy cheap and lease quickly,” she said.

The British pound increased 34 percent in value against the dollar in the last five years – 10 percent in the past 12 months. The euro has made even bigger gains, rising 47 percent since 2002.

The official launch of The Chicago Spire was on the 26th September at a prestigious event in Millennium Park, Chicago. A specially invited audience heard presentations by the two men who have brought this major new development to Chicago.

Architect Santiago Calatrava provided insights into his inspiration behind the 2000ft spiralling structure that will be home to 1200 condominiums when it opens in 2011. Garrett Kelleher, head of Shelbourne Development Group Inc., the driving force behind the project, gave his vision for a building that has already generated considerable interest across the world.

Record prices are still being achieved in the luxury condominium market all round the world. This is a selection in no particular order. Some have yet to be build and have sold purely on spec.

The Marq, Singapore.

The price of a condo in Singapore crossed the $5,000 per square foot this year when a single unit sold for $31 million. The first phase of the “invitation only” release all sold within a few weeks of release. Condos in The Marq cover an entire floor and include a 15 meter lap pool with every unit. No release date has been set yet for the next phase of the development. The bulk of the purchasers are said to be foreign.

The Time Warner Center, NYC.

In 2003, the Time Warner building in Manhattan broke all existing US records, selling a single condominium for $45 million – unfinished. Time Warner Center is one of the largest, most expensive multi-use developments constructed in New York City. This building houses the world headquarters of a major corporation; 211,00 square feet of additional office space; three jazz performance halls; almost 200 luxury condominiums; a high-end retail mall “The Palladium”; and a 251-room, five star Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Although rumors of an agreed sale of the Pierre’s penthouse at over $50 million may soon dwarf this.