United States Property

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.

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.

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.

The American housing market continues it’s slump, with house prices falling and foreclosures on the rise. With one major exception: Solar powered houses in California are outselling traditionally powered houses in several markets.

This is good news for green advocates, as the traditional argument against solar power was the long pay-off rate. With extra value added and increasing demands for renewable energy being high on buyers want lists, this may become a moot point.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Bernadette del Chiaro, an energy specialist with “Environment California,” as saying, “Builders are seeing that they’ll get more buyers coming to their developments when they have solar. They sell like hot cakes.”

NOT one brick has been laid, not one piece of timber has been erected. But already this home comes with a price tag of $155m (€119m) and has triggered considerable controversy. The price for the property, planned for central Montana by a US real estate magnate makes it, in theory, the most expensive property in the world – beating the record of an unsold 103-room mansion in Windlesham, Surrey, with an asking price of €112.

  • Deal is valued at $6.6 billion
  • Purchase includes Doral golf resort

Morgan Stanley has agreed a $6.6 billion (£3.34 billion) deal to buy a string of luxury hotels and holiday resorts, in a move that will give it control of one of America’s most famous golf courses.
The Wall Street bank’s real estate division has secured a deal to buy eight high-end resorts from CNL Hotels & Resorts, which operates 59 luxury hotels and resorts across the United States.

Among the hotels included in the deal is the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, which has played host to PGA Tour tournaments for more than 40 years. The Doral operates five championship golf courses, including The Great White Course. Playing a round of 18 holes on the course, designed by Greg Norman, the former world No 1 and twice winner of the Open Championship, costs up to $250.

As part of the deal, the two parties have agreed that CNL will sell 51 of its hotels to Ashford Hospitality Trust, a US investment trust, in a $2.4 billion deal. Morgan Stanley will take control of CNL and its remaining eight high-end properties, which include three properties trading under Hilton’s Waldorf- Astoria brand.

The portfolio of properties being bought by Morgan Stanley Real Estate also includes a Ritz-Carlton- branded property, two JW Marriott properties, The Doral and The Claremont, a resort in California. The properties will give Morgan Stanley a presence in four of America’s key destination regions: Florida, California, Arizona and Hawaii.

Michael Franco, managing director at Morgan Stanley Real Estate, said: “These types of luxury hotels are extremely hard to replicate and will exhibit excellent future growth from increased corporate group travel and leisure travellers seeking a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Morgan Stanley Real Estate was founded in 1969 as a mortgage brokerage business. It has widened to encompass banking, lending and investment. The group led the consortium that in 2004 bought Canary Wharf in London.

The CNL purchase comes as the group finalises a deal to dispose of 32 of its properties to Whitehall, an affiliate. Morgan Stanley’s deal with CNL includes the assumption of the company’s outstanding debt.

CNL Hotels & Resorts was created in 1996 to lead investment in the hospitality sector on behalf of CNL Financial Group, its parent group. The company, now a real estate investment trust, went on to become a developer and buyer of hotel and resort businesses.

CNL Financial Group was founded in 1973 with a $5,000 loan and has grown to be one of the largest privately owned property and financial groups in the United States, with $19 billion of assets.

Source: Timesonline