“The ultimate bubble signal.”
The most expensive home listed for sale globally is in Bel Air, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Its main house is a 74,000-square-foot monstrosity. Among the special attributes: a 30-car garage. The compound, being erected by speculative builder Nile Niami, has an asking price of $500 million.
Seven of the world’s 10 most expensive listings are in the US. Four of them are in Los Angeles, including lesser abodes, such as a 38,000-square-foot mansion with a 5,300-square-foot master suite, several guesthouses, and staff housing, for $150 million.
Other countries have cool stuff for sale too, such as Pierre Cardin’s 13,000-square-foot “Le Palais Bulles” (“the Bubble Palace”) on the French Riviera, listed for about $450 million. Continue reading »
In April we pointed out that due to an already abundant supply of condos on the market, luxury real estate developer Extell Development Co couldn’t sell luxury condo’s at its One57 tower, in the heart of New York’s premier ultra luxury destination.
Extell decided that instead of leasing luxury apartments, it would sell the units as higher end apartments in order to fill vacancies and generate cash. As a reminder, Bill Ackman paid $91.5 million for a condo in One57 in April of 2015 just “for fun” in hopes of flipping the unit at some point. Continue reading »
Everybody loves a good Vancouver real estate horror story. Here is a great one.
In the endless series of reports about wealthy Chinese oligarchs, billionaires, money launderers, or mere criminals, never have we encountered anything quite like this yet, because according to The Province, the majority owner of this Point Grey mansion located at 4833 Belmont Avenue and which was recently ranked 16th among the most expensive homes in Vancouver, was sold earlier this year by Canaccord founder Peter Brown for a record $31.1 million is a “student,” property records show. A Chinese “student”… of course.
Land title documents list Tian Yu Zhou as having a 99-per-cent interest in the five-bedroom, eight-bathroom, 14,600 square-foot mansion on a 1.7-acre lot at 4833 Belmont Ave. Zhou’s occupation is listed as a “student.” Continue reading »
Many of you will be intimately familiar with the massive real estate bubble still in the process of inflating in certain parts of Canada, particularly Vancouver.
The insanity of it all recently received a great deal of public attention when the following home was listed for $2.4 million earlier this year (it has since sold).
If you’ve been following this story, you’ll also be aware that the primary driver behind the bubble is foreign investment, particularly Chinese. Of course, this isn’t a phenomenon unique to Canada, and as I noted in last year’s post, Welcome to Arcadia – The California Suburb Where Wealthy Chinese Criminals are Building Mansions to Stash Cash: Continue reading »
Over the past several months we have repeatedly noted a recurring peculiarity of the Vancouver housing bubble: there are numerous multi-million dollar mansions, which rot, abandoned, their owners having long ago disappeared.
Two months ago, we first postulated the hypothetical timeline that starts with the purchase of a Vancouver mansion Continue reading »
Since the Fed may not, or simply refuses, to see if not a bubble then at least “froth” in any asset class, perhaps it should hire Peter Thiel to be on its macroproduential supervisory committee, because according to the venture capital legend who co-founded PayPal everything is overvalued. Speaking at the LendIt USA Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, he said that he is “somewhat concerned about the frothiness of the markets” and adds that “startup tech stocks may be overvalued, but so are public equities, so are houses, so are government bonds.”
He adds that “if there is a bubble it is probably centered on the zero % interest rates, the quantitative easing, the money printing and that’s a very strange one because it permeates everything.” Continue reading »
Over the weekend, we asked the question, Did the Canary of New York’s Luxury Housing Market Just Die, following reports of the bankruptcy of a New York luxury real estate developet. Now, just two days later, we learn that another high-end real estate developer is having trouble closing out an ultra-luxury project in Manhattan.
Courtesy of Bloomberg, we find that luxury real estate developer Extell Development Co can’t sell luxury condos at what may be New York’s premier ultra luxury destination, the One57 tower, which it is attributing it to the fact that there is an abundant supply of condos already on the market. As a reminder, One57 is where Bill Ackman paid $91.5 million in April 2015 for a condo (which he hoped to flip), just a few months before Valeant, and his fund, suffered staggering losses. Perhaps that should have been the tell. Continue reading »
Done in by a historic construction boom.
Few housing markets are crazier than San Francisco’s. But what had to happen is starting to happen: while house prices continue to soar, a phenomenal building boom is causing a condo glut that will reach dizzying proportions as new condo towers are completed. And now the dynamics of the market have reversed.
The median condo price — half sell for more, half sell for less – was $1,100,000 in the first quarter for sales reported to Multiple Listing Services (MLS) by April 5, according to Paragon Real Estate Group. Up 70% from the first quarter in 2012. But it’s down from $1,107,500 in Q4. Very unusual: the last time the median price did not jump from Q4 to Q1 was in Q1 2012, at the end of the last downturn. For example, over the same period a year ago, condo prices jumped 8.5%! Continue reading »
The Bauhouse Group has filed bankruptcy for BH Sutton Mezz LLC, their entity that was to build out a 78 floor luxury condominium tower at Sutton Place, located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The bankruptcy comes on the heels of foreclosure efforts by Gamma Real Estate, who alleges that Bauhouse has defaulted on a loan of roughly $147 million.
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Another major city is experiencing a pullback in demand for its property – once again as a direct result of Government action to dampen the impact of foreign investment. In London, as Bloomberg reports, demand has slumped so badly that developers are offering discounts of up to 20% for their newly constructed homes. And just as the case was in Manhattan, it’s a result of the UK putting in a speed bump. The UK recently increased taxes on those deemed to be purchasing a second home, specifically designed to slow the pace of overseas investment.
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While real estate is all about “location, location, location,” it appears there are sometimes more prescient factors that any prospective buyer should pay attention to. Amid yet another government-fueled housing bubble, it seems in their haste to fulfil a rapacious demand for property in which to gamble their hard-grafted assets, Chinese construction companies have cut a few corners. As the following stunning video shows, a “newly constructed apartment” crumbles before the owners’ eyes as the ‘concrete’ walls turn to sand…
LiveLeak exposes, in the following video, just how poor the standards can be of so-called “new” properties. LiveLeak footage shows two men in a supposedly “new apartment building” in China where the concrete walls crumble like sand.
China is currently in the midst of a huge property bubble…
Home prices are rising faster than wages in most of the United States, making homeownership increasingly difficult for average Americans in some of the most populous areas of the country, according to a report released on Thursday. The report found that home price growth exceeded wage growth in nearly two thirds of the nation’s housing markets so far this year, with urban centers like San Francisco and New York City among the least affordable.
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“Housing in Vancouver is insane — it was insane when I left and it’s more insane now.”
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In Canada, an interesting paradox is visible.
On the one hand, the country’s oil patch is dying a slow death in Alberta, where the worst 12 months for job losses in 34 years is contributing to rising property crime, higher food bank usage, and a rash of unsold condos and empty office space in Calgary.
On the other hand, if you were to take a look at real estate in Vancouver and Ontario you’d think you were looking at home prices for an economy that’s thriving.
In fact, prices in Vancouver have reached nosebleed levels. In January for instance, the average selling price of detached homes was an astronomical $1.82 million.
Here’s what that look likes like in chart form: Continue reading »
Three weeks ago, when observing the ongoing lunacy in the Vancouver housing market, we mentioned the case of Canadian Bill Ring, head of operations for a property management company who, as Bloomberg quotes, said “I don’t want to invest in stocks because they’re crazy and real estate is a solid, safe investment.”
Much to our chagrin we mocked Bill’s zest, adding that “if the housing market in Canada were overheating, you wouldn’t be able to get “bargains” like the listing shown below from Vancouver.”
One place that provides some glimpse into true price discovery was the just completed government tender, in which a parcel of land sold by the government in the New Territories went for nearly 70% less per square foot than a similar transaction in September.
Five years ago, in July of 2011, the house at 4182 West 8th Avenue in Vancouver in sold for $4.6 million. It now rests vacant, abandoned and rotting.
Former Reagan White House Budget Director David Stockman says retail investors are going to take, yet, another very big hit. Stockman explains,
“The retail investor waded in again. The sheep lined up and, unfortunately, are heading for the slaughter one more time. I think it is very hard to see how this Baby Boom generation, with 10,000 of them retiring a day, can afford one more devastating crash in their stock holdings. That is, unfortunately, what we are heading for. That’s why I say it’s dangerous. When the bubble breaks, it will spill and flow throughout the Main Street economy.”
Stockman warns the next crash will be bigger than any other in history. Stockman, the best-selling author of “The Great Deformation,” says, Continue reading »
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver rose 31.7% in January. That’s 46% above the 10-year sales average for the first month of the year and the second highest January ever, the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board reports. The benchmark price for a detached home in Vancouver: $1,293,700. The “benchmark” price represents what the Real Estate Board says a “typical” home would go for on the market. If we simply take the arithmetic mean (i.e. the average), the numbers are even more astounding.
“Considering the global luxury real estate market is one of the most inflated asset bubbles on earth, current weakness could pretty quickly turn into a crash.”
It appears the music may have finally stopped for one of the world’s largest luxury real estate bubbles: London.
It’s well known that foreign oligarchs love London real estate as a means to launder funds, typically “earned” by soaking their host countries dry via corruption and fraud. This has caused absurd and irrational spikes in high-end residential real estate in the English capital, as well as a flood of new construction.
With emerging markets now completely collapsing, the seemingly endless flood of foreign money is drying up, and with it, London real estate.
So has the London real estate bubble popped? Probably.
– From the September 9, 2015 article: Luxury London Home Sales Plunge 26% – Has this Mega Real Estate Bubble Finally Burst?
The first real signs that the global luxury home price bubble had popped emerged last fall in the world’s capital of oligarch money laundering: London.
Since then, we have seen weakness in high end Manhattan real estate, but the trend has now spread and is starting to make itself apparent all over the place. Continue reading »
William Ackman is a wildly successful hedge fund manager. He oversees $17 billion of mostly other people’s money. Forbes estimates his personal net worth at $1.7 billion. These facts alone would make him a prime candidate to buy the penthouse condominium at One57, the new luxury tower on West 57th Street.
And indeed, Mr. Ackman told The Times in a fascinating profile Sunday that he is the buyer of the 13,500-square-foot condo with an estimated price of $90 million. What is more shocking is what he plans to do with it. Continue reading »
The 10.5% crash in existing home sales is the worst November drop ever. Against expectations of a mere 0.2% drop, this is the largest miss in history asnd tumbles SAAR sales to the weakest since March 2014. The collapse in sales was across all regions, and ironically was accompanied by a rise in median home prices across all regions. Of course there was plenty of blame to go around, from inventory constraints to weather but most of all – paperwork – as new regulations – Know Before You Owe initiative, has meant longer closing times. In other words, wait til next month, it will all be great!?
Here, as in other roosting places of the superrich, the recent influx of foreign money has gone hand in hand with the rising use of shell companies — generally limited liability companies. Shell companies were used in three-quarters of purchases of over $5 million in Los Angeles over the last three years, a higher rate even than the roughly 55 percent in New York, according to a New York Times analysis of data from PropertyShark. What is more, in Los Angeles, where so many of the new palaces are spec houses — luxury magnets for global wealth — not only are the buyers shielded by shell companies, but the developers are, too.
– From the New York Times article: A Mansion, a Shell Company and Resentment in Bel Air
While New York City and London are already well known as top destinations for shady, foreign-money laundering oligarchs who often attain untold riches by thieving from their own people, the Los Angeles area has likewise morphed into a criminal real estate hub. Continue reading »
One of the most spectacular bubbles inflated as a direct result of the oligarch giveaway colloquially known as “central bank policy” in the years since the global economic meltdown, has been the London real estate market. There are many reasons for this, but the primary one is the fact that London was seen as one of the best places for shady billionaires to park illicit funds, i.e., money laundering.
With a cratering in emerging market economies, as well as tax changes in the UK, much of that trade is now over. As such, some players are now scrambling to get out before the bottom drops.
If the following article is even remotely accurate, London real estate investors need to pay close attention.
From the Evening Standard:
As many as 60,000 homes bought off-plan in new developments in areas such as Nine Elms are scheduled for completion by the end of 2017 and many will be put up for sale immediately because of the growing disillusion with London, it says. Continue reading »