Posts Tagged ‘luxury real estate’
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Posted on May 14th, 2013
After this morning’s KNIGHT FRANK-led conference on the international housing outlook, predicting huge growth in demand for luxury real estate as global wealth expands, more news came in about the ever improving U.S. economy: The budget deficit will shrink this year to $642 billion, the smallest shortfall in five years….some good news from the government at last!
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office today reduced its estimate of this year’s likely shortfall by more than $200 billion compared to what it had expected in February. The agency pointed to stronger-than-expected tax receipts as well as payments to the Treasury by the government-owned mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the change…..again, housing drives the economy forward.
The government ran its widest surplus in five years last month, with revenues up 28 percent compared with April 2012, according to the Treasury Department. That would be a major improvement from last year’s $1.1 trillion deficit, and would mark the first time since 2008 that the gap between taxes and spending slipped below $1 trillion.
Next year’s deficit will further shrink to $560 billion, CBO said. The deficit will continue to fall in 2015, according to the report, before beginning to grow again. The brighter outlook will help postpone the effective deadline this year for raising the government’s debt ceiling, and may ease demands from some lawmakers for tough budget cuts. House Republicans are scheduled to meet tomorrow for two hours to consider their strategy for the upcoming debt-limit fight.
Tax receipts for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 will rise 15%, CBO said, partly because Congress allowed a payroll-tax cut to expire, partly because a January budget deal allowed taxes on the wealthy to rise and partly because of economic growth…..and improved unemployment figures.
So $ 2,500/sf may indeed be the new ‘new $ 2,000/sf ‘after all!
Saturday, January 19th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on January 19th, 2013
This week the discussion arose again about electronics for AV systems and ‘smart homes’ at one of my meetings with a developer client developing a gorgeous luxury building in New York. What exactly does the consumer want delivered to-day in a brand new Manhattan luxury apartment in the way of electronics?
Above a certain price-point, the expectation now is for a minimum of pre-wiring for speakers so as to avoid the need to rip out walls after closing. Electronic power points for electronic shades are becoming more the norm too. After that the waters get muddy: do they want a fully integrated Crestron or Savant system that allows you to control lights, shades, music, TV, AC, heat, security, etc? Each consumer is different and there certainly are a few who want space-ship quality electronics. Usually these people are rocket scientists who know how to operate these systems fluidly. The other day I visited a client who had just completed the renovation of a mega-penthouse in Tribeca….they had installed ‘the works’……..but it was painful to see how at even the light switches they had little hand-written notes describing how to use the system. Something as simple as turnign a light on and off had been made difficult. Really? At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this past week there was no hype about life improvement. Aside from Apple, are there any electronics companys trying to make things more consumer freindly or are they merely designing for themselves and their tech friends? Should we really be heaping attention on an event hosting companies that are actively making people dumber, aiding and abetting in the invasion of privacy, and for the most part making life more complicated than rewarding?
In a world where it is considered OK to send correspondence littered with errors, I think its time those designing electronics take a long hard look at the market to realize the majority of us are not tech geeks and when it comes to our homes we would prefer not to have to think too hard about how to turn on or dim a light. I look forward to the day when controls for home systems are as easy to use for a tech geek as they are for a child or an older adult, yes the ones who may also not be able to easily navigate the miniscule type on these contols that usually require a microscope to read!
Come on, you electronics wizards: its time to make your genius work for the people, not make them feel eternally inferior and reliant on a helpdesk to figure out the most basic of tasks in their own homes!
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on January 3rd, 2013
Bloomberg reported that the worlds billionaire’s net worth surged in 2012, some by as much as twenty percent. Does this imply a sharp escalation in LUXOFLATION, our measure of the pricing inflation we have identified in the super luxury markets?
I think it’s very likely. Already we are witnessing clear evidence across the board where luxury real estate pricing across the globe has surged in the past 18 Months. The price of a Rolls Royce, Birkin bag from Hermes, Patek Phillipe watch, plush hotel room, high end restaurant tab, etc have all risen at a pace that certainly surpasses the average rate of general inflation. The huge dilemma facing the makers of luxury products is theirs maintain their exclusivity. Is an Hermes Kelly bag really such a luxury when you know THOUSANDS are being sold just like it all around the world? Does that elevated price alone make it so luxurious?
The ultimate luxury is one that has collector value, some element of rarity or scarcity about it. I always refer to “collector qualities” in Manhattan real estate…….that something that makes a property so unique it is difficult to replicate it…….or preferably impossible to replicate it. That will be the huge challenge for all luxury product creators moving forward as the audience for super luxury grows dramatically across the globe.
And yes, I anticipate massive pricing escalation over the next few years as some luxury makers and buyers will automatically believe something is luxury just because it has a high price. They may learn the hard way that this is simply not true. Then again, the world looks to the Kartrashians and the likes for style direction……
Monday, December 17th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on December 17th, 2012
The Republicans have agreed to raising the tax rates on the rich at last…..the real rich: those earning $ 1million and more per year. At last the definition of wealthy has shifted from a stupid version to a more realistic one. Which idiotic politician truly believed that earning $ 200k per year in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, Boston, or a whole host of cities where the cost of living was so significantly higher than anywhere else in the USA was rich?
Now the Republicans have to acknowledge PART TWO of this inconvenient equation: simply raising tax rates will not make the system equitable at all. I know people who earn $ 1 million per year who pay almost TRIPLE the taxes of those who earn the exact same. That is unfair and should be considered un-American. Are we not equal in the eyes of our constitution? While I don’t think merely raising taxes on the rich is the ultimate solution, I do believe those who do earn a million or more will not cut their spending by much because of another $ 30,000.00 in taxes. It will cut savings though, but this could be off-set by an improved economy quite easily. It also may be a good idea that while raising the taxes on the real rich, they consider a contractual time-line…….so that these raises are not permanent, but tied to performance. Isn’t this what the politicians and masses are expecting of Wall Street? Once these tax raises have achieved the desired effect they should expire surely?
Raising taxes on those earning $ 1million or more per year will not impact the New York luxury real estate market negatively, if this is part of a FISCAL CLIFF deal that addresses spending in an aggressive, yet intelligent way: a good deal will spur the economy and markets and easily compensate for the loss in net income. A good deal will be focused on JOB CREATION: this is the ultimate cure for the ailing economy: once there are fewer citizens draining government tax dollars, earning an income of their own and spending/consuming we will be well on the road to a strong recovery. But only then.
Friday, September 10th, 2010
We found this simple, elegant light fixture in the bathrooms of a hotel in Italy and thought it to be the best lighting for a bathroom.
“This lighting is both super-efficient and also did not give you that hideous blue-white, sickly appearance created by the average fluorescent lighting fixture found now in too many bathrooms,” says Leonard Steinberg of Prudential Douglas Elliman and leader of the LUXURYLOFT team, brokers specialized in New York luxury real estate. This light fixture is made by XT Chary, and uses a tiny light bulb, LED we believe, that uses slightly more energy than a fluorescent bulb but significantly less energy than the traditional incandescent bulb. Energy efficiency meets sensible, esthetically pleasing design.
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010
Imagine these awnings (or a version thereof) attached to all sunny sides of buildings in Manhattan where the awnings not only provide cover from the sun and rain, but also produce power…..what about small solar panels or wind turbines that you plug in just like a small appliance?…..that’s the promise of a Seattle, Washington-based start-up that is working to provide renewable energy options — solar panels and wind turbines — for homes and small businesses. The panels cost as little as $600 and plug directly into a power outlet.
The company, Clarian Power, aims to be the first to bring a plug-in solar power system to the market, in 2011.
Clarian’s president, Chad Maglaque, says the company’s product is different from existing micro-inverters, which convert solar panels’ power into AC current. Maglaque says his system has built-in circuit protection, doesn’t require a dedicated electrical panel and plugs directly into a standard electrical outlet.
“Within the next 5 years, we will see a radical volume (think i-pod) of new, highly creative systems in New York real estate installed to create clean energy,” says Leonard Steinberg, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman and leader of the LUXURYLOFT team. “We have been touting these systems for years in LUXURYLETTER, the monthly newsletter on the goings on of luxury Manhattan real estate.”
Thursday, August 5th, 2010
In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, the next stage in the saga of the building HUDSON BLUE at 423 West Street is reported:
This building, located a few doors down from the 3 Richard Meier Towers, home to celebrities Calvin Klein and Hugh Jackman, somewhat emulating their glass and white steel facade, has been a building in limbo for several years. The Wall Street Journal reports it as a textbook case of the aftermath of the explosive credit years…..we beg to differ: “A building in this location, with A-grade views and significant comparable sales steps away should have been a success: it did after all come to the market at a time when everything was selling,” says Leonard Steinberg, managing director of Douglas Elliman and head of the LUXURYLOFT team. ” The reason this did not succeed was that the design, the quality of construction and the timing were all off….badly off. For this building to succeed in the market place, I believe the entire interior needs to be gutted and re-built.”
Monday, August 2nd, 2010
“New Yorkers may be burnt out on glass buildings,” architect James Carpenter said in a recent New York Times article. With over more than 30 years as a glass artist, he is now more focused on using the material not as mere enclosure, but as a tool for manipulating light.
The debate still rages on whether masses of glass are the best way to live in a city like New York where privacy issues are a much greater concern than in the suburbs. With large masses of glass come issues such as energy efficiency, privacy and furniture/art placement.
“I think the future holds a compromise between large expanses of glass mixed with equally large spaces of wall space,” says Leonard Steinberg head of the LUXURYLOFT team and a managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman. ” We have repeatedly heard from owners of all-glass apartments that placing furniture and art becomes highly restrictive, not to mention the challenges of heating and cooling.” The concept of living with large expanses of glass in a city like New York that experiences long, dark winters has become more popular with city dwellers craving light.
Luxury real estate buyers seek light as a primary concern, but privacy is an equal concern. The super-creative window treatments used at 100 Eleventh Avenue designed by Jean Nouvel are a perfect example of how an architect considered the vast expanses of glass and how it would affect day-to-day life. “In the future we would expect new buildings with masses of glass to deliver screening and privacy mechanisms along with the glass windows.”
Friday, July 30th, 2010
In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, it was reported that Jenna Bush’s wedding cost a mere $ 100,000.00 compared to the stratospheric $ 3 million estimate for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding: “Bottom line? Think more like Jenna Bush, and less like Chelsea Clinton”
A good point, yet one major defining issue was over-looked: the real estate. The Clinton’s do not own a huge ranch to host a wedding like this, and if they were buying the Astor Mansion in Rhinebeck, it would set them back about $ 12 million. The Bush’s 1,600 acre ranch is worth many millions and is (surprisingly) extremely energy efficient and ‘green’: Rush would not approve! So had the Clinton’s owned a spectacular property to host this wedding, would the $ 3 million cost have been significantly less? “Great real estate can be like a great accessory,” says Leonard Steinberg, head of the Luxuryloft team and managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman.”It can distract from a cheap outfit. An inexpensive wedding on spectacular real estate always looks more expensive.”