Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Are Second Home Sales Responsible for Latest Surge?

Surprise -- maybe. "The Commerce Department reported that sales of new single-family homes shot up by 13 percent last month, the biggest one-month gain in more than 12 years. The increase in home sales confounded analysts who had been predicting that new home sales would decline by 1.8 percent, reflecting continued increases in mortgage rates," according to the AP. Hello? What percentage of those new homes were second homes?

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Snowtime Down South

Early last week temps were above 70 in North Carolina. Now its ski resorts -- and vacation-home owners nearby -- are gearing up for winter. Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk and Cataloochee in Maggie Valley are already open. So are real estatee offices -- Beech Mountain Realty has many properties under $300,000.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Building In Lava Land

Former HBO chief executive Michael Fuchs has a new hit series: call it Lava Land. Fuchs's house on Hawaii's Big Island is one of 59 million-dollar duplex homes and single-family house lots carved from an old lava flow at Mauna Lani Resort. It is said to be the highest-priced and lowest-density residential subdivision at Mauna Lani. Finishing date: about two years.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Asked If It Builds Affordable Homes, Vail Said...

"The stuff we're building is not real estate that any local would buy and live in full-time, with the exception of (Vail Resorts chief executive) Adam Aron. But there doesn't seem to be any hitch in the demand for that, at prices we've never seen before."
- Chris Jarnot " vice president of Vail's sales & marketing department, in a Denver Post interview.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bubblettes, not Bubble

"There's no national housing bubble, only 'bubblettes' in markets like Las Vegas," Steve Friedman, Ernst & Young's national director of housing tells National Association of Realtors.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Second Home, Second Opinion

"Second homes are still in," argues CNN.com today. "If you already own a vacation place (and you can afford it), there's no reason to bail. The second-home market is expected to remain strong over the long run, thanks in large measure to the demand from retiring baby boomers. Looking to buy? Be patient. If the market for primary homes weakens short term, there's a good chance that the vacation market will too. "


Now's The Time To Bargain

If you're buying a second home, you might finagle the price down a bit. If you're selling, be willing to accept a reasonable offer. "The frenzy is over,' Steve Murray, president of Real Trends, Littleton, Colo. tells the Wall Street Journal in a Page One article about cooling first and second home prices. Murray says it may take six to eight months before sellers accept that the market has softened and reduce their asking prices. He said some of the brokers surveyed were surprised at how rapidly the market seemed to be cooling in recent weeks.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Santa Fe Soars

WSJ.com - This Year's Model: "Former money manager and television commentator Bob Nurock has listed his Santa Fe, N.M., estate for $3.28 million. Mr. Nurock, a former Merrill Lynch executive and commentator for PBS's 'Wall $treet Week,' paid $1.6 million for the single-level home in 1989 and spent more than $1 million on renovations, he says.
The five-bedroom, 5,400-square-foot home sits in Santa Fe's north end with views of the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains. It has a heated pool, six fireplaces and a two-bedroom guest house."


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Six Weeks in Aspen -- $1.3-million

At last -- a chance for millionaires to buy not a vacation house for $1.3-million, but a six-week 3-BR vacation fractional. Where? Aspen, of course. At a seafood buffet-and-reception last night in New York, the developers of The Residences At The Little Nell boasted that at about $3,500 a square foot, they are building 26 units that are probably the most expensive fractionals in the world. There will be 4-BRs for $1.75-mill but better hurry -- they're almost sold out.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

You're The Top

What must it be like to live up here? Pay $15.9-million and you too can rule New York City from high atop 170 Fifth Ave. "Penthouses are the creme de la creme of the condominium market -- and often, the most expensive," the Wall Street Journal's suave real estate senior editor Lauren Baier Kim writes today. "Situated at the top of a building, these homes frequently have expansive views, large amounts of living space and the latest and greatest in terms of amenities."


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Remote? Not Any More

Never heard of Marble, North Carolina? I'm not surprised. It used to be a remote spot on the western tip of the state. Now real estate agents tell reporters the town is booming with vacation and retirement homes. Homes at one development, Black Rock Falls, are expected to fetch prices from $300,000 to $500,000. Owners will share access to a natural waterfall, adjoining trails and a clubhouse overlooking the falls,according to published reports. So where is it? More than a four-hour drive from Charlotte.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Luxe Destination Club Dangles Discount

The competition for luxury destination club members in the Pacific Northwest is hot and heavy. One regional outfit, Signature Destination Club, is wooing new members with a $10,000 discount on the membership fee and $500 on annual dues to those who sign up by Nov. 15. "We can't open our homes fast enough," said Chad Stevens, co-founder and CEO of Signature Destinations. "Our regional approach to more frequent, family oriented vacations...has proven so desirable we sold out our first phase of memberships in one month after opening the inaugural hub in the Pacific Northwest." Signature is now trumpeting luxury homes in the Tahoe area as well as Whistler, Western Canada's premier ski resort, and the oh-so-hot Bend in Oregon.


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