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Even Luxury Homes Feeling the Market Pinch

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By : Gloria Singer    99 or more times read
Up until lately we haven't heard too much either way about the impact of the housing market on luxury properties. It appeared these listings were among the least affected by the economic situation. Now the facts are out, and it seems no one is immune from this recession. The downturn of sales on luxury properties is being felt on a global level.

Sama Dubai has just canceled a $2 billion dollar contract with South Africa's Murray Roberts and Bahrain's Nass Corporation to build a luxury resort in Bahrain, near the Formula One racetrack. Dubai developing firm, Nakheel has also halted work on both the Trump International Tower, and its kilometer high Nakheel Tower.

In the Hamptons, New York's playground for such financiers and celebrities as Edgar Bronfman, Steven Spielberg, and Blackstone Group CEO Steven Schwarzman, home sales fell 41 percent in December. The median home price slid from $800,000 to $690,000 in a matter of one year. Real estate inventory increased by 19 percent and is not moving.

As Paul Brennan, regional director for the Hamptons at Elliman describes the situation: "The market is in stagnation. If you sell in this market, itís usually one of the three Dís: death, divorce or debt.Ē

Apartment sales in Manhattan also fell steadily each quarter in 2008, down 9.4 percent from 2007.

Luxury resort, Hualalai in Kohala, Hawaii is also feeling the pinch. This exclusive, gated community surrounded by acres of lava fields is known for its privacy, and natural beauty. Real estate consists of villas, homes and custom homesites. Recently a fully furnished home sold for just over $10 million.

The resort is manned by four concierge at all times, has two championship golf courses, pools, snorkel lagoon, Sports Club & Spa, and Canoe Club restaurant. A Cultural Center offers island-style programs such as lei making, hula, and canoe paddling. The onsite Four Seasons Resort Hotel offers rooms starting at $800/night where you can expect to see the likes of Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington or Leonardo DiCaprio romping at the beach.

The resident-only country club membership comes with a hefty price that includes a $225,000 deposit plus $28,000 per year in annual fees. This provides use of the swimming pool, indoor and outdoor facilities, concierge, golf courses, tennis and ability to charge expenses to your account.

Normally, there is a two-year waiting list to purchase real estate at this ultra-exclusive resort, but currently there are a number of homes available. Brokers are claiming that homes hit hardest are those selling for under $3 million. Homes in the upper end are continuing to sell, but not as quickly.
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