Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Second Week in May 2015

Highlights from this week’s top news stories on luxury and global real estate, art, collectibles and home.

Unknown$13,999,000 USD | West Yarmouth, Massachusetts | Sotheby’s International Realty – Osterville Brokerage

This approximately 5,851-square-foot, four-bedroom house is part of Great Island, a gated community on Cape Cod. It has a tower designed to look like a lighthouse and views of Nantucket Sound and Lewis Bay. The home sits on 3.82 acres with 640 feet of beach frontage and a private deep-water boat slip on a shared pier. Three Summer Getaways on the WaterWall Street Journal

On the Market: A Pierre Koenig–designed home on a bluff overlooking the Pacific OceanArchitectural Digest

House hunting: 7 homes with beautiful natural lightingThe Week

On the Market: An 18th-century neoclassic villa in the hills of TuscanyArchitectural Digest

Metro Home Prices Maintain Steady Growth in First Quarter of 2015National Association of Realtors

Real Estate in St. LuciaNew York Times

Realogy Issues First Annual Corporate Social Responsibility ReportRISMedia

A Rothko Tops Sotheby’s Contemporary Art AuctionNew York Times

Manhattan’s Mid-Sized Market MakersThe Real Deal

Cartier Ruby Sets Record in $161 Million Sotheby’s Jewelry SaleBloomberg

How Blue Hill at Stone Barns Transplanted Its Farmhouse Feel Into a Sotheby’s GalleryThe New York Times

Personal Real Estate | An Investment and a Need

Numerous ultra-high net-worth (UHNW) individuals have utilized real estate as an investment vehicle to increase their wealth, but these properties continue to have a primary purpose: first and foremost, they serve as residences.

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Besides the obvious need to own a property in one’s primary business location, the time spent in other locations, whether for leisure or business purposes, may make the ownership of a secondary residence a practical and financially responsible course of action.

UHNW individuals’ personal and professional considerations, in that order, tend to drive the demand for residential real estate. Residential real estate, while it is known as a long-term safe investment, is almost always purchased because of a specific connection between a UHNW individual and a particular place. For example, many Asian UHNW individuals who buy property in the top real estate markets for investment purposes are either choosing these markets because they are building up their business activities in the region or, increasingly, because their children are going to study abroad. Some of the main cities where UHNW individuals buy residential real estate outside of their home cities are located close to elite universities, financial hubs or often both.

Lifestyle is one of the key motivating factors in the purchase of a luxury home, “ said Wendy Purvey, chief marketing office, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Consumers want homes that will meet their unique needs, whether it be a waterfront property, ski in/out access or a vineyard.”

Read more information like this in our Global Luxury Lifestyle Report with Wealth-X >

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Expands Presence into Mauritius

Mauritius_beachSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that Espral International Ltd, a land and property development company in Mauritius, has joined its luxury real estate network and will now do business as Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty.

The firm, which is represented by Gilbert Espitalier-Noel as chief executive officer, will be managed by Diane Watkins and Timo Geldenhuys and serve the high-end real estate market throughout Mauritius.

“Our expansion into Mauritius continues our commitment to providing access to the Sotheby’s International Realty network’s exclusive real estate services in key countries around the world,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “Mauritius is a beautiful island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of the African continent. Known for its blue seas, white sandy beaches and luxury hotels, the island is also home to significant luxury real estate offering a truly unique lifestyle.  We are proud to have this team of professionals represent us in this fine market. ”

According to Geldenhuys, Mauritius is a relatively small market with a very distinct seperation between local and international buyers. “International buyers are only allowed to purchase in dedicated government approved developments and hence the local market prices are not inflated by international investment,” he said.  “Cultural diversity within the local market demands the abilities of a skilled agent.”

“We boast a young and dynamic team, driven by passion and excellence, with a culture that favors communication and discussion,” said Watkins.  “We have an in-depth knowledge of the local market and our products. We believe the client always comes first and we go the extra mile to assist in finding the best fit for their needs.Now with the support of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand we can bring our extraordinary properties to the far-reaching corners of the world.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 16,500 sales associates located in approximately 760 offices in 60 countries and territories worldwide.  Mauritius Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Enters Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington

First Thursday Art Walk, Portland, OregonSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that its affiliate in Oregon, Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, has expanded its residential brokerage operations to now serve two new markets:  Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.

Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty joined the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand in 2006 and is owned by Deb Tebbs.  The firm now has six offices serving Bend, Sisters, Sunriver and Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.

“Deb Tebbs and her team have been great stewards of our brand for nearly a decade,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “We are proud to have the brand represented in the Portland and Vancouver markets through their leadership and market knowledge.”

According to Tebbs, her firm is committed to providing clients with quality, worldwide exposure.  “We specialize not only in residential property but also fine farm and ranch and vineyard properties,” she said.  “We are pleased to continue to grow with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 16,500 sales associates located in approximately 760 offices in 60 countries and territories worldwide.  Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

Search luxury real estate in Portland >

Immerse yourself in the NEW sir.com

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Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced the launch of its newly redesigned website, sir.com, which was built to showcase its network’s listings in an immersive and visual way that is unique to the industry.

“The new sir.com was created to tell the story of a home in a more editorial way, not the commoditized approach that can often be found in our industry,” said Wendy Purvey, chief marketing officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “We believe the art of marketing a home is based on showcasing its soul, so every aspect of the new site works toward this goal.”

The design changes include an increased focus on full-screen, high-definition video throughout the site, from the homepage to property detail pages, to allow for a more immersive consumer experience.  High-resolution photography also plays a more prominent role.  The property detail pages feature: slideshows that tell a home’s story via the captions, custom video, location overviews that provide insight into the local area via video and text, and a seller or expert quote that offers a personal view of the property.

Consumers still can search for a home based on lifestyle and amenity but now have the ability to sort their results by various home features including pools, kitchens and views, and compare visual images of that feature among their search results.

“At the foundation of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand is our focus on lifestyle,” said John Passerini, vice president of interactive marketing for the brand.  “Our lifestyle search is more visual, and our focus on video and photography allows our affiliates to showcase the various lifestyles a home offers that cannot be properly articulated in words only.  Our fully responsive site works on any mobile device and allows our network members to do what we believe they do best: uniquely showcase extraordinary homes around the world anytime, anywhere and in any language.”

Discover how searching for your new home is redefined on the NEW sir.com:

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Welcomes Virginia Firm

lg_lau_anthony_entry-1-of-39Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that Frank Hardy Inc., in Charlottesville, Virginia, is the newest member of is real estate network, now operating as Frank Hardy Sotheby’s International Realty.

Established in 1977, the firm is owned by Frank Hardy and will serve the high-end real estate market throughout Charlottesville, Piedmont, Albemarle County, Orange County, Chesapeake Bay and the Shenandoah Valley through its two offices and 22 affiliated agents.

“Since its inception in 1977, Frank Hardy Inc. has developed a reputation for specializing in high-end farms and estates,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “During that time, the firm has served its clientele with dedicated support and specialized market knowledge.”

According to Hardy, the affiliation offers his firm a broader reach among potential clients worldwide.  “We have always worked with an international client base, and we believe that with the support of this brand we can expand on that,” he said.  “We have spent nearly 40 years developing a deep understanding of our unique market, which offers a vibrant university community mixed with outdoor country living.  It is with this understanding and love of our hometown that we serve our clients.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 16,500 sales associates located in approximately 760 offices in 60 countries and territories worldwide.  Frank Hardy Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Enters Brazil

Brazil j7js3jSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that Imobiliaria Bossa Nova in Brazil has joined the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand and now will do business as Bossa Nova Sotheby’s International Realty.

The firm, led by owners Luciano Amado as president and Marcello Romero as vice president, is located at Alameda Gabriel Monteiro da Silva 2027, Pinheiros, São Paulo.

“São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are exciting markets that encompass extraordinary properties in a broadly diverse destination, and they provide a highly influential source of avid real estate buyers,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “We are pleased to welcome Luciano, Marcello and their team to our global network.”

According to Romero, the new affiliation with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand represents the opportunity for them to expand and grow.  “The support of this brand will allow us to supply our team with new technologies, training and market intelligence, combined with an extraordinary inventory in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and top beach and countryside locations,” said Amado. “Thanks to this affiliation, we now have direct access to a global market through the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s 760 offices worldwide.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 16,500 sales associates located in approximately 760 offices in 60 countries and territories worldwide.  Bossa Nova Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

Search Luxury Real Estate in Brazil >

Key Locations for Ultra High Net Worth Real Estate

As our global luxury real estate market continues to develop and grow, key locations have begun to stand out as hubs for the Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW). As reported in the key findings of the Wealth-X and Sotheby’s International Realty Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report, “New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Paris are the most important international hubs for UHNW residential real estate.” With Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Dallas and Mumbai rounding out the top ten, it’s not surprising that some of the world’s most notable and famous cities are featured here. Explore homes below in cities that show particular clustering of the UHNW.

According to the report, “New York City is one of the biggest financial hubs in the world, attracting investors and real estate developers as well as individuals who want to profit from the market and have significant business interests or personal and family ties to the city.”

NYC$82,000,000 USD | New York, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

This architectural tour de force is a quintessential New York City apartment. The four-bedroom penthouse features unrivaled panoramic views of Central Park, captivating sunlight in every room, state-of-the-art design, stainless steel chef’s kitchen and a spacious library among others. A testament to both great design and exemplary craftsmanship, this in an ideal residence for refined entertaining and sophisticated living offering the ultimate New York City experience.

Key findings in the report show that London is not just, “one of the most important cities for luxury residential real estate,” but that “foreign investors view London as a ‘safe haven’ for prime property investments.”

England£12,950,000 GBP | London, England | London Sotheby’s International Realty

Abundant in elegance, this recently restored, gated estate offers a blend of modern design with enduring architecture. Tile floors, dark wood detailing, skylights, and a walk out to the exquisite west-facing garden make this home inviting and sophisticated. Just south of the Thames and London’s city center, this exquisite home is a private and inviting piece of London living.

Hong Kong has long been known as one of the main financial hubs in Asia. With an ever-increasing population, it is not surprising that the price of luxury residences per square foot has remained both high and relatively stable,” according to the report.

HongKong$350,000,000 HKD | Hong Kong | Hong Kong Sotheby’s International Realty

This gated residence is located within the serene setting of a tranquil, private park. Two guarded entrances and driveways lead towards this grand, colonial-inspired estate, envisioned in a fascinating balance between western and eastern culture. Situated in the New Territories near the Chinese border, it offers easy access to the special economic region of Shenzhen, the Fanling Golf Club and is only a short drive away from Central Hong Kong. Offering an abundance of space and privacy, the main house features floor-to-ceiling, sparkling, crystal cut windows with exotic wooden frames, marble flooring, floor mosaics, and wrought iron balustrades throughout.

In the report, Alexander Kraft, Chairman & CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty France – Monaco, states, “Paris continues to be one of the world’s most sought after destinations for international buyers. However, in comparison with other global hubs such as London, Hong Kong, or New York, Paris remains surprisingly affordable and currently offers plenty of opportunities at highly interesting prices.”

Paris8.400.000 € EUR | Paris, France | Propriétés Parisiennes Sotheby’s International Realty

An entirely renovated 18th century townhouse in the center of Paris, this home offers an unrivaled blend of modern amenities and classic design. Enjoy your favorite films in the comfort of the outfitted home theater or a glass of your favorite vintage from the select doublewide wine cellar. This three-floor, six-bedroom townhouse is a taste of private comfort in one of the world’s most beloved cities.

Explore our in-depth report with Wealth-X and discover more  luxury real estate findings >

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Expands Presence into Andorra

AndorraSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that Finques 3 Cases in Andorra has joined its luxury real estate network and now will do business as Andorra Sotheby’s International Realty.

Established in 2000, the firm is owned by Joan Rafel Socías Tomás, who serves as chief executive officer, and Narcís Socías Tomàs, the chief operating officer.  Ralph Luenenschloss is responsible for international business. The firm will serve the high-end real estate market throughout the Principality of Andorra.

“Our expansion into Andorra continues our commitment to providing access to the Sotheby’s International Realty network’s exclusive real estate services in key countries within Europe andaround the world,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “Andorra is a booming market that is garnering local as well as international investor interest. It offers the opportunity to enjoy a unique mountain lifestyle in the middle of the Pyrenees on the border between Spain and France.  In the winter it is a beautiful ski resort area, and in the summer, other outdoor activities as well.”

According to Luenenschloss, the firm offers clients a full service experience.  “Andorra is one of the safest countries in the world and it offers a new and modern legal framework that makes it very interesting for international investors, entrepreneurs and public figures,” he said.  “We help our clients to not only find the ideal property but also help with anything else they may need including working through the Andorran residency process, and connecting them to local resources and services like banks, tax advisors and lawyers. We focus on providing solutions and developing ideas to serve the needs of our clients.  Our professional team offers support in multiple languages including Catalán, Spanish, French, Portuguese, English, German and Russian.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 16,500 sales associates located in approximately 760 offices in 60 countries and territories worldwide.  Andorra Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

Explore Luxury Homes in Andorra >

Sotheby’s International Realty Network Reports Significant Gains for 2014

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today reported that in 2014 its affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved $70 billion in U.S. home sale transaction volume (transaction sides multiplied by average sale price). This is the highest sales volume performance in the history of the brand’s franchise system, and marks a 17% increase from the prior year. Driven largely by an 11 percent gain in transaction sides, the growth experienced by Sotheby’s International Realty far outpaced the overall U.S. housing market as compared to the one percent increase in sales volume and a three percent decrease in home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors®.

Global Growth

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand also reported growth in its global network, which now encompasses 60 countries and territories worldwide. At year-end, the network totaled approximately 760 offices, a gain of 8.5 percent, and more than 16,570 sales associates, up 14 percent.

“The Sotheby’s International Realty network grew substantially in 2014,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “The luxury sector continues to outperform the overall market, which reflects the value consumers see in high-end real estate to grow their wealth, as well as the increasing level of international buyers in key luxury markets.”

Outside the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand expanded its network in 2014 to provide its real estate services in: Belgium, Beijing, Belize, the Canary Islands, Luxembourg, India, Hainan, St. Martin, Poland and St. Moritz.  The Sotheby’s International Realty brand also added 13 new residential real estate firms and 45 net new offices to its network across the United States, including the following markets: Houston, Texas; Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; Sunset, S.C.; Richmond, Va.; Marblehead, Mass.; Wilmington and Topsail Island, N.C.; Kailua, Hawaii; Woodinville, Wash.; Malibu, Calif.; Lancaster, Pa.; Brookline and Jamaica Plain, Mass.; and Pleasanton, Calif.

In 2015 and for the eighth year in a row, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand won Franchise Business Review’s Best in Category for Real Estate Franchisee Satisfaction award.  In addition to its real estate ranking, the brand in 2015 moved to first in the overall top 50 from fourth in 2014, and first among the Top 50 “Systems with 250 or more units,” up from third in 2014.

Last year also marked the launch of the Sotheby’s International Realty Global Referral system, which was designed to streamline the transfer of referrals electronically within the brand’s worldwide network.  The Global Referral system, which the brand developed with Immobel, allows Sotheby’s International Realty network members to assign referrals, manage them through closing and run detailed reports.  The system also features language translation and currency conversion.

Canary Islands2.300.000 € EUR | Canary Islands | Canary Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Marketing

From a marketing perspective, the brand’s 2014 campaign delivered more than 800 million impressions.  At the core of the Sotheby’s International Realty 2014 strategy was its relationships with pre-eminent media powerhouses in both the print and online arenas including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph Media Group, Google, Architectural Digest, Bloomberg.com, the Hong Kong Tatler and the Financial Times, developed to showcase unique properties from the brand’s worldwide network.

In 2014 the brand also launched “Extraordinary AnglesSM,” a lifestyle video series showcasing unique properties and lifestyles from around the world.  Each three to five minute “webisode” takes viewers on inspiring tours through some of the finest properties represented by the Sotheby’s International Realty brand in the world’s most distinct locations.  The series is available on the brand’s website by clicking here.

Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.