Maremma | A Southern Tuscan Gem

Maremma is a beautiful, untouched region in southern Tuscany with about 40,000 hectares of reserves, parks and natural oasis. This region provides endless opportunities for exploration from wooded backcountry hills to sandy seaside living. Maremma is known for its natural parks, medieval towns and fortresses, cultivated lands and old churches. Possibilities are endless under the Tuscan sun and popular outdoor activities include hiking, swimming, snorkelling, biking, horseback riding and unveiling of the ancient splendors in its Etruscan towns.

LivornoPrice Upon Request | Livorno, Italy | Tuscany Sotheby’s International Realty

The pristine and serene beaches and rocky coastline along the blue Tyrrhenian Sea remain a quiet escape for those looking to relax at a non-traditional tourist destination. Named as one of the 44 best travel destinations by the New York Times, Maremma appeals to nature lovers, sport and wine enthusiasts and those who simply want to absorb local traditions and explore the rich history of the area.

Saturnia1.900.000 € EUR |Saturnia, Italy | Tuscany Sotheby’s International Realty

In the countryside of Maremma, Tuscan-style country homes are found nestled among gentle rolling hills and farmhouses are often surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. Each town and hamlet within Maremma is special in its own right, from Saturnia, a relaxing spa town, to Bolgheri, known for its landscape and Bordeaux-style red wines Sassicaia, to Porto Ercole on the Mount of Argentario, recently listed as one of the most alluring Italian hamlets.

MaremmaPrice Upon Request | Monte Argentario | Tuscany Sotheby’s International Realty

A life in Maremma means embracing a low key lifestyle that is close to nature. It’s easy to see why anyone would fall in love with Italy’s southern Tuscan gem.

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Milan_SIR_LogoMany thanks to our guest blogger, Diletta Carutti from Milan / Lake Como / Tuscany Sotheby’s International Realty, which offers its international and local clientele a wide selection of luxury properties in the top location of Italy such as Milan, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Florence, Chianti, Tuscany, Sardinia, Italian Riviera, Capri Island, and the Alps.

Rhinebeck, New York | Market Spotlight

Rhinebeck New York$9,750,000 USD | Rhinebeck, New York | Heather Croner Sotheby’s International Realty

“Rhinebeck, in the very beautiful and historic Hudson Valley, has become a real destination these days, set against the backdrop of the Hudson River and the Catskill mountain range. Snow sports, summer sailing or hiking in the hills are for the taking depending on the time of year. The number of property sales this year in the Hudson valley has noticeably increased above 2013. However, the median selling price is unchanged. The average number of days on the market shows up as lower, indicating that properties are selling a little quicker for now. Most transfers are for existing houses already restored. Strict local zoning limits much new building, preserving the historical character of the area, and strong feelings about land conservation help maintain its natural beauty.” – Heather Croner, owner, Heather Croner Real Estate, Sotheby’s International Realty

The Bahamas | Market Spotlight

Bahamas$13,990,000 USD | Nassau and Paradise Island, Bahamas | Damianos Sotheby´s International Realty

 “The political and socio-economic stability of The Bahamas, along with its tax-neutral laws, kept the high-end market humming throughout the global financial crisis. From 2008 through 2011, many wealthy Europeans and South Americans flocked to buy real estate in the Bahamas in order to establish residency and insulate themselves from volatile financial markets and inevitable tax hikes in their home countries. On the other hand, during this period we saw very few buyers in the midrange ($750,000 to $1 million) vacation condo market. However, that trend has changed significantly over the last two years. Vacation buyers from the United States and Canada have been snapping up beachfront and ocean view condos in Nassau and Paradise Island, as they see great value in comparison to other beach and resort destinations around the world. This increased activity has driven up transaction volume and price points 15 to 20 percent over the past two years. There is a sense of strong optimism in the Bahamas market, which has attracted a number of renowned international developers to initiate new projects throughout our islands. With top-quality inventory and favorable economic conditions, we expect demand and prices to continue to rise.”

– Nick Damianos, estate agent, Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

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Raleigh, North Carolina | Market Spotlight

Raleigh$7,800,000 USD | Raleigh, North Carolina | Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty

“Raleigh is the quintessential blend of southern charm and sophisticated urban living. As the capital city, perfectly situated between North Carolina’s majestic mountains and beautiful coastline, Raleigh offers world class shopping and dining, excellent education with proximity to universities, exceptional healthcare, and a wide variety of sporting and cultural opportunities. Raleigh is consistently ranked at the top of the ‘Best of’ lists because it is a premier city to live, work, and play. All of these factors combine to create a robust housing market here in the Research Triangle area; with its moderate climate, diverse workforce and affordable housing, it is a desired destination for people moving here. Recognized by both Forbes magazine and CNNMoney as ‘one of the nation’s fastest growing cities,’ we are confident that our real estate market will only continue to improve and thrive.”

– Joe Hodge, president, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty

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Belize | Market Spotlight

Belize$1,595,000 USD | Ambergris Caye, Belize | Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

“Belize is an incredible market with so much opportunity, both in investment benefits as well as in the variety of landscapes offered. Belize is an English speaking country that offers foreigners the opportunity to hold title with a very affordable property tax system. There is also a very attractive system in place known as the Qualified Retired Persons Program. This allows for US and Canadian citizens who are over 45 to apply for many benefits including exemption from importation duties on personal effects for the first year in the country as well as exemption from importation duty on a personal vehicle every five years. Belize also offers lifestyles ranging from island living, rain forest and eco-living, to farm and ranch. The value obtained in this market is incredible. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand has already had an amazing effect here and will continue to do so. This brand is a vehicle which will push quality development forward in Belize. Our team in combination with the brand is taking the real estate market to the next level in regards to service and professionalism.”

– Brittany McCann, owner, Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

Austin, Texas | Market Spotlight

Austin_Texas$24,500,000 USD | Magnolia, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

“The Austin market has seen exceptional growth over the last year thanks in part to a host of events that have placed our small Texas city firmly onto the worlds’ stage. Events like the Formula 1 US Grand Prix and the X Games have now made Austin their home bringing with them a flood of new buyers to the high-end market and putting inventory of $1million+ properties into a sharp decline. Tower cranes are a common sight in the city’s core as several new luxury residential condo projects are being built to provide a product that has not been in demand before. The technology and film sectors continue to grow with the addition of Google Fiber to the greater Austin area. With the addition of new international flights at the airport along with new and exciting events, entertainment and development on the horizon, Austin will continue to increase in its appeal to national and international clients alike.”

– J. Kuper, principal broker and owner, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty and Capital City Sotheby’s International Realty

Connecticut and Westchester County, NY | Market Spotlight

Purchase_NY$8,495,000 USD | Purchase, New York | Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty

“In Connecticut and Westchester County, New York, our markets have experienced promising activity in recent months, particularly with the significant uptick in pending sales, and I am bullish on the market remaining strong through the fall and into next year. The second quarter saw a slower pace of gains than we have been accustomed to after two years of consistent growth and quarter-to-quarter sales increases often reaching double digits, yet this finding is not altogether unexpected as we move into a more normalized housing market. Activity leveled off in the second quarter so that we are approximately even with where the market was at the same time last year, yet this was largely due to the delayed spring selling season that resulted from the overlong winter. The fundamentals of the market are still very strong, with high consumer confidence, stable prices, the improved employment picture, and historically low interest rates all pointing to a strong finish to the year. Our market areas in Connecticut and Westchester County remain highly sought after for the quality of schools, miles of Long Island Sound shoreline, easy access to Manhattan, cultural and recreational opportunities, property taxes compared to neighboring states, and the highest per capita income in the country.”

– Paul Breunich, president and chief executive officer, William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty

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Mendoza, Argentina | More than Malbec

Over the last several years, Argentina has emerged as one of top wine-producing regions in the world, renowned for its Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals. The Mendoza Provence, in particular, produces nearly two-thirds of the countries wine and is rated among the world’s top 10 wine destinations. This amazing Argentinean province is known for its grape quality with a special terroir for its growth. Mendoza’s wine route is a major attraction for visitors and residents alike and offers spectacular wineries and unique tasting experiences.

Mendoza Grapes

$ 1.236.683 ARS | Mendoza, Argentina | Argentina Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

Among them, The Villavicencio Natural Reserve is a one and only experience. Located just 50 km from the city of Mendoza, The Reserve encompasses 72. 000 hectares. Nestled among the depressions of Uspallata Valley, the Reserve is a very special place immersed in a unique setting full of flowers and pine vegetation. The landscape is complemented by the diverse wildlife that inhabits the Reserve such as guanacos, vizcachas, pampas cats, pumas, foxes, and condors, among others.

Mendoza 1

 $ 1.236.683 ARS | Mendoza, Argentina | Argentina Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

In the winter months, Mendoza also attracts the adventure-seeking ski community. Las Leñas, outside Malargüe, is the first to fully open its white laden gates. The skiing begins in Mendoza in June, but it is in July when the snow gets more than ankle-deep and the slopes offer more fun, speed and adrenaline. In Las Leñas, skiers enjoy day and night activities. It is the only resort in South America that currently offers night skiing where you can participate in Las Leñas’ unique Olimpos Light Parade and descend the slopes with head torches.

Las_Leñas_Mendoza_Argentina_by_Andre_Charland

Renowned for its world-class wines, beautiful landscape and rich history, Mendoza makes for an unimaginable lifestyle.

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Argentina_Properties_FacebookMany thanks to our guest blogger, Rosario Lix Klett from Argentina Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, which offers endless access to distinctive properties in the top location across Argentina such as Buenos Aires, the Calchaquí Valley, Patagonia and the Uco Valley.

Philippines Real Estate | Market Spotlight

Phillippines_Market Spotlight

Price Upon Request | Forbes Town Center, Philippines | Philippines Sotheby’s International Realty

“Building on strong internal growth, driven by people with wealth that are investing in the country, the future in the Philippines’ real estate sector is bright,” says Philip Mareschal, chief executive officer, Philippine Sotheby’s International Realty. “The alliance with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region makes the country an attractive investment destination. Due to the nation’s strong economic growth from BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), off shoring industries, an increasing number of visitors and remittances from overseas Filipino workers and a young demographic, the Philippines is considered the prime option for residential, commercial and retail sectors. Our luxury residential market has been receiving more foreigner buyers as neighboring Asian countries implement cooling measures. Another trend we are seeing is Filipinos and foreigners are looking into countries for retirement. The climate, lifestyle, the people… easy living makes investing in real estate in Philippines more appealing as the value of their money goes a long away.”

Luxury Homes for Sale in the Philippines >

Charleston, South Carolina: Where Historic Meets High-tech

Post provided by guest contributing blogger, Ruthie Ravenel, Sales and Marketing Director, Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty in Charleston, South Carolina.

For three consecutive years Charleston has ranked among the top 5 cities in the world in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards. In fact, this traditional low country city isn’t just attracting tourists to its sandy beaches and world-class resorts.

Kiawah Island SC$2,585,000 USD | Kiawah Island, South Carolina | Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty

Recently Charleston has been dubbed “Silicon Harbor” for the hundreds of technology companies that have set-up shop in the area. Many of these companies have recognized that Charleston’s temperate climate, emphasis on quality of life and superior amenities suit their employees lifestyle needs. From start-ups to larger, more established brands, Charleston’s growing tech sector is attracting an eclectic mix of new residents.

Historic Charleston 1$3,650,000 USD | Charleston, South Carolina | Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty

With the growing economic opportunities, Charleston is also booming with development projects. The hottest new development area is Upper King Street and the Upper Peninsula area. There have been several new hotels completed in the past year and even more condos and mixed use development projects being unveiled regularly. The restaurant scene has exploded on Upper King Street with countless new establishments like The Ordinary, which was recently named #1 new restaurant in The South by Southern Living Magazine.   Seafood and oysters are southern coastline staples and Charleston restaurants have some of the best menus for local fresh seafood.

Historic Charleston 2$1,695,000 USD | Charleston, South Carolina | Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty

Foreign investors have also shown great interest in Charleston, particularly in the Downtown area. Downtown Charleston is one of the most European of all cities in America, because it has an incredibly well preserved historic center. This allows for a very pedestrian, urban experience with shops and restaurants intermixed with residential areas, such as the neighborhood of Ansonborough which attracts residents from international locales such as Italy and Switzerland.

Sullivans Island SC$3,499,000 USD | Sullivans Island, South Carolina | Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty

When Charlestonians are looking for a getaway, they escape to the nearby pristine beaches of Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms, Folly’s Beach and Sullivan’s Island for relaxation, boating, family activities and more. It is commonplace for Charleston residents to also own a beachfront property or deep water estate for weekend getaways to enjoy life on the water. With the blend of historic charm, trendy new developments and easy access to a relaxed beach lifestyle, Charleston is the perfect location for those who like to lay low while living large.

DR_FacebookMany thanks to our guest blogger, Ruthie Ravenel, Sales and Marketing Director, Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty who specializes in luxury real estate in the Charleston, SC area.