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Second Homes: Luxury Housing Booms On

Written by on Wednesday, 27 February 2008 6:00 pm

If you've forgotten what a housing boom looks like, check out the luxury home market.

The luxury home market includes the vacation home getaways of the rich and famous and continues, for the most part, to enjoy record-level sales and prices in many locations.

That's according to a survey by high-end real estate brokerage Christie's Great Estates.

Listing-Beverly Hills Villa:

Whether it's a $50 million, 30,000-square-foot, Italian villa in Beverly Hills or the $70 million Penthouse at The Pierre, with a 360-degree view of Manhattan, high-end homes are hot.

Christie's says the same desires that drive demand for fine art also put luxury homes on a pedestal. The emotional rush that comes with heightened visual appeal is simply priceless. Toss in a stellar location and luxury homes are the stuff of dreams.

In the fourth quarter 2007 survey of its regional markets Christies found:

  • Manhattan apartments achieved a record average price of more than $1.4 million for a 34 percent gain over the same period the previous year.

  • Single-family luxury homes in Palm Beach, FL rose in price by nearly 16 percent to $5.3 million.

And in California's Beverly Hills, properties that sell for $10 million or more are selling for more than they would a year ago, according to Jeffery Hyland of the Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills.

Hyland said that's because there's lots of cash, but too few luxury homes.

But all is not well in Tinsel Town.

Some celebrities are having problems unloading multi-million dollar estates.

Young Canadian rocker Avril Lavigne; former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash (Saul Hudson), Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon and Vidal Sassoon all have or had homes on the hard-to-sell list.

The toughest sell has been one of the nation's most expensive residential listings, Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar's 56,000 square foot, 96 acre Hala Ranch in Aspen, CO. Listed for a cool $135 million, it's been on the market for a year.

The New York Times recently featured the sprawling estate in a recent story.

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  About the author, Broderick Perkins

Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.