Today I read two interesting but somewhat contradictory real estate articles about the fabulously wealthy.
The first in The New York Times Hints of Fear in the Land of Mansions about the slowdown of the market in Greenwich, Conn., long home to the fabulously wealthy.
Sales are down 39% from last year in Greenwich, where they call the $2.0 to $4.0m price range, the meat and potatoes houses.
At the more respectable end of the Greenwich market, Mel Gibson's got his place for sale for $39,000,000 and Leona Helmsley's 40 acre spread is listed at $125,000,000.
But even in the rarefied air of Greenwich, the downturn is causing a touch of panic. A home that was recently listed for $11.5, then shamelessly reduced to $8.5, finally sold for just $6.9.
What's the world coming to!
Realizing that other sweet spots in our hemisphere are experiencing similar downturns, I concluded that buying a second, or third home, perhaps in the Tucson Foothills even, would be last on the
to-do list of these hopelessly stressed lords and ladies of the manor.
But then I picked up the Wall Street Journal and read
Sunny Side of the Street, America's wealthy see buying opportunities in sluggish real-estate market , (this may require a subscription, if so, let me know and I'll email it to you)
(reading it, I wondered, could this just be Rupert having fun, in a not so subtle poke at his new rival, The New York Times)
The Journal presented a very different side of the real estate street, as perceived by the wealthy. From the article,
"While many average Americans are skittish about the housing market, some of the country's richest citizens see the current conditions as perfect for buying, according to the Annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America..."
"Seventy-seven percent of the wealthiest people surveyed think real estate presents a "real opportunity" right now"
"And these high-income earners are putting their money where their mouths are: 40% said they are in the market to acquire real estate this year"
And get this,
"Forty-one percent of those in the wealthy category said owning a second home was "almost a requirement" for people of their economic means, according to the survey" tsk- tsk, but of course.
I'm confused, but I'm glad I read this one last, I prefer Rupert's take on it.
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