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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates

    • Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are the two richest people in the world.
    • Bezos and Gates, both founders of massive tech companies, own homes less than one mile from each other in Medina, Washington.
    • At least five other tech and retail billionaires own homes in Seattle suburbs.


    Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates— the world's two richest people — are neighbors.

    The tech titans live less than one mile from each other in Medina, Washington, a secretive and exclusive suburb located just across Lake Washington from Seattle where the median home value is over $2.7 million.

    Gates isn't the only Microsoft executive to call the Seattle area home — though his $125 million state-of-the-art tech compound may take the cake. Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and Charles Simonyi, the creator of Microsoft Word and Excel — and noted space tourist— all own multi-million dollar properties within a stone's throw of Seattle.

    Jim Jannard, the founder and chairman of eyewear company Oakley, and Starbucks chairman and former CEO Howard Schultz also live in the area.

    Seattle richest billionaires map

    Perhaps the easy commute is part of the draw of Medina for Bezos and Gates.

    About 10 years before Bezos and Amazon descended upon Seattle, Gates brought Microsoft's headquarters to Redmond, Washington, a town 20 minutes from his house.

    Over the past two decades, Bezos has transformed Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood into "Amazonia," occupying more square feet of office space than the next 40 largest employers in the city combined, reports the Seattle Times. Blue Origin, the space company owned by Bezos, is about 25 miles south of Medina.

    But Bezos may soon become bi-coastal, as he hunts for a city to host Amazon's second headquarters — nicknamed HQ2. There's speculation he'll choose Washington, DC, where he owns a $23 million mansion in the high-profile Kalorama neighborhood. Plus, the Bezos-owned newspaper The Washington Post is based nearby. 

    SEE ALSO: One walk through Seattle's 'Amazonia' neighborhood made me very uneasy for whatever city gets HQ2

    DON'T MISS: Jeff Bezos has passed Bill Gates to become the richest person in history — here’s the secretive waterfront town where both billionaires live

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why Amazon's new headquarters sweepstakes makes it the 'smartest company in the world'

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    home sold san francisco

    • Over-demand for homes is ruling the housing market in many cities.
    • Buyers in the best position to buy a home typically have mortgage financing in place, a credit score above 680, and a down payment above 15%.
    • But many markets, like San Francisco and San Jose, have an oversaturation of these buyers, leading to heightened competition.


    It's a tough time for Americans to buy a home.

    US housing supply remains low and prices keep rising, making the competition among buyers the fiercest it has been in years.

    Over-demand is ruling the market in many cities. In San Francisco, a home sold for nearly $1 million over its asking price last October in order to pre-empt a bidding war.

    In a recent report, LendingTree identified the most competitive markets for buyers right now based on 2017 mortgage loan data. LendingTree looked at 1.5 million mortgage requests for new home purchases across the 100 largest US cities and then ranked each city based on three criteria:

    1. The share of buyers who shop for a mortgage before they find the house they want. It's more appealing to sellers when a buyer is pre-approved for financing well before making an offer.
    2. The average down payment as a percentage of the purchase price. A high down payment can help buyers qualify for an even larger mortgage amount or a lower interest rate on the loan.
    3. The percentage of buyers who have a credit score above 680. Someone with a prime credit score has more financing options available to them.

    The cities where the most buyers have financing in place, a down payment above 15% of the purchase price, and a prime credit score were ranked by LendingTree as the most competitive.

    Below, check out the 15 most competitive places to buy a home in the US right now:

    SEE ALSO: Here's how much it costs to buy a home in the 10 hottest housing markets of 2018

    DON'T MISS: Buying a rental property is cheaper in the winter — here are the 26 best places to make money as a landlord right now

    15. Las Vegas, Nevada

    Average down payment: 14%

    Buyers with prime credit: 49%

    Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 62%


    14. Madison, Wisconsin

    Average down payment: 15%

    Buyers with prime credit: 54%

    Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 58%

    13. Phoenix, Arizona

    Average down payment: 15%

    Buyers with prime credit: 50%

    Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 60%

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • There are a number of towns and cities across the U.S. where a sun-soaked property comes at an affordable price. 
    • The cheapest location is Gulfport, Mississippi, where a beach house costs in the realm of $116,200 — with the added bonus of year-round sunshine. 
    • The property value was ranked not only by property prices, but also by taxes, number of rooms, and monthly housing costs. 

    As winter drags on you may catch yourself wondering if summer is ever coming back. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of towns across America where it's possible to spend a few weeks or, if you're retired, a few months soaking in some warm weather. But, as that year-round warm weather is in demand, affording a home in one of the places can be difficult. With this in mind we decided to find the best beach towns which won't break your account. Below we rank the most affordable beach towns for 2018.

    In order to rank the most affordable beach towns we looked at data on 221 cities. We compared them across four affordability metrics. We looked at median home value, median housing cost, median number of rooms per house and median property taxes paid. Check out our data and methodology below to see where we got our data and how we put it together.

    Key findings

    • No dramatic changes — What was affordable last year remains affordable this year, for the most part. Only one city, Freeport, lost its place in our top 10, dropping to 17th. There is also only one newcomer to the top 10. Melbourne, which was 11th last year, took 10th this year and Fort Walton Beach, which was seventh last year, dropped to 11th this year.
    • More affordable — A few cities in our top 10 are more affordable this year than they were last year. Gulfport, Mississippi; Port Arthur, Texas and Ocean Springs, Mississippi all have lower median home values than last year.

    1. Gulfport, Mississippi

    For the third consecutive year Gulfport is the most affordable beach town in America. If you are thinking about buying a house here, you will need to afford a home worth $116,200. That's not bad when you consider having access to great weather year-round!

    If you are thinking about retiring, Gulfport could be a good place to settle. Mississippi ranks as one of the best states for an early retirement.

    2. Pensacola, Florida

    Pensacola continues to fall just short. For the third year in a row, the city in Florida takes the second spot. The median home here is worth $145,700 and costs $850 per month. For each of those metrics Pensacola ranks in the top 20.

    If you want a little more space for your beach home Pensacola might be a better place than Gulfport. Pensacola homes have an average of 6.4 rooms per home, slightly more than Gulfport homes' 6.1 rooms.

    3. Biloxi, Mississippi

    There is no change amongst our top 3. For another year, Biloxi is the third-most affordable beach town in our data set. The median housing cost in Biloxi is actually lower than the two cities above it. The median home in Biloxi costs about $785 per month.

    However, getting your hands on a home here is slightly more difficult than it is in some other cities. The median home here is worth $149,100, the third-highest in the top 10.

    4. Port Arthur, Texas

    If you're looking for an affordable beach home, it's hard to beat our fourth-ranked city, Port Arthur, Texas. The median home is worth $64,300, meaning a mortgage here should be affordable.

    Long term however, Port Arthur comes with costs you will need to be aware of. Specifically the property taxes here are high, especially compared to home values. The median homeowner here pays around $1,000 per year in property taxes.

    5. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

    Bay St. Louis is the first city in the top 10 to move up or down. The city moved up from ninth last year to fifth this year. The housing costs in Bay St. Louis are a standout metric. The average homeowner pays $729 per month, or $8,749 per year. To afford that and not be considered housing cost-burdened you would need to make $29,160 per year.

    If you are in the market for a big home, you may need to spend a little extra time house hunting in this city. The median home has less than six rooms, a relatively poor score in this study.

    6. Ocean Springs, Mississippi

    Homes in Ocean Springs are pretty affordable. The median home is valued at $151,500, according to Census Bureau data and median monthly housing costs are $920.

    Property taxes, while low nationally, are relatively high for this top 10. The average homeowner pays almost $1,300 per year in property taxes, the highest mark in our top 10.

    7. Freeport, Texas

    For people looking for a bargain, it's tough to beat Freeport. The median home can be had for only $71,000. The average homeowner in the area spends $565 per month on their home. Those are the sort of numbers that make shivering New Yorkers weep!

    Homes here to tend to run on the small side, however, which hurts the city's overall score. The median Freeport home has 5.6 rooms, 163rd-most in our study.

    8. Daytona Beach, Florida

    Daytona Beach is probably better known as a place to hang out during spring break or as a place to catch a NASCAR race. But this is also a great city for thrifty home hunters on the prowl for a place to spend their winter months. The average home is worth about $117,000, a top 10 rate but $5,000 more than last year.

    Low home value typically means your most important housing costs, your mortgage, will be low. Daytona Beach has a median housing cost of $757, fourth-lowest in the top 10. It may be possible to get that number even lower if you have great credit and have access to the lowest mortgage rates.

    9. Fort Pierce, Florida

    Fort Pierce, Florida missed on the eighth spot by only 0.4 points on our index. This could make it tough choice, between buying a beach home in Fort Pierce or buying a beach home in Daytona Beach. The two cities do have some important differences.

    The median home in Fort Pierce is worth a bit less than the median home in Daytona Beach but the homes are also smaller. The average Fort Pierce home is worth $89,000, which ranks third but only 5.4 rooms (it ranks 184th for that metric).

    10. Melbourne, Florida

    Our study ends in Melbourne, Florida a newcomer to this top 10. Homes in this city do well in all of our affordability metrics. Home value in particular stands out. You probably won't make a killing investing in homes around Melbourne, Florida but you will certainly have a place to hang out in the winter. The median home here is worth $125,400. That's $9,000 more than last year. The typical homeowner in the area spends about $850 per month on their house.

    Data and methodology

    In order to find the most affordable beach towns in the country, SmartAsset looked at data for 229 beach towns. Specifically we looked at the following four factors:

    • Home value. This is the median home value in each city. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2016 5-Year American Community Survey.
    • Number of rooms. This is the average number of rooms per house. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2016 5-Year American Community Survey.
    • Property taxes. This is the median property taxes paid. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2016 5-Year American Community Survey.
    • Monthly housing costs. This is the median monthly housing costs. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2016 5-Year American Community Survey.

    We ranked each city in each metric. Then we found each city's average ranking, giving the number of rooms a half weighting and all other factors a full weighting. Using this average ranking, we created our final score. The city with the best average ranking received a 100. The city with the worst average ranking received a 0.

    SEE ALSO: 5 crucial questions a financial planner asks clients before they even consider retirement

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An exercise scientist explains what everyone gets wrong about stretching

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    new home real estate

    • Million-dollar listings have become commonplace in the US real estate market.
    • More than 4% of all homes in the largest US metros are now worth at least $1 million, according to a report by Trulia.
    • Homes worth $5 million or more are the new standard of luxury.


    For decades, a million-dollar listing heralded true luxury for Americans who could afford it.

    Now, more than 4% of all homes across the 100 largest US metros are worth at least $1 million.

    That may not sound like much, but it's nearly quadruple the share of million-dollar homes in the housing market 15 years ago, according to a report by Trulia.

    In San Francisco, one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the country, homes valued at $1 million or more now make up two-thirds of the housing market — triple the share in 2012.

    Rising home prices and increased demand for high-end real estate has effectively raised the threshold of luxury to at least $5 million.

    Over the past year, the share of homes in the US valued at $5 million or more increased by nearly 20%, compared to almost 18% for $1 million dollar homes.

    But $5 million is only the starting point for luxury living. Among homes valued at $5 million or more, Trulia says the median price is close to $7.4 million and comes with 5,663 square feet of living space on nearly an acre of land.

    Most of the country's $5 million-plus listings are concentrated in coastal markets, including California, New England, and Florida, though there are a smattering of high-priced listings across Texas and the South, according to Trulia.

    But the rising cost of luxury underscores the severity of wealth inequality that's striking communities across America. While the median home price in the US last year was $282,900, 86% of the biggest US metros had at least one $5 million-plus listing.

    SEE ALSO: What a $1 million home looks like in 17 major cities across America

    DON'T MISS: The most expensive home for sale in every US state

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Report says black families would need over 200 years to match the wealth of today's white families

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    Ross Bailey CEO Appear Here

    • Appear Here lets businesses rent pop-up space and has been called the "Airbnb of retail."
    • The London startup raised over $20 million to date and is currently planning international expansion.
    • CEO Ross Bailey sat down with Business Insider to talk department stores, skipping university, and how to maintain company culture.

    LONDON — Ross Bailey wants to talk about department stores.

    "If analysts walked around some of them I think they would be trading at less than 30% their net asset value," Bailey says, referencing the already bombed out US "mall" sector.

    He whips out his phone and starts scrolling through pictures that illustrate his point — dreadful carpets, too much stock cluttered together, and bad paintings hung up near concessions.

    "If you saw that in someone's house you'd think they've got bad taste," he says in his typically enthusiastic style.

    Why does he spend his time photographing poorly designed department stores? "It's my passion."

    Appear Here, which Bailey founded in 2012, is a startup trying to do for retail space what Airbnb did for hotel rental. Bailey spends his days engrossed in retail — both good and bad.

    His platform lets people and brands rent "pop up" space across cities, letting aspiring entrepreneurs trial ideas like takeaway porridge stalls or designers launch capsule collections.

    Over 1,000 spaces are listed by Appear Here in the UK, with 1,000 in New York, where it launched last year, and even more in Paris. Everyone from Google to Moleskin has used the platform to book space and Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing used Appear Here for the launch of his sweet brand Candy Kittens.

    Netflix (Black Mirror) 23 ©Appear HereBailey had the idea for the business while running his own pop-up. He quit school at 16 to move from his home in Buckinghamshire to London and was involved in several entrepreneurial endeavours before running a temporary fashion stall in Soho to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics.

    He noticed that people were coming up to him to ask about he'd managed to secure the space — Under Armour even approached him at one point.

    "There's a pricing issue in real estate," Bailey, now 25, says. "It's based on 10-year leases. That model doesn't work anymore. Now we're seeing rent is a variable cost, not a fixed cost."

    Retail occupancy rates are declining around the world as traditional players grapple with the rise of e-commerce. Shops are closing, sales are down, and fewer people are visiting.

    Real estate needs to move more towards a more flexible pricing model, Bailey argues, like Uber's surge pricing or how hotel prices rise when a conference is in town.

    "If you can make 70% of your revenue in December, you shouldn't be saying the same price for the space in January when there are no sales," Bailey argues.

    "A few years ago people said it was a stupid idea, landlords will never do it. Now it's a case of OK, this is definitely going to happen."

    Ten of the biggest landlords in the US have signed exclusive deals with Appear Here, including Blackstone and Simon, the biggest mall operator in the US. (Bailey didn't say whether he'd critiqued their carpets.)Warner Brothers pop-up Appear HereAppear Here raised $12 million last year to go global and Bailey is currently scoping out a location for a new US office. Property VC Fifth Wall, which is backed by the likes of CBRE and Loewe's, has also invested an undisclosed sum and Bailey hints at another deal with a "fashion fund" that will be announced shortly.

    It's all very impressive for someone still just in his mid-twenties. "Instead of uni, this has been my learning curve," Bailey says.

    Six years on, what has he learned?

    "I think I've definitely learned to delegate. You need to jump between high-level stuff and details."

    Bailey logged 80 flights between London, Paris, and New York last year. He says he is always tired but it doesn't show — he is a whirlwind of ideas and opinions, talking a mile a minute. Towards the end of our conversation, though, a solitary yawn escapes.

    "A big focus over the last six months was building out the exec team," Bailey says. Appear Here recently hired two execs from Uber to run the London and Paris offices. The company has also hired a new CTO and a new chief strategy officer.Kanye West pop up London Appear HereThe company has yet to file a set of full accounts, claiming small company exemption, but Appear Here says it has booking requests worth $110 million made every month across its platform — although not all are successfully fulfilled.

    Appear Here charges a 15% booking fee, meaning that if even a small fraction of that $110 million figure is actually being booked, it is likely making tens of millions a year in revenue.

    The future looks rosy for Appear Here but Bailey is keen to maintain the company culture as it grows. All employees use the same company issued notebooks and pens — a small touch, but one that's clearly important to Bailey — and all 70 staff still have lunch together on Fridays.

    "You have to build a company that you're going to love and attract people with the same values," Bailey says.

    Where did he learn that? During our interview, he mentions lunches with Net-A-Porter founder Massenet and hanging out with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky in San Francisco ("He loved our brand").

    Ross Bailey, Appear HereNet-A-Porter and Airbnb are two of the three companies Bailey most admires. The other is Nike. He has just finished reading Shoe Dog, the memoir of Nike founder Phil Knight, and implores me to read it.

    "Nike defined an industry," Bailey says. Before Nike, "if you weren't running track, you didn't buy trainers. We want to be the Nike for entrepreneurs and creatives."

    Around 40% of pop-ups on Appear Here are food and drinks stalls, while the rest are fashion, consumer goods, or other retailers like florists. Around 125,000 people have registered on the platform to rent space.

    "I love the idea that we can help everyone bring their ideas to life," Bailey says.

    Tokyo, Manchester, and even Toulouse come up when we talk about cities that could be interesting to Appear Here — but Bailey won't be drawn on specifics.

    "We've got to be where the best ideas are," he says simply.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Expect Amazon to make a surprising acquisition in 2018, says CFRA

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    chelsea market

    • According to The Real Deal, Google is acquiring New York shopping emporium Chelsea Market for $2 billion.
    • The company already owns 400,000 square feet of real estate inside, and has offices located directly across the street.
    • Google's reported plans for the space are currently unclear.

    Google is reportedly acquiring New York shopping emporium Chelsea Market for $2 billion. As originally reported by The Real Deal, the tech company has plans to close the deal in April.

    Google already counts itself as Chelsea Market's largest tenant, occupying 400,000 square feet of real estate on an upper floor. In 2010, the company purchased the sprawling office space across the street from Chelsea Market for $1.9 billion, and constructed an overhead walkway connecting the two buildings.

    At the moment, there's no clear indication of Google's plans for the space, which currently houses a number of shops and eateries. Representatives from Google did not immediately respond for comment on the matter.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I've used the iPhone for 10 years and these are my favorite tips and tricks

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    tiny house side by side

    • The tiny house trend has become a global phenomenon.
    • But just because a home is small doesn't mean it comes cheap.
    • 7.5-foot-wide home in London is on the market for about $1.4 million.


    Tiny houses have become a global trend. But just because they're small doesn't mean they come cheap.

    In the inner London borough of Wandsworth, a home measuring just 91 inches across is on the market for about $1.4 million (£1 million).

    Measuring 7.5 feet wide, the property is nearly two feet narrower than a London Tube passenger car.

    The so-called "Slim House" spreads 1,058 square-feet across three floors and fits four bedrooms, one "family bathroom," a reception room, dining area, and open floor-plan kitchen. There's also a landscaped garden out back that's 48 feet long.

    According to Bloomberg, the median home price in Wandsworth is about $887,815 (£635,969) — more than $500,000 below the "Slim House" asking price.

    The home's owner reportedly paid $1.16 million (£837,500) for it in 2014, after a local architecture firm called Alma-Nac renovated the home to optimize space and added a sloped roof with skylights.

    The home is already quite famous, having been featured on British home improvement shows including Grand Designs and George Clark's Amazing Spaces.

    Tiny homes are often in high demand. Last year, one of London's smallest houses— a 290 square-foot one bedroom, one bathroom — sold for about $139,476 (£100,000) over its asking price.  

    Here a few photos of the "Slim House":

    A reception room is pictured here, with plenty of storage space.

    slim house london

    Here is the open floor plan kitchen. It may actually be bigger than the kitchen in a typical New York apartment.

    slim house london

    One of the bedrooms looks like a tight squeeze, but has plenty of natural light.

    slim house london

    The long and narrow outdoor garden has a small seating area on the other end.

    slim house london

    Savills has the listing.

    SEE ALSO: This couple couldn't afford to live in San Francisco, so they're building tiny homes made from shipping containers

    DON'T MISS: A pair of Harvard students have designed tiny houses that could be the future of weekend getaways

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Microsoft built tree houses in the woods for its employees — here's a look inside

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    Little Haiti — Miami, Florida

    • Real estate site Redfin recently released data on the hottest neighborhoods in America.
    • The most popular neighborhoods are listed by major metropolitan area.
    • In LA, everyone wants to live in Annandale, in Pasadena.
    • In Miami, Little Haiti is heating up.


    Real estate website Redfin released its annual list of the hottest neighborhoods in major American cities.

    Redfin calculated neighborhoods' median sale price, average sale-to-list price ratio (meaning how close the sale price was to the list price), percent of homes that sold above asking, and median days homes spent on the market to determine the most in-demand neighborhoods in major American cities. 

    Keep scrolling to find out where people will be moving to in your city this year. 

    Annandale — Pasadena, California

    Median sale price: $1,203,500

    Average sale-to-list price ratio: 104.6%* 

    Percent of homes that sold above list price: 60.0%

    Median days on market: 34

    *The closer the percentage is to 100, the closer to asking prices homes were sold. A higher percentage indicates that homes were sold above asking.

    Little Haiti — Miami, Florida

    Median sale price: $205,000

    Average sale-to-list price ratio: 97.6%

    Percent of homes that sold above list price: 17.7%

    Median days on market: 61

    Point Breeze — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Median sale price: $408,500

    Average sale-to-list price ratio: 96.2%

    Percent of homes that sold above list price: 25.0%

    Median days on market: 61

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Peter Thiel

    • Billionaire Peter Thiel was granted New Zealand citizenship in 2011.
    • Since then, the PayPal cofounder has been regularly buying properties.
    • Thiel bought a four-bedroom property in Queenstown for $4.8 million in 2011, which he's just had fitted with a panic room.
    • Thiel is part of a growing number of millionaires choosing New Zealand as their Doomsday destination.

    Peter Thiel is building a panic room in his New Zealand property, and it could be a sign that he's part of a growing number of American millionaires choosing New Zealand as their Doomsday destination.

    Last year it emerged the billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of Paypal was granted New Zealand citizenship in 2011.

    Thiel visited the country just three times for a grand total of 12 days before his citizenship was granted.

    New Zealand citizenship rules normally require an applicant to be a permanent resident for 1,350 days in the five years preceding an application.

    During his few visits he met four senior members of the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister.

    Following public backlash, authorities who oversaw the citizenship defended their decision to give Theil citizenship by saying he had been "a great ambassador and salesperson" for the country.

    According to the New York Times, Theil wrote in his application: "I am happy to say categorically that I have found no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand."

    He told Business Insider in 2011 he found "utopia" in New Zealand and already had two noteworthy venture investments in Xero and Pacific Fibre.

    Despite saying that he had no plans to reside in New Zealand after gaining citizenship, and that he'd rather be "an enthusiastic supporter of the country," the billionaire went on to make a number of real estate purchases.

    In 2011 he bought a four-bedroom home in Queenstown for $4.8 million.

    Queenstown, New Zealand.

    And in 2015 he bought a 193-hectare block in Wanaka (the area used for the mountains in Lord of the Rings) for $13.5 million.

    He did not need to follow foreign buyers rules for the sales because he was a citizen.

    While the land from the second purchase still remains undeveloped, it's Thiel's Queenstown property that is most intriguing.

    After suffering a serious fire last year, causing more than $NZ500,000 in damage, Thiel used the opportunity to repurpose a walk-in closet — into a panic room.

    The new design is laid out in building consents for the repairs filed with the Queenstown Lakes District Council in May, according to the Herald.

    There have been numerous reports over the years about some of America's wealthiest people buying property in New Zealand so that they have somewhere to flee in the event of a global catastrophe.

    Buying a house in New Zealand has become a sort of code for getting "apocalypse insurance," as Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn puts it to the New Yorker last year.

    "Saying you're 'buying a house in New Zealand' is kind of a wink, wink, say no more," he said.

    "Once you've done the Masonic handshake, they will be, like, 'Oh, you know, I have a broker who sells old ICBM silos, and they're nuclear-hardened, and they kind of look like they would be interesting to live in.'"

    While some have previously pointed to New Zealand as Thiel's "back up country", he has not ever confirmed it.

    This latest development however sure looks like he is preparing his Doomsday bunker for Armageddon.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: No one wants to host the Olympics anymore — will they go away?

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    fisher island florida

    Fisher Island, Florida, is a paragon of exclusivity.

    The 216-acre, man-made island sitting pretty off the coast of Miami Beach is reachable only by boat — most often yacht. It's considered America's most millionaire-dense ZIP code, but less than 20% of the island's residents permanently reside there.

    With its mix of condos, private homes, and hotel rooms, the lush island exists as a retreat for the ultra wealthy, who spend their days golfing, playing tennis, lounging on the beach, boating, and simply relaxing.

    The illustrious Vanderbilt family were the original stewards of Fisher Island, and their penchant for opulence remains.

    Below, find out how Fisher Island became one of America's most affluent enclaves.

    SEE ALSO: Owning a $1 million home is no longer considered a luxury in America

    DON'T MISS: Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates live less than 1 mile from each other — here's where the rest of Seattle's billionaires live

    In 1906, the Florida government created the small island off the southern coast of Miami Beach near Biscayne Bay. The island was briefly owned by Dana Dorsey, one of Florida's first black billionaires, but he sold the land to Carl Fisher, an auto entrepreneur and real estate developer, in 1919.

    Source: Fisher Island Club

    The island took on Fisher's namesake, but he didn't hold on to it for long. In the mid-1920s, Fisher met William K. Vanderbilt II, one of America's wealthiest residents, and proposed a trade: seven acres of Fisher Island for Vanderbilt's 250-foot yacht.

    Source: Fisher Island Club

    The railroad baron obliged and drew up plans for Fisher Island's first residence, "Alva Base," a Mediterranean-style compound with guest houses, tennis courts, and pools.

    Source: Fisher Island Club

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Salesforce tower vs other tall buildings in the world_BI Graphics

    • San Francisco isn't really known for the height of its skyline, and nothing makes that more clear than the newly opened Salesforce Tower.
    • At 1070 feet and 61 stories high, Salesforce Tower is by far the tallest building in the tech metropolis. It stands out as the highest point on the skyline when viewed from both inside the city at Mission Dolores Park, and from across the bay in Oakland.
    • The second tallest building in San Francisco, the Transamerica Pyramid, opened in 1972. It's 853 feet and 48 stories high. 
    • Ultimately, Salesforce Tower is just not that tall compared to other buildings around the world. The world-famous Eiffel Tower of Paris, completed in 1889, is just 7 feet shorter than the Salesforce Tower. 
    • The skyscraper, which opened on January 8, is called Salesforce Tower after the influential cloud software company that both owns the naming rights, and leases half the building.
    • The coworking company WeWork also leases three floors, which it opens to its customers as office space and a floating workspace. The rest of the tenants are to be determined. 

    Here's what the view is like from the top floor, the Ohana Room, which boasts 360 degree views of San Francisco:



    SEE ALSO: Salesforce hired a DJ to pump beats for employees on 'move-in' day at its giant new San Francisco tower

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    millennium tower sinking skyscraper san francisco crack

    There's finally some good news for the wealthy residents of the leaning, sinking Millennium Tower: A fix may be in the works.

    Millennium Tower is a luxury residential high-rise that has sunk 17 inches and tilted 14 inches since it was completed in 2008. Though an inspection by the city showed it's safe to occupy, the situation has sparked an exodus from the building. Residents say they're scrambling to sell their million-dollar condos at a loss, with the value of their homes falling $320,000 on average.

    In January, construction crews began drilling near Millennium Tower to see if a planned fix for the structure will work, NBC Bay Area reported. Engineers want to drill 100 to 150 new piles (a type of foundation shaped like a pillar) 200 feet down to bedrock from the building's basement, in order to stabilize the tower and prop it back upright. The project could cost $150 million.

    Here's what we know about Millennium Tower.

    SEE ALSO: The couple that paid $90,000 for a private street in San Francisco reveal how they bought it, and how the rich and powerful neighbors made them give it back

    Millennium Tower rises 58 stories above San Francisco's Financial District.

    The city's fourth-tallest skyscraper contains over 400 multimillion-dollar condo units. It soars 645 feet, giving residents with panoramic views of the Bay Area.

    Source: Emporis

    Completed in 2008, Millennium Tower includes top-notch amenities, such as a pool, fitness center, wine cellar and tasting room, movie theater, and concierge service.

    Source: Millennium Tower

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • UBS recently released its Global Real Estate Bubble Index.
    • The bank suggests Toronto, Stockholm, and Munich are among the big global financial centers most at risk of a real estate bubble.

    If you had $1 billion to spend on safe real estate assets, where would you look to buy?

    For many funds, financial institutions, and wealthy individuals, the perception is that the world’s financial centers are the places to be. After all, world-class cities like New York, London, and Hong Kong will never go out of style, and their extremely robust and high-density city centers limit the supply of quality assets to buy.

    But what happens when too many people pile into a “safe” asset?

    According to UBS, certain cities have seen prices rise at rates that are potentially not sustainable – and eight of these financial centers are at risk of having real estate bubbles that could eventually deflate.

    visual 1

    Global Real Estate Bubble Index

    Every year, UBS publishes the Global Real Estate Bubble Index, and the most recent edition shows several key markets in bubble territory.

    visual 2

    The bank highlights Toronto as the biggest potential bubble risk, noting that real prices have doubled over 13 years, while real rents and real income have only increased 5% and 10% respectively.

    However, the largest city in Canada was certainly not the only global financial center with real estate appreciating at rapid rates in the last year.

    "In Munich, Toronto, Amsterdam, Sydney and Hong Kong, prices rose more than 10% in the last year alone."

    Annual increases at a 10% clip would lead to the doubling of prices every seven years, something the bank says is unsustainable.

    visual 3

    In the last year, there were three key markets where prices did not rise: London, Milan, and Singapore.

    London is particularly notable, since it holds more millionaires than any other city in the world and is rated as the #1 financial center globally.

    SEE ALSO: Here are some of the traits of $1 billion unicorn startups

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    Donald Trump

    • A new analysis painted the clearest picture we've seen of how President Donald Trump's properties have fared since he won the presidency.
    • Many of them have fared worse. Some have seen sales improve.

    A Tuesday analysis from gave the most definitive look at how President Donald Trump's properties have performed since he he took office last year.

    The publication found that, in analyzing sales in all of the US residential buildings listed on the Trump Organization's website, the total annual sales dipped by 50 in 2017 when compared to 2015, while the median value of a unit sold dipped from $1.09 million in 2015 to $972,500 last year. studied the sales in 23 Trump apartment or condominium buildings, which are located throughout seven states. 

    In 2016, the number of sales in the president's buildings fell 7.9% from 2015. Last year, that number dipped an additional 7.9% when compared to the 2016 total. On the sale price side, the median price fell by 2.3% from 2016 to 2017, less than the 8.7% dip from 2015 to 2016. 

    Of 21 Trump properties that had sales in both 2016 and 2017, 15 experienced drops in the price per square foot of a unit sold. His buildings in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Honolulu all saw those prices drop. Meanwhile, the only markets that saw an increase in total sales were Manhattan and Las Vegas. noted that, in addition to Trump's name now being tied to partisan politics, there has been a downturn nationally in the luxury real estate market, particularly because of fewer foreign buyers seeking purchases. Pointing specifically to Trump's Manhattan properties, said the "age and style" of the buildings could additionally be detrimental to Trump's bottom line. Meanwhile, the publication made mention that Trump's company does not own all of the buildings that are branded with the Trump name.

    The Trump Organization lists 10 residential buildings in Manhattan, where total sales were up 24.6% last year, although the median price of those sales fell 2.4% from the year prior. In Trump Tower, for instance, where there is a 24/7 Secret Service presence and barricades surrounding the building, the price per square foot dropped 17.8% from 2016 to 2017.

    Elsewhere, found substantial decreases. In five Florida properties outside of Miami listed on Trump's company website, for example, sales dropped by nearly 25% from 2016 to 2017. In Chicago, the Trump International Hotel and Tower saw sales drop from 47 in 2015 to 18 in 2017 while the price per square foot fell by roughly 17% last year.

    A more promising sign for Trump came at his Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, which has both hotel rooms and condominiums. Sales spiked by 54.5% in 2017 while price per square foot rose by 13.6%. 

    The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment from

    SEE ALSO: Trump just had his wildest weekend in months

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    NOW WATCH: How to make America great — according to one of the three cofounders of Black Lives Matter

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    one57 from the sky

    • Michael Dell was reportedly the buyer behind the most expensive home ever purchased in New York City — a penthouse that sold for over $100 million.
    • The technology billionaire bought the Manhattan apartment in 2014, but the buyer's identity was unknown at the time.
    • The glamorous penthouse represents New York's luxury real estate market as well as Dell's great fortune.

    Michael Dell — founder and CEO of Dell Technologies — owns the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York City, and it was a well-kept secret until now.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that the tech billionaire was the buyer of the $100.5 million penthouse in One57, according to two people with knowledge of the 2014 sale. Dell's purchase in the 1,004-foot-tall tower is the first — and so far, only — New York apartment to surpass $100 million.

    The 73-floor super-tall skyscraper in midtown Manhattan was crowned the most expensive building in New York City in 2015, according to a report by CityRealty. Dell's penthouse near Central Park has 10,923 square feet and includes six bedrooms and six bathrooms.

    The glitzy One57 is proof of New York's soaring luxury real-estate market. The building's average price per square foot for 2015 was $6,010, while 2014's most expensive, 15 Central Park West, came in at only $5,726. Dell paid close to $9,000 per square foot for the penthouse.

    One57's average price increased 18.5% in the year after Dell made his purchase, while 15 CPW's average decreased 10%.

    Forbes puts Michael Dell's current net worth at $23.2 billion. Rumors have been swirling recently that Dell may take his massive company, Dell Technologies, public.

    Dell grew up in Texas, where he raised his four children in a 33,000 square foot home known as The Castle. Last year, Dell purchased another penthouse in a Boston luxury building where apartments were selling for $40 million.

    At One57, Dell and the other residents have access to the amenities in the Park Hyatt hotel, which takes up the first 39 floors of the building. But if they don't want to mix with hotel guests, One57 owners can also use their own 20,000-square-foot amenities floor, complete with a pool, gym, library, and theater.

    Megan Willett wrote an earlier version of this post.

    SEE ALSO: The fabulous life of Alexa Dell, the 24-year-old billionaire heiress who grew up in 'The Castle,' dated Tinder's CEO, and got engaged with a million-dollar ring

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    One57 was designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc to look like a cascading waterfall. It rises 1,004 feet and 90 stories above 57th Street.

    Of the units sold, only some of the buyers are known. They include billionaires Michael Dell, Lawrence S. Stroll, and Silas K. F. Chou, as well as the head of BDO Unicon Group, Andrey Dubinsky.

    The Park Hyatt hotel occupies the first 39 floors of the building, and the 95 condos of One57 fill the rest of the space.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    In terms of markets, China has been quiet so far in early 2018, but it still plays host to the most important asset class in the world.

    Business Insider Senior Finance Correspondent Linette Lopez spoke with famed short seller Jim Chanos at the Nasdaq Market Site about the significance of China's real estate market.

    "It drives commodity markets. It drives China's GDP," Chanos said. "It certainly is the backbone of their banking system in terms of credit. So if you wanted to look at one asset class, you know, maybe the US Treasury market might be up there as well. But the Chinese real-estate market — residential real-estate market — is probably the most important market." Following is a transcript of the video.

    Linette Lopez: You once said that the single most important market in the world is the Chinese property market. China has been incredibly quiet in 2018. We didn't see our normal China puking that we do every year at the beginning of the year. So what's going on there? And is it still the most important market in the world?

    Jim Chanos: I do think it's the most important single asset class globally. Because residential real estate represents roughly half of China's investment and investment represents roughly half its GDP — give or take. And so that means that the Chinese residential real estate is probably a quarter — roughly — of the Chinese economy — or almost $3 trillion. $3 trillion is 4% of global GDP for one asset class that I think most would realize is simply being bought for speculative purposes. They don't need to build 20 million apartments a year, but they do. And in urban environments.

    The amount of depreciation and net inflow to the cities, you know, means they've got to be building six or eight or nine million, not 20. So it really is the most important asset class. It drives commodity markets. It drives China's GDP. It certainly is the backbone of their banking system in terms of credit. So if you wanted to look at one asset class, you know, maybe the US Treasury market might be up there as well. But the Chinese real-estate market — residential real-estate market — is probably the most important market.

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    Malibu beach house

    • Luxury real estate "power markets" are the places where rich people spend the most money, says a new report from Coldwell Banker.
    • Rich people flock to power markets for the best in luxury real estate, lifestyle, and culture.
    • Power markets in the US are places where the top 5% of home sales by price is the highest.


    Location is paramount when money is no object, whether a home is steps from the beach, tucked in the mountains, or in the heart of a city.

    The world's rich people spent $8 billion on luxury real estate in 2016, according to Wealth-X, and they flock to many of the same cities to buy property.

    In a new report on luxury real estate by Coldwell Banker, these places are called "power markets," where the "wealthiest and most powerful players" tend to own homes. 

    "Typically, these areas are destinations in their own right, offering high-net-worth individuals a range of lifestyle opportunities, cultural experiences, and educational opportunities," the report says. 

    The report defines power markets in the US as places where the top 5% of single-family home sales by price is highest. In the top 17 markets, the median list price for the top 5% of sales is at least $3.5 million.

    Below, check out which cities are most popular among wealthy homebuyers. For each place, we've included the median list price for the top 5% of homes currently on the market, the highest sold price from 2017, and the median price per square foot for that market.

    All data figures are for single-family homes and were provided by Coldwell Banker and The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

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    17. Sarasota, Florida

    Median list price: $3.5 million

    Highest sold price (2017): $9 million

    Median price per square foot: $697

    16. Orange County, California

    Median list price: $3.76 million

    Highest sold price (2017): $39.9 million

    Median price per square foot: $867

    15. Boston, Massachusetts

    Median list price: $3.995 million

    Highest sold price (2017): $13 million

    Median price per square foot: $1,006

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kevin plank DC house

    • Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is selling his Washington, DC mansion for $29.5 million.
    • It's the most expensive home for sale in the city, according to the Wall Street Journal. 
    • Plank bought the mansion for $7.85 million in 2013 and is now selling it because he and his family don't spend as much time there as they thought they would.

    Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank has put his 12,200-square-foot Georgetown mansion on the market for $29.5 million, a spokesperson for his investment company, Plank Industries, confirmed to Business Insider.

    He had purchased it for $7.85 million in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal. The listing price, which makes the home the most expensive currently listed in Washington, DC, includes many of the pieces the mansion is furnished with.

    The home is historic and was built around 200 years ago in the Federal style. It sits on a third of an acre of land and features some grassy areas. Plank extensively renovated the home during his five years of ownership and added modern amenities to the property.

    There are seven bedrooms in the house, plus a lap pool, a separate building with gym equipment, and a gated parking area for multiple cars.

    "While the property in DC was never meant to be the family’s primary residence, they wanted to use the home to host friends, family and guests. Following a major renovation, the Planks realized they weren't using it as often as they had hoped and have decided to sell the property," Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries, said in a statement to Business Insider.

    Plank primarily lives outside of Baltimore, where Under Armour is headquartered. Nancy Taylor Bubes, Cailin Monahan, and Jamie Peva of Washington Fine Properties have the listing.

    SEE ALSO: Under Armour and Nike are stealing a page out of Adidas' playbook — and it's a brilliant move

    Plank's home is an example of classic brick in the Georgetown section of DC. Its historic good looks are immediately visible curbside.

    Plank extensively renovated the home. One of the most notable additions is this 22,000-pound marble staircase.

    Each bedroom is decorated in accordance with a famous American political figure. For example, the master bedroom is called The George Washington Suite and has a portrait of America's first president.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    warren buffett laguna

    • Warren Buffett listed his Laguna Beach, California, home for $11 million in early 2017.
    • Buffett purchased the home for just $150,000 in 1971, which is less than $1 million in today's dollars.
    • Over a year later, the home still doesn't have a buyer.


    Warren Buffett could see a big return if his Laguna Beach, California, home sells for close to its $11 million asking price— but it seems to be lacking an interested buyer.

    "It's now been on the market for about five months longer than the median listing time for similarly priced homes in the same ZIP code,"reports Bloomberg's Noah Buhayar, citing data from Redfin.

    Buffett has owned the home since 1971, when he purchased it for $150,000. That's about $934,000 in today's dollars. He's since renovated the place, which has six bedrooms and more than 3,500 square feet of living space.

    The billionaire investor had primarily used it as a beach retreat for his family, but they reportedly hadn't used it much since his first wife, Susan, died in 2004.

    Let's take a tour of this billionaire's beach-town home.

    SEE ALSO: 24 mind-blowing facts about Warren Buffett and his $87 billion fortune

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    Buffett's longtime vacation home is located in the affluent beachside community of Laguna Beach, in Orange County, California.

    It's part of a gated community called Emerald Bay and is just a short walk from the beach.

    The beaches here are stunning, with high cliffs.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    subway new york city

    • Apartment site RentHop analyzed NYC apartments to find how far from the subway New Yorkers need to live to find cheap rent. 
    • In Brooklyn and Queens, rent can be up to 10% cheaper for apartments more than a half mile away from subway entrances. 
    • In Manhattan, apartments within ⅙ and ⅛ of a mile from the subway have the cheapest rent — but only by 2.9% compared to the borough median. 
    • Staten Island and the Bronx were omitted because of a lack of available data. 

    Cheap rent in New York City is hard to find.

    Finding an affordable NYC apartment close to a subway is even harder — ask any New Yorker and they'll tell you proximity to the subway entrance can make a huge difference on commuting time, comfort — and their cost of living.

    And thanks to RentHop, we now know by how much: Moving 10 minutes away from the subway could save renters up to 10%.

    RentHop's data scientists compared the median monthly rent in each borough to median rents of apartments with varying distances to subway entrances, and found that those closest to the train entrances are more expensive by about 6-8% compared to the borough median.

    But living farther away from the train — by more than a quarter mile — can cost 8-10% less, on average.

    The only borough that didn't reflect these findings is Manhattan, where 90% of apartments are about ¼ mile away from the subway, and apartments more than ⅓ mile away saw a spike in rent, likely because they are in buildings closer to the waterfront.

    The cheapest Manhattan rent can be found within ⅙ and ⅛ of a mile from the subway — but it only drops about 2.9% from the borough median of $3,450 a month.

    The median rent in Brooklyn is $2,768 a month, and in Queens it's $2,470, but apartments greater than 1/2 mile away from the subway can see those prices drop by 8% and 10% (respectively).

    Rent in Brooklyn can fluctuate even more drastically in certain neighborhoods, like Crown Heights South, where median rent prices are 16.7% higher than the borough average when close to the subway, but 32.2% cheaper for apartments between ⅓ and ½ mile away.

    You can see more detail about Brooklyn rents below:

    New York City's other two boroughs, Staten Island and the Bronx, were omitted (as usual — although in this case, their sample sizes were too small to provide conclusive information).

    So if you're not interested in moving out of New York to a place where your money might go further, an apartment farther away from the subway might be a good start.

    SEE ALSO: The most expensive New York City neighborhoods right now, according to PropertyShark

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Buy vs. rent — a finance expert weighs in on how you should decide

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