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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    The Chedi Andermatt

    Located just two hours from Zurich, the tiny town of Andermatt has not always been a well-known ski destination.

    But since the opening of The Chedi Andermatt hotel, the idyllic town in the Swiss Alps has become a widely talked about vacation spot and even secured a place on the New York Times’ ‘Best Places to Go’ list.

    Designed by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, the incredible hotel is a contemporary ski-chalet and is meant to be a mix of “alpine chic meets Asian sleek.”

    The 105-room luxury hotel has a ski-in living room, an après-ski outdoor hydrothermal bath, a 115-foot-long indoor heated pool, an extensive wine and cigar library, and a walk-in cheese cellar. 

    Plus, guest have their own personal ski butler to help them choose ski equipment and carry skis to and from the slopes. 

    Rooms in the hotel can cost from 500 to 8,000 dollars a night, according to the Daily Mail

    Welcome to The Chedi Andermatt, a luxurious ski resort that is tucked away in the Urseren Valley in the Swiss Alps.

    The 5-star hotel opened in 2013, and is the first European property for the Asia-based GMH Hotels.

    The interior of the hotel mixes traditional alpine comfort with a contemporary Asian style.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tiny Paris Apartment

    The US gained more than 770,000 new renters in 2014, which — along with rising rents across the country — drove the cumulative amount paid in rent to $441 billion. 

    The cumulative total rose 4.9% in 2014, from last year’s total of $420.4 billion.

    Renters in the New York-Northern New Jersey metro paid the biggest chunk in 2014, shelling out $50 billion cumulatively in rent payments, up from $48.2 billion in 2013.

    On a per-month basis, renters in the Bay Area saw the biggest increases. Rent per household in San Jose, CA rose by $197 per month, while rent in the San Francisco metro rose by $163 per month.

    Zillow’s new analysis comes as rental affordability continues to decrease across the country. Recent data showed that, on a monthly basis, renting is half as affordable as buying. Zillow expects another increase in cumulative rent next year as rents continue to rise faster than home values.

    “Over the past 14 years, rents have grown at twice the pace of income due to weak income growth, burgeoning rental demand and insufficient growth in the supply of rental housing,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “This has created real opportunities for rental housing owners and investors, but has also been a bitter pill to swallow for tenants, particularly those on an entry-level salary and those would-be buyers struggling to save for a down payment on a home of their own.”

    For more information, check out Zillow Research.

    SEE ALSO: The 22 Most Expensive Homes Sold This Year

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    The world housing market is going crazy, especially in the luxury sector.

    Lincoln Property Company, a real estate company, has rounded up the most expensive apartments that are currently on the market, from a $400 million penthouse in Monaco to one in Hong Kong with a private pool on each floor. 

    There are also five New York properties that made the list.

    While most of us are worrying about security deposits and monthly rent checks, here’s how the other half is living.

    10 most expensive apartments

    SEE ALSO: Meet The Big Shots Who Live At 15 Central Park West

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    A West Village townhouse that just underwent a painstaking renovation has sold for $21 million.

    That's nearly double what a development company paid for it in 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    The landmark house transformed from a 10-unit townhouse into a stunning single-family home.

    Now updated with new wood floors, windows, a garden, an elevator, and central air, the 1880s townhouse looks nowhere near its true age.

    For its sale, the apartment was staged by Cheryl Eisen of Interior Marketing Group.

    Meet 79 Horatio Street, a gorgeous six-level townhouse nestled in the heart of New York City's most desirable neighborhood: the West Village.

    The house was restored completely after a developer bought it in 2012 for only $10.45 million. The developer renovated the interior and converted it from 10 apartments back into a single-family home, as it was originally.

    The six floors add up to a huge amount of living space with six bedrooms and 7,100 square feet.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    HOUSE OF THE DAY: Michelle Williams Brooklyn Townhouse

    Actress Michelle Williams has sold her gorgeous ivy-covered Brooklyn townhouse for more than one million over the asking price, 6sqft reports

    Williams bought the property in 2005 with her then-boyfriend Heath Ledger for a mere $3.6 million, according to Curbed

    The townhouse spent barely four months on the market before being sold for $8.8 million.

    Which makes sense because in addition to be an incredibly lovely and inviting home, the townhouse is packed with amazing amenities including a temperature-controlled wine cellar, heated floors, and a rooftop garden with a waterfall. 

    Williams is reportedly moving to LA to focus on her career, and leaving this incredible space behind.  

    Welcome to 126 Hoyt Street in the popular Brooklyn neighborhood of Boerum Hill. The incredible corner property is covered in lush greenery.

    The interior of the home is very spacious, and is centered around a nearly 1,000-square-foot “loft-like parlor floor.”

    The home has 12-foot-tall ceilings and huge windows that shower the kitchen with natural light and views of the garden.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    15.Chateau esque home in Dallas, TX designed by the architectural team of Lloyd Lumpkins, Jeff Salmon and Harold Leidner

    Ever wanted to live like royalty? 

    Well, turns out you can — for a price. 

    Our friends at property search site, rounded up some of the best castle-like homes in the US. 

    Complete with secret wine cellars, custom indoor lap pools, rose gardens, multi-floor libraries, and stone walls, these 19 castle homes are available for purchase right now. 

    This 240-room castle in Connecticut comes with 75 acres of land and a moat.

    Built by Christopher Mark, the great-grandson of Chicago steel tycoon Clayton Mark Senior, this impressive gothic structure took seven years to complete.

    Known as Chrismark Castle, the home has eight bedrooms, a moat, and once housed exotic animals including a zebra, emus, and camels

    Address: 450 Brickyard RD, Woodstock, CT

    Price: $45,000,000

    A 28,000-square-foot castle in Virginia has an indoor lap pool.

    This castle in McLean, VA looks more like a university library than it does a private home. 

    The 28,000-square-foot estate has eight bedrooms and 12 baths. The home also has an indoor lap pool, a sophisticated library complete with spiral staircase, and is filled with exquisite chandeliers. 

    Address:7201 Dulany Drive, McLean, VA 

    Price: $28,800,000

    This stunning French Chateau in Napa Valley has its own conservatory.

    This elegant French Chateau sits on over 46 acres of picturesque land in the Napa Valley. 

    The Chateau has an incredible mosaic tile floored foyer, an elevator which takes you up to the conservatory, a state-of-the-art entrainment pavilion, and an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven.

    Address: 256 N Fork Crystal Springs Rd, St. Helena, CA

    Price: $16,996,000


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Bandra Ohm The Bandra Ohm, a residential high-rise in Mumbai, is offering the latest extravagance in luxury condos: a private balcony swimming pool in every unit. 

    The 30-story tower will have about 100 units that will all have their very own crescent-shaped balcony pools enclosed in acrylic (the material used in large aquariums), the Wall Street Journal reports

    James Law Cybertecture, the Hong Kong based firm building the Bandra Ohm, is designing the building with private swimming pools in order to offer a whole new approach to the living environment of high-rise buildings. 

    Bandra Ohm In fact, the entire building takes its inspiration from water. “The design concept of the tower is inspired by the ripple effect generated by water droplets, which is also known as the capillary wave,” according James Law Cybertecture.

    The ripple pattern creates an empty space in the center of the building, where the developers have built a specially designed clubhouse. 

    Bandra Ohm This is not the first development that is planning to have a private swimming pool in every balcony. A 35 story building in Kuala Lumpur has a tagline that says: “94 Apartments, 95 Swimming Pools,” according to the WSJ. In the Bahamas, a 34 unit Honeycomb building will have a private pool in every apartment. 

    But many are questioning if the private pools are worth it since they are usually quite small, and have a high possibility of spilling over. Plus, there's always the potential disaster of a leak.

    The hassles of adding private pools to buildings also significantly increases the price — the Honeycomb’s condos that are 5,800 square feet and priced at $15 million.

    “If you’re trying for a differentiator, that’s a reason to do it,” Dolly Lenz, a luxury real-estate agent in New York, told the WSJ. “But personally I wouldn’t recommend the idea to a developer.” 

    SEE ALSO: Here Are The Astounding Views From The Top Of New York City's Tallest Apartment Building

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    new york apartments compared to nasdaq chart

    Wei Min Tan, a luxury-real-estate broker based out of New York City, has created the one chart that explains why billionaires are investing so heavily in Manhattan real estate.

    The chart compares investment performance in the Dow Jones, Nasdaq, Gold, and FTSE 100 indexes against New York condominium prices from the beginning to the end of 2014.

    According to Tan, the average price per square foot for a Manhattan condo appreciated by 9.9%, and by as much as 19.8% if the home was bought with a mortgage loan.

    “The assumption here is that rental income covers the expenses of mortgage, common charges, and property taxes,” Tan explained. “This break-even is commonly achieved with a 50% equity, 50% loan purchase.”

    The bottom line is that buying and flipping real estate in Manhattan leads to stable returns for the millionaires and billionaires snapping up these properties, whether they’re living in them or not.

    Suddenly, the huge increase in new condo developments makes a lot more sense. 

    NOW WATCH: 4 Real Robots Designed To Make Life Easier


    SEE ALSO: 5 Things To Do Before You Invest In New York City Real Estate

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    Last year’s residential market got most of its buzz from developers racing to build luxury condos, but it was eye-popping co-op sales that shattered records in 2014.

    The priciest purchase is still pending: The $80 million deal reached in October for New York Jets owner Woody Johnson’s sprawling duplex on the 11th and 12th floors of 834 Fifth Avenue by Ukraine-born billionaire buyer Leonard Blavatnik had not closed at press time.

    That record will overtake a pair of record setters that did close: the $71.2 million duplex at 740 Park Avenue, along with the $70 million penthouse sale at 960 Fifth Avenue that topped the year. 

    Together, these trades raised the bar for New York City’s co-op market, even as the year’s top deals were dominated by astronomical condo sales, many of them at Extell Development’s One57.

    While none touched the $88 million record condo price set in 2012, all of 2014’s top 25 closed sales of last year topped $30 million, a dramatic turn from 2013, when only nine of the most expensive sales exceeded that price.

    The explosion of deals in the $30 million-and-up range can be chalked up to a strong economy, investor appetite for New York City real estate, and a luxury market where prices are rising along with the quality of new developments.

    It’s a matter of giving the buyers what they want, brokers said. “There were more compelling product that came to the market,” said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty. For the co-op market, she said, sales were driven by one-of-a-kind properties hitting the market. “In the condo market, it’s what’s being built,” she said. 

    Indeed, Brown Harris Stevens’ Paula Del Nunzio said the year’s top sales were also defined by “unique circumstances.” (Del Nunzio was the listing agent for the No. 6 property on The Real Deal’s list, a $51 million townhouse at 115 East 70th Street.)

    Case in point: the No. 1 closed sale of the year was a purchase by hedge-funder Israel Englander, who paid $71.28 million for the 740 Park duplex previously owned by the French government. The apartment was listed for $48 million by Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s International Realty, but competing bids drove the price higher. And higher. 

    Englander, Del Nunzio pointed out, already owned a co-op at 740 Park. “That’s why he kept going up and up,” she said.

    Prices at the top

    There’s no doubt prices at the top of the market are rising.

    15 central park west cpwThe top 25 sales in 2014 exceeded $1 billion, compared with $599.7 million in 2013 and $836.5 million in 2012.

    Wendy Maitland, director of sales at Town Residential, said there’s a greater number of “really big numbers,” but all are “very special properties.”

    “These aren’t people who are buying just anything. You can’t slap up any property and expect to get these price points,” she said.

    However, the market for trophy apartments as a whole is pricier than ever, too.

    There were $3.8 billion worth of sales among properties priced $10 million and up, according to real estate website CityRealty, compared with $1.8 billion in 2013. Closings at super-luxury new developments were key drivers of the increase.

    “We’ve had so many closings this year at [Extell Development’s] One57 and [Related’s] One Madison, and a handful at [JDS Development and Property Markets Group’s] Walker Tower,” said Gabby Warshawer, CityRealty’s director of research, adding, “There is more appetite for the highest-end” properties.

    Among the top 15 sales of the past decade, seven closed in 2014.

    “Volume in that market, overall, still comes down to new construction,” according to Olshan. “[For new condos], it’s not necessarily going to be a Park or Fifth Avenue apartment, or Central Park West. It could be anywhere.” 

    No. 7 on TRD’s list was the penthouse at Walker Tower, at 212 West 18th Street, which sold for $50.9 million, breaking the record for the most expensive downtown condo sale. The prior record, from 2012, was a $42 million sale at the Zeckendorfs’ 18 Gramercy Park.

    Downtown had the largest share of 2014’s overall sales in Manhattan, according to CityRealty, with 34 percent or 1,401 sales, for a total of $3.9 billion.

    Notably, two of those deals were for standalone mansions.

    At 27 Christopher Street, No. 10 on TRD’s list, the New York Foundling charity sold its 19,000-square-foot building for $45 million; the buyer, an LLC, intends to use the former nonprofit facility as a residence. At 802 Greenwich, No. 12 on TRD’s list, oil heiress Hyatt Bass sold a 12,000-square-foot red brick property for $42.5 million.real deal

    Another big move came at Related and HFZ’s One Madison, where Rupert Murdoch made a $66.5 million investment by combining two units: a $43 million penthouse (No. 11 onTRD’s list) and a 57th-floor unit for $14.9 million. (Separately, tied for No. 16 on TRD’s list was the $34 million sale of Murdoch’s apartment at 834 Fifth Avenue, to ex-wife Wendi Murdoch.)

    Midtown, meanwhile, captured 22 percent of overall sales, with 1,094 sales worth $2.5 billion.

    The One57 effect

    In 2014, the top sales were dominated by Extell’s One57, the ultra-luxury glass tower at 157 West 57th.

    One57 had 38 closings worth $758.7 million in gross sales, according to CityRealty.  Six of those deals made TRD’s list of the top 25 sales of 2014.

    The priciest sale at One57 came in at No. 3 on the list: an 82nd-floor condo that went for $56.1 million. Billionaire fashion mogul Silas Chou, a former co-chairman of Michael Kors Inc., inked a contract for the 6,240-square-foot condo in 2012.

    No. 4 on the list was the sale of Unit 81, for $55 million, in November. The buyer was Rebecca Moores, ex-wife of former Padres owner John Moores.

    “Whenever a major condo starts to close, they dominate the upper end of the market at that time,” said Del Nunzio. “There was nothing like [One57] until someone went 1,000 feet into the air.”

    Still, three years after launching sales, One57’s sales are slowing, as other ultra-luxury towers rise near it. (They include JDS’ 111 West 57th Street, Zeckendorf Development’s 520 Park, Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South and Macklowe Properties’ 432 Park, none of which have started to close yet. 

    520 park avenue building new yorkAfter putting 10 apartments into contract during each quarter of 2012, Extell reportedly put one condo into contract per quarter during the first half of 2014, according to Bloomberg News, based on filings on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange where Extell sells debt. As of Sept. 30, a quarter of the building’s 94 units remained for sale. And just 40 of the units have closed, according to CityRealty.

    Noble Black, an agent at Corcoran Group who sold Unit 58A in May for $30 million, said until recently, construction blocked the views from portions of the building, deterring some buyers. “Once the building is fully up and running, they won’t have any trouble selling out,” he said. 

    In fact, the sales slowdown notwithstanding, One57 saw its first flip in 2014, thanks to Black’s buyer — who sold the apartment several months later. Both deals were among the top of 2014.

    SSO Enterprises, a Chicago-based LLC, paid $30.55 million in May for Unit 58A and re-listed it within months for $40 million. The 4,483-square-foot condo sold in October for $34 million (tied for No. 16 on TRD’s list), or roughly $7,580 per square foot. 

    “It’s a building of superlatives,” Black said. “You’ve got the best placement on the park, dead set middle. You’ve got a fantastic hotel downstairs.” 

    Closing time

    Notably, however, the astronomical closings at One57 are for condos that were put into contract in 2012.

    And the ranking of top sales does not include top contracts pending, such as the $90 million deal at One57 by a partnership led by hedge funder Bill Ackman. Ackman reportedly has no plans to live in the 13,544-square-foot condo, but is trying to flip it, even though the sale for what would be a record price for a New York City residence hasn’t yet closed.

    Because of the lag time between contract signing and closing — Ackman’s deal was inked in 2013 — 2015 is expected to see more super-high prices, said Olshan, who publishes a report that tracks contracts at $4 million and up. “A huge portion of our market won’t be reported for another year or two,” she said. 

    Walker tower chelseaAmong other examples of pending premium sales are a penthouse at Extell’s Carlton House, which was asking $65 million, and entered contract with an undisclosed buyer in July. And a 6,738-square-foot penthouse at Walker Tower found a buyer at $40.5 million. (Vickey Barron of Douglas Elliman had the listing.)

    In all, Olshan Realty tracked 260 properties that went into contract at $10 million or more as of Dec. 16, compared with 249 in 2013. Of the 260 properties, 98 were sold off of floor plans. 

    Olshan said that the delay in the super-luxury market is longer than ever. “These building are being built with special amenities and finishes, and that level of finish and required attention to detail is on a higher scale,” she said. “You cannot go and throw up a building in a year and get $3,000 a square foot.” 

    Deals that didn’t

    Despite its successes, 2014 had some notable bust-ups. 

    Over the summer, the nation of Qatar walked away from an agreement to buy an Upper East Side townhouse for $90 million. Qatar entered into a contract to buy the 20,500-square-foot townhouse at 19 East 64 Street from the Wildenstein family, but the deal fell apart by mid-August. Douglas Elliman’s Oren and Tal Alexander represented Qatar and Corcoran’s Carrie Chiang represented the Wildensteins. 

    Steve Cohen PenthouseLast month, embattled hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen slashed the price of his penthouse at One Beacon Court to $82 million from $115 million. Cohen also replaced Corcoran’s Deborah Grubman and David Dubin with Boardman of Sotheby’s to market the 9,000-square-foot pad, which he bought for $24 million in 2005. It was originally listed in April 2013.

    It was far from the only luxury listing that lingered throughout the year. 

    The top listing — as of Dec. 16 — was the $118.5 million penthouse of the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park City, on the market since June 21. It was followed by the penthouse at the Pierre Hotel at 795 Fifth Avenue, where the asking price of $125 million was lowered to $95 million. That’s also been for sale since April 2013.

    Steven Klar’s triplex penthouse at CitySpire, priced at $100 million, also remained on the market for 575 days as of Dec. 16, according to StreetEasy. Last year, the developer replaced Elliman’s Raphael De Niro as the listing agent, and he’s now trying to sell it himself via his Klar Realty. 

    At least two listings could push the price ceiling in New York City even higher. 

    Zeckendorf Development priced the 12,394-square-foot penthouse at 520 Park Avenue at $130 million. Slightly less expensive is the penthouse atop the 58-story Woolworth Building, with an $110 million price tag.  TRD

    SEE ALSO: Here's What Makes NYC's The Dead Rabbit The Best Bar In America

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    Angel View house Sag Harbor $49 million

    A mansion in Sag Harbor has just been discounted by $19 million, according to Curbed Hamptons. 

    Originally listed for $65 million, the property price has dropped to $49 million.

    The mansion is called “Angel View” and is a custom-built, 12,000-square-foot, six-bedroom house that sits on 6.5 acres of land and has 500 feet of waterfront property.

    It also has quite a few amenities, including an indoor grotto, a two-tiered infinity edge pool, tennis courts, a luxe cabana, and an estate-wide sound system.

    Welcome to Angel View in Sag Harbor. The property just went on sale for $49 million.

    The property is actually three plots of land combined for a total of 6.5 acres. It also has waterfront access.

    The home is quite secluded with two private gates.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Most Unusual Homes For those bored with the traditional white picket fence, why not try something a bit more bizarre?  

    In celebration of everything that is wonderful and weird, our friends at property search site Estately rounded up some of the most unusual homes in the US. 

    From a modern-day treehouse atop the Hollywood Hills to a circular home in the middle of the Arizona desert, these 13 truly unconventional homes are available for purchase right now. 

    Live inside a Hobbit-like mushroom home in Maryland.

    Known as the Mushroom House, this 3,700-square-foot home became a bizarre landmark to the town of Bethesda when it was featured in the book Weird Maryland. 

    The strange home is covered in polyurethane foam coating, has large oval windows, and 30-foot-tall ceilings to all give the effect of a mushroom shape. 

    It has also been called the Smurf House, the Hobbit House, and the Flintstones House

    Address: 4949 Allan Road, Bethesda, MD

    Price: $1.2 million 

    This modern-day treehouse blends into its surroundings.

    The Wolff House was built by John Lautern in 1961. The Hollywood Hills home is basically a contemporary treehouse — and is made of wood, stone, and glass.

    The 9,795-square-foot home was built as a tribute to Lautern's mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, on a steep hill and designed to seamlessly integrate into the natural environment.

    It also has towering 16-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows, a guest house, a pool overlooking Los Angeles, and even a Eucalyptus tree growing inside. 

    Address: 8530 Hedges Place, Los Angeles (City), CA

    Price: $7.9 million 

    This home in Jacksonville has a series of underground tunnels that were used for smuggling whiskey.

    Called “The Bootlegger’s House,” this home was a crucial part of the underground whisky trade since it has a series of tunnels that lead from the garage of the home to the river. 

    Inspired by the Klutho ‘Prairie School” style, this 3,169-square-foot home has six bedrooms and five bathrooms. 

    Address: 1880 Edgewood Ave South, Jacksonville, FL

    Price: $1.5 million 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Generally, I’m not anti-development in San Francisco, given the right circumstances. It breaks my heart to see gorgeous old buildings torn down to make room for huge new ones that lack any version of character, but I like the idea of people 100 years from now fawning over the iconic architecture of the early 21st century.

    But will they? My biggest beef with the influx of new buildings is how uninspired most of them are. Every time scaffolding comes down on Market Street or a new rendering is released on the Internet, I shake my head and think, “Really? You were given the opportunity to design a building in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and THIS is what you came up with?” 

    Imagine how cool it would be if new buildings paid homage to the details of San Francisco’s trademark architecture – what it would look like to have ornate bay windows and turrets shooting up 20 stories. We asked Tim Delger to Photoshop Victorian-style skyscrapers in SF.







    SEE ALSO: Trulia's Beautiful New San Francisco Headquarters Was Inspired By A Tree

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    Broadway Penthouse

    The infamous Central Village triplex penthouse at 704 Broadway has just hit the market for $37 million, Curbed reports.  

    The massive residence was once an event space called Sky Studios that could be rented for private parties, weddings, Sex and the City episodes, and other glamorous New York events. 

    When Billionaire investor Ron Burkle purchased the famous space in 2007 he paid $17 million in cash — he then spent the next two years renovating the place to make it the dreamy loft that it is today.  

    The penthouse has three floors, six bedrooms, a rooftop garden, soaring 17-foot-tall ceilings, skylights, and a fully equipped home theater.

    Plus, it has heated rooftop pool that has incredible views of the city. 

    Raphael De Niro of Douglas Elliman Real Estate has the listing. 

    The entire penthouse is filled with elegant details and classic furnishings. The inviting great room is a 19-century style loft space that has cast-iron columns, custom wood-coffered ceilings, and a working 17-century Dutch Tudor fireplace.

    The spacious French Country-inspired chef's kitchen has a barrel vaulted exposed brick ceiling and antique blue marble tiles that were recovered from a convent in France.

    The Master Suite sits behind a library and hand-carved Moroccan French doors. The room has a basket weave vaulted ceiling, wood paneled walls, and a massive bed.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    china gas station collapse

    The Chinese real-estate developer Kaisa Group Holdings had a healthy balance sheet, according to investors and observers alike. It was the top-rated residential-property-sales firm in the city of Shenzhen, in the first half of 2014. It was known for fast, reliable work.

    But on Thursday, Kaisa appeared to become the first Chinese development firm to default on offshore debt, missing a $128 million interest payment on $500 million of debt to foreign investors. Representatives of the company say they aren't sure whether the payment was made, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    Consider this a slap in the face to investors chasing yield around the world and finding it (or so they think) in emerging-market junk bonds. Back in 2013, Kaisa and its fellow Chinese developer Country Garden received $28 billion of orders for a combined $1.25 billion of high-yield bonds. Kaisa promised that its bonds would yield a rate of 10.25%. Investors were thrilled.

    And things seemed fine. In June the company said it had over $1.5 billion in cash. On Jan. 1 the number was calculated at $772 million — even though the stock had been halted in December and Kaisa's stock had fallen more than 48% in the month leading up to that.


     With the cash the company said it had, though, Kaisa's $128 million interest payment should have been doable.

    But it was not because of numerous factors, not least of all the Chinese economic slowdown and the country's sluggish housing market. Executives have quit since the company released an ominous statement in December saying problems with government permits would harm cash flow.

    Those problems started back in October, when the federal government began investigating Shenzen officials for corruption in the housing market. Some said Kaisa's founder, Kwok Ying Shing (who has since quit the company) was unreachable — not a terribly uncommon thing in China, but certainly a bad sign for the company. Kwok denied that he was missing. It seems, however, that this debt payment is.

    Expect this to seriously shake investors, and for this to affect a Chinese corporate sector that is already overleveraged and hungry for cash and investments.

    NOW WATCH: How To Use Excel's New Flash Fill Feature To Recognize Data Patterns



    SEE ALSO: It's Not 2008 For China's Corporate Sector — It's Worse

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    ZEB Pilot House

    This is no-doubt one of the most efficient houses on Earth.

    It was designed to be 100% zero emission, and incorporates a ridiculous number of clever tricks and gadgets to truly make it a friend to the environment, according to The Daily Mail.

     Norway's Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings and renowned international architecture firm Snøhetta teamed up to make it possible.

    Welcome to the most eco-friendly house on the planet: The ZEB pilot house. It was designed to be 100% zero emission certified by a partnership of Norway's Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings and renowned international architecture firm Snøhetta.

    The house uses various natural sources to provide all the energy it needs — plus at least enough to power an electric family car for a year. It produces 23,200kWh of energy a year, but through clever and eco-friendly design uses only 7,272kWh.

    1,614 square feet of solar panels cover the roof, bringing in an estimated 19,200kWh of energy. The roof is also tilted 19 degrees southeast toward the sun, to maximize sun exposure, as well as make it easier to collect and use rainwater. Thermal solar panels heat the water for use in the house.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    nyc real estate price map

    Manhattan real estate is expensive. It's the "new Swiss bank account," according to New York Magazine, and certain zip codes repeatedly pop up on lists of the most expensive real estate in America.

    But calling real estate in all of New York City super expensive is to miss the point. There's plenty of affordable real estate in the city, as long as you don't mind a long commute (or New Jersey).

    The map above, compiled by architectural designer Cat Callaghan and developer Constantine Valhouli, visualizes what prices for residential real estate are like per square foot in neighborhoods around the city.

    A lot of real estate data, says Valhouli, "gives you the sense of being informed without really knowing enough information." Even the above images aren't the full picture. How long does it take to get to Midtown from each neighborhood? What are apartments like?

    The West Village, for instance, has a lot of teeny tiny spaces with high prices per square foot. The Financial District is cheaper, but also has larger spaces, many of which have been converted from old commercial buildings with large floor plates.

    Valhouli says as a developer, he and his company "wanted to identify the pockets of unexplored value close to the city." For now, Jersey City is looking really good. It's not on a lot of people's radar, but he thinks it's a good value that people will eventually discover.

    "I moved here in 1997, before Brooklyn was cool," he said. "No one aspired to live in Brooklyn then. I think the same thing will happen [with Jersey City]."

    Screen Shot 2015 01 12 at 11.17.06 AM

    Perhaps the most interesting part of these maps is the tiny part outer Brooklyn that sticks up high. "There’s a tiny Sephardic Orthodox enclave within gravesend," says Valhouli. There are huge mansions that go for eight figures. Both by price per square foot and median price, it's one of the most expensive places in Brooklyn. 

    Screen Shot 2015 01 12 at 11.16.49 AM

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    roman abramovich 828 Fifth Avenue Triplex

    The gorgeous Fifth Avenue mansion that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich almost bought for $75 million is now available to rent for $80,000 a month, according to Curbed New York.

    The rent was price chopped from the original $150,000-a-month asking price from back in October, presumably from lack of interest.

    Now the triplex is back, this time for almost half the rent. Curbed reports that the owner, heiress Angelika Ivanc, is spending time out of town with her children and is hoping to find a suitable tenant.

    More than a year ago, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was in contract to purchase three of the five apartments in the building at 828 Fifth Avenue from the family of late British real estate developer Howard Ronson, which included the penthouse, a triplex, and a duplex apartment.

    The deal fell through after the seller — Ronson's widow, Ivanc — reportedly held out because she thought she could get more money from the Russian mogul.

    Abramovich had reportedly bought another apartment in the building, and was trying to purchase the final unit so he could restore the mansion to its former glory. Now it looks like that dream may never happen.

    But for those with $80,000 to throw around each month, the eight-bedroom co-op is now available to rent on Stribling & Associates as well as Sotheby's real estate.

    An interesting mix of classic and modern with tall ceilings and eight bedrooms, the home even has a rooftop terrace that looks out over Central Park.

    The Manhattan townhouse sits directly across from Central Park Zoo.

    It's currently divided up into five units.

    Abramovich was hoping to buy them all and create a single-family mansion.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Glenn Straub playing polo

    A Florida real-estate mogul has set his sights on reviving Atlantic City, starting with Revel Casino, the $2.4 billion failure.

    Developer Glenn Straub bought Revel Casino for $95.4 million last week after another buyer, Brookfield Asset Management, backed out of the deal. According to Reuters, Straub wanted to lower the price even further to $87 million.

    Revel first opened its doors in April 2012 after a couple of tumultuous and hopeful years of construction. The casino filed for bankruptcy after one year and shut down in September, amid a host of other high-profile casino closings including Trump Plaza and Showboat.

    Some interesting ideas have been thrown around for what Straub plans to do with the property, including opening a prestigious university and a family-friendly attraction with skiing, snowboarding, and a water park. But it hasn't been determined how much of Revel will still be involved in the casino business.

    According to a Wall Street Journal article, Straub traces his interest in Atlantic City back to his first visit to the place at 8 years old. Straub is from Wheeling, West Virginia, and studied at West Liberty University, but he didn't graduate. He started his career with an inherited transportation business from his father. After building his fortune on highways and airports, he started buying up properties in Florida. Now he owns more than 600 properties, The Journal reports, with half in residential and half in assorted operations ranging from golf courses to mining sites. 

    Known for buying failing properties cheap and turning them around, Straub counts among his purchases the Tesoro Club, the Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club, the Heart of Palm Beach Hotel, and a 155-foot yacht named the Triumphant Lady. 

    Now Straub is planning to do the same for Atlantic City. He told The Journal he planned to invest $500 million in Atlantic City, and he told Reuters he had already scoped out two other properties and seven blocks of land that he wanted to buy in addition to Revel Casino.

    Maybe he's the man for the job.

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    malibu mansionA New York Times article tells the story of Hong Kong multimillionaire Hiroshi Horiike, whose $12.25 million Malibu manor is allegedly "missing" a third of its square footage. 

    Advertised for 15,000 square feet by real estate brokerage firm Coldwell Banker, official county records say that the home actually has less than 10,000 square feet. Horiike, who bought the home in 2007, is suing Coldwell, looking for $5 million in damages.

    It’s one example of a series of instances where square footage provided by the city and the real estate agent don’t match up. 

    But this problem isn't new. Not every appraiser will get the same measurement, and what they choose to measure as livable space can vary, either based on city requirements or the shape of the property.

    “I’ve seen instances where people wanted to include the square footage of stairs leading to the second story,” Dennis B. Ellman, a real estate lawyer in California, told the Times.

    In the case of Horiike's home, a barbecue area and the garage were included in the measurement which the architect stated in a deposition, according to the Times.

    For those scoffing at a millionaire who’s missing 5,000 square feet of house, consider that the size of the home isn’t only about bragging rights — it can influence property taxes, the price of contracting jobs, and the ultimate price when deciding to sell.

    “I don’t love my house,” Horiike told the Times. “It has become a bad dream. It has broken my heart and broke my dream about American people. Before, I thought everything here is beautiful. And perfect.” 

    Buyer beware. You can read the full New York Times article here.

    SEE ALSO: A Venture Capitalist Is Reportedly Selling His Remarkable 'Floating Box’ House For More Than $20 Million

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    111 west 57th street

    JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group has revealed that the 111 West 57th Street tower will now reach 1,421 feet —  71 feet taller than originally expected. 

    This will also make the building 24 feet taller than the city’s current tallest residential tower, 432 Park, which topped out at 1,396 feet last October.

    Crain’s found city records’ documents that show the future tower’s new height. The super-skinny skyscraper will now have a “crown” that will push it higher than originally anticipated.

    New York Yimby blog Yes in My Backyard reported that the final permits for the building were received and the developers are now trying to secure a $500 million construction loan.

    Here’s a closer look at the plans, via Skyscraper Forum:

    111 west 57th street

    And a closer look at the crown:

    111 west 57th street

    111 West 57th Street is a few blocks west of 432 Park on New York's famous Billionaires' Row. The building's developer bought the land leases, as well as 45,000 square feet of air rights and a neighboring property, for $131.5 million back in 2013

    This is what the lot looked like in 2008:

    111 West 57th street 2008 Google MapsConstruction began in February 2014, and so far, not a lot of progress has been made. The 60-foot-wide structure will contain a hotel as well as condos.

    111 west 57th StreetHere's a rendering of the completed building. The tower will have three high-speed elevators and a hotel inside as well as 45 luxury apartments. 

    111 west 57th streetAbove the hotel, each floor of 111 West 57th St. will be a single 5,000-square-foot apartment with views of Central Park. The now 1,421-foot tower will absolutely dominate its surroundings.

    SEE ALSO: THE NEW BILLIONAIRES' ROW — See The Incredible Transformation Of New York's 57th Street

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