There are few things that The Observer loves reading about more than the lurid world of ultra high-end real estate. From Eastern European oligarchs buying $88 million dorm rooms for their daughters to billionaires butting heads over custom renovations to their mega-penthouses, real estate is a both a personal and a professional obsession. And during this past year, there are few reporters that we have enjoyed reading more than New York Times’s Alexei Barrionuevo, who has chronicled the ups and, well, the ups of the trophy market in his Big Deal column over the past 16 months.
So we were sad to hear that Mr. Barrionuevo will be leaving his column and The Times to work on a documentary series called Project Allegro.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
Besides polo, Ferraris and fine dining, the wealthy elite of the world now have another common cause uniting them—London is slapping a higher stamp duty on properties valued over £2 million (it’s going from 5 to 7 percent). Worse yet, those who use offshore corporations to buy must pay a 15 percent tax bill, reports The New York Times.
It seems that all the money flowing through Manhattan’s luxury market these days is encouraging owners of extravagant abodes to try and cash in. After all, buyers keep signing decadent deed after decadent deed, even with the dog days of summer approaching.
Today, three properties hit the market in the $20 million to $29 million range. Which, after the recent debut of a $50 million listing at the Ritz-Carlton and the impending debut of Walker Tower’s $50 million penthouse listing, seems almost modest. And, according to The New York Times, we should all brace ourselves for the arrival of some more listings in the $90 million range in the near future.
Will Ferrell once had a tough time reasoning with his toddler proprietor in his brilliant Funny or Die landlord skit, but it seems that these days his real estate luck is on the up. According to a source close to the deal, Mr. Ferrell and his wife, the Swedish actress Viveca Read More
Everything that comes up must come down, even the price tags for apartments with telephone-programmed air-conditioning, six-head steam showers, motorized refrigerator shelves, heated towel bars, master suite sitting rooms and 1,100-square-foot entertaining terraces.
Earlier this month, the asking price of a four-bedroom apartment at 45 West 67th Street fell to $8,975,000, two years after it Read More
The software magnate Marty Sprinzen’s $24.5 million, 4,552-square-foot, seven-room apartment at 838 Fifth Avenue, the kind of place where there’s museum-quality lighting, Venetian plaster and heated Portuguese limestone floors in the entrance gallery alone, went to contract last month, according to its Brown Harris Stevens listing.
By itself, that news wouldn’t mean much. After all, Read More
When the 29-foot-wide mansion at 11 East 64th Street was sold off last July for $42.5 million, it was one of the biggest and strangest sales of 2008. And it’s getting odder: According to two sources, the buyer is quietly willing to part with the house for only $37 million.
The mansion’s broker, both sources Read More
Unreal Estate! A slide show through the city’s prettiest pitied townhouse listings. Read More
Location: What was your childhood like?
Ms. Field: Very Middle America; perfect; ideal; Donna Reed … My mother wore the apron; president of the PTA; had a baking day, had a shopping day; Ashtabula, Ohio.
You were a Pan Am flight attendant in the late ’70s, when you married. Where did you meet your Read More
One of the genuinely great fracases in Manhattan real estate history has finally ended, but with a whimper. Andrei Vavilov, the Russian oligarch who sued the Plaza last year over a duplex penthouse and triplex penthouse he was supposed to buy there for $53.5 million, has finally left the building.
In January, he ended up Read More