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The Art & Worth of the Residence | Another Dimension of Passion Investing?

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The Art & Worth of the Residence | Another Dimension of Passion Investing?

In Alain de Bouton's exceptional book, The Architecture Of Happiness, he argues that the idea of home relates to our own prized internal song. The concept of home, or residence, can be anywhere, but it must serve as a refuge "to shore up our states of mind,” and we need rooms “to align us to desirable versions of ourselves, and keep alive the evanescent sides of us." If this is indeed the case, the concept of residence has grown into a full-blown Wagnerian-like opera from a prized internal song. In a recent (August 31, 2012) article entitled, "Overpriced Real Estate? Well, Maybe It's Art” James B. Stewart discusses the surge in New York real estate pricing where high-end luxury condos, apartments and wholly owned residences have been listed and often sold for multiple millions, the justification being that historically or artistically significant real estate could realistically be considered art.

Mr. Stewart provides both sides of this idea, as many high-end brokers think this is nonsense—they believe real estate is real estate—yet others believe, due to the unusual singularity of a residence often created by great architects and interior designers, that a property could indeed be considered art. Adding fuel to this emergent UHNW trend are observations and facts quoted by Sophie Doran, in Luxury Society (September 3, 2012). In her well-documented article called, “Luxury Real Estate Prices Reach All Time Heights,” she writes, “Back in December 2011, an unfurnished duplex in London’s Bulgari Hotel and Residences was purchased privately for approximately £100 million, as a second penthouse unit in the development was listed at £69 million pounds."

"More recently, records have been set in Hong Kong—where an apartment fetched $61 million—and Miami, where an island property overlooking the azure waters of Biscayne Bay sold for $47 million. In New York, a Manhattan penthouse was listed in late July with an asking price $100 million, following a slew of record-breaking trophy apartment sales in the city." Ms. Doran continues to discuss the many extremely high-end residence sales in London, Dubai, and Hong Kong.

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  • Joanne Loftus
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