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ROYCE PINKWATER
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The top sale in LA this year so far was the $65m sale of Singleton House in Holmby Hills, one of the last major works of architect Wallace Neff.

The sale is among the largest to record so far this year nationwide. New York Jets owner Woody Johnson in March sold his Fifth Avenue duplex for $77.5 million, and the six-acre oceanfront portion of historic Casa Apava in Palm Beach, Fla., recently sold for $71.2  And, there you are, for the top of the US market this year so far!
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The highest sale in the San Remo thus far was less than $30 million.  A penthouse, belonging to Demi Moore, has just been listed for $75.  I have been in the apartment a number of times over the years and it needs a gut renovation.  It will be interesting to see if this property in the San Remo, a co-op, will be able to command those dollars.  We watch and wait.
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Apartments are getting tinier and tinier.  Started in Hong Kong, microflats are making their way to NYC, (at the W Residences 606 sf is listed for $2.23m) and to Miami (a 767 sf condo is listed for $2.49m at the Setai).  These tiny flats give people a location they could not otherwise afford, in a neighborhood they want to spend their time in.
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Politics and property are totally entwined.  Iran and key world powers:  US, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and Germany reached the outlines of a nuclear deal which should begin to end sanctions on Iran.  This deal should encourage more property investment from Iranian buyers and Dubai is set to be a key area of benefit.  So is New York, London and other world markets.  Calls from Iranian investors have already come into to real estate offices - politics and property.
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A mega tower is being planned for sleepy Sutton Place at 58th St. in NYC.  At 900 feet tall, the tower will be the second tallest building on the Upper East Side, eclipsed only by the 1396 foot tall 432 Park.  The Bauhouse Group, who own the land, have kept this project way under the radar.
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Architect Renzo Piano is about to introduce his design of the new Whitney Museum in downtown NYC.  It is located on a gorgeous piece of property, overlooking the Hudson and Highline Park.  This will be a game changer for the Whitney, which finally has the huge exhibition rooms it has always needed.  Piano is also designing a very cool condo in Miami -- we are waiting for that!
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The number of superrich people in China has hit a record high of more than 17,000: total assets of the superrich soared to over $5 trillion.  This is the largest increase in 15 years, according to the Hurun report.
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Real estate trends are so much more global than they ever were.   For instance, we have reported that financial districts in key cities are featuring more residential development, as people want to live closer to where they work.  Here we have a report on Mumbai, a fascinating city with lots of resi planned in their financial district.  Some of the projects are very extravagant and gorgeous:  the possible concern is there will be too much product which might cause some developers to not complete their projects once they have buyers deposits, and buyers do not have a lot of protection in that market.  This is a wait and see.
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London is like the Eveready Bunny:  it just keeps bouncing higher and higher.  London is a favorite place for global investors, especially from Asia, as home prices increase and demand for office space is growing tremendously:  office rents are predicted to jump 17% this year. Way more demand than supply.   Asia loves London and 4 Asian companies partnered and  bought two prime central London properties to convert to a residential and office development for $458m from the Carlyle Group and sell through Asia.   
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Student accommodation is an investment category that is growing quickly as investors who normally would have bought office buildings pursue this "alternative" property asset class as a safe haven.  In the first three months of 2015, 37,000 beds have been sold, which is higher already than in all of 2014.  
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