Luxury properties continue to prove a major attraction for art connoisseurs, multi-millionaire investors and cash-rich celebrities alike. Brendan views the property scene in London, the Hamptons, the French Riviera, as well as an island in Canada, and a palazzo in Venice.
With upmarket luxury properties and estates in locations across the world, the market forces can be as varied as the climate itself. However, a general opinion is that it is a buyers’ market at the top-end of the luxury market, simply because sellers are anxious to sell but buyers are in no rush to buy.
Most major cities on both sides of the Atlantic are well stocked with luxury homes that vendors are keen to see graced with a ‘sold’ sign. In the UK, the British government makes significant money from residential stamp duty—£4.9 billion last year—and this is expected to rise to £10 billion by 2016. While this tax duty may prove a deterrent to some, the prime area that is Central London still proves to be a major attraction for multi-millionaire investors and cash-rich celebrities alike.
For example, Keira Knightley, star of the film Atonement and many other films, recently paid £3.9 million for a five-bedroom house in Islington (north London) which, come to think of it, is a relatively modest purchase price compared to some of the extraordinary Great-Gatsby-style properties awaiting a buyer in other parts of the world.
Sotheby’s, who first tapped into the lucrative luxury property market in 1976 with the launch of Sotheby’s Realty, offers at least half-a-dozen properties at any one time, with price tags up to around $20 million or more. For complete privacy, Sotheby’s even offer a complete private island. This is James Island, Gulf Islands, British Columbia, Canada.
An estate of 3.5 acres in the Hamptons, New York state, is also available through Sotheby’s at $13,200,000, described thus: ‘Superb 11,600 sq ft traditional designed by noted architect Peter Cook and constructed by master builder Men at Work on 3.6 acres in the heart of the Georgica estate area minutes to village and ocean. Double height entry, vaulted living room, formal dining room, paneled library, oversized gourmet kitchen with breakfast area, spacious ground floor master suite plus 7 additional bedroom suites, antique oak floors, every amenity. Porches overlook park-like grounds with magnificent old trees, pool, pool house, and room for tennis.’
For Francophiles, there is the deliciously Moorish-influenced property in Cap D’Antibes (not far from Matisse’s chapel, Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence). Sotheby’s tell us: ‘The Award winning Interior Designers have captured an atmosphere of both grandeur and intimacy that surpasses anything seen on the Cap d’ Antibes.’ It can be yours for $17,172,689.
Moving our luxury property search to Italy brings readers of Arts & Collections yet more choices of high-end, highly desirable properties, many of which have the best of Italy’s cultural heritage right on the doorstep, especially if you love Florence.
San Niccolò Luxury Real Estate offers numerous luxury properties in one of the most desirable of Italy’s locations. For example, a prestigious palazzo near the Piazza della Libertà in Florence, contains 8 magnificent rooms with 3 bathrooms, on 3 floors, together with a cellar, a lift and much else besides. This historic palazzo has an asking price of €15,000,000.
Also on the books of this Florence-based realtor is a superb range of choices, from luxury properties near the city or within easy reach of the centre. Properties range from 3 rooms to 6 rooms or more, from apartments to luxury estates, manors, farmhouses, even a loft, full of charm, and charming referred to as ‘una piccola palazzina’.
Each one of the properties we have glimpsed above is unique, stylish and highly desirable—the finest of homes for your family and your fine art collection.
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