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What a great opportunity to make business connections in the Bordeaux region of France while enjoying the beautiful landscape, food, wine and, of course, the graciousness of the people!

If you are interested in being of part of this adventure, you must act quickly-the deadline for reserving your place on a trip of lifetime is AUGUST 30th. 

 

Please contact Marina for more information.

 

 

 

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What a great opportunity to own a beautifully renovated Colonial home in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It would be wonderful as a vacation or permanent home so you could enjoy the magical city of Merida full of history, museums, art and delicious foods with many more nearby attractions to explore- including the beaches, golf courses & ancient Mayan ruins. Great investment opportunity!

      
You will love coming home at Casa La Ermita located in the charming neighborhood of San Sebastian in the historic center of Merida with many restored homes of great value in the area. Within a short walking distance from the house, you will find La Ermita de Santa Isabel church which is surrounded by a lovely garden with plenty of seating and children’s play areas. A kiosk in the center of the park beside the church is a great place for you to sit relax, listen to romantic serenades at night, watch dancing and enjoy different weekly cultural events.

      

Pre-Construction Price is $225,000 USD ($4,000,000 MX). The price will increase gradually as construction and renovation advance. So take advantage of the lower price now!
Included: 3 Bedrooms / 3 Baths with closets and Helvex faucets
Kitchen with modern concrete counter and wood cabinetry
Patio interior of glass with garden for light and ventilation
The house has two interior gardens
Pool with pump, filling well and water discharge well
And too many more features to list them all.

Please feel free to contact me regarding this historic home in one of my favorite cities in Mexico!

   

  

  

 

Architectural rendings:

  

  

  

 

 

 

Please join the Pinellas International Council Friday, July 21st for the Certified International Property Specialist course, Asia/Pacific and International Real Estate. This informative course is being taught by Jorge L. Cantero, Realtor®.

 

Friday, Jul 21, 2017 8:30am – 5:00pm at Pinellas Realtor Board, 4590 Ulmerton,Road, Clearwater, Florida.

This course offers you practical information on working with Asian/Pacific buyers and investors.  Historical and cultural influences, regional relationship, and investment opportunities are also covered.

In this new world of globalized business, we are in contact with people from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines. Their economies count on countries of the Americas and the Pacific Rim to provide access for their goods to our markets.  We count on them to supply us with quality merchandise at reasonable prices and providing new markets for the products of the Americas. One such product is real estate.This course provides information, insights and skills for working with Asian investors seeking overseas properties and for investors from the Americas seeking investments in Asia.

SPEAKER: Jorge L. Cantero  CIPS, CRB, CRS, GRI    20678_100139880023748_5432507_n(3)

Jorge is licensed in real estate in Florida since 1985, and previously a recipient of a New York State Broker’s License. Mr. Cantero’s international experience prior to that was a result of being involved in the chemical industry with a series of multinational companies, and having extensively traveled in Europe, Latin America and Asia.  Mr. Cantero’s specializations include residential resales, marketing of foreclosures; and in particular serving inbound international investors and residential real estate exchangers.  Mr. Cantero is a Past President of the Residential Association of the Miami Association of REALTOR®, and was the recipient of the Association’s Educational Award in 1994, and of the REALTOR® of the Year Award for 1995. Furthermore, he is a member and director of numerous committees of the Miami Association, Florida Association and National Association of REALTORS®.

In addition to having earned the designations of Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Mr. Cantero holds a Master Degree in Chemical Engineering from New York University (NYU), 1972.

This course counts towards the CIPS designation. Click here for more information about the CIPS designation.
Upon successful completion of this course, a real estate professional will be able to:
• Discuss the social, economic, political, and geographical characteristics of major countries in the Asia/Pacific region.
• Identify important characteristics of the real estate market in certain Asia/Pacific markets, including influential laws and real estate and brokerage practices.
• Evaluate opportunities in certain Asian markets by analyzing significant investment patterns, investor profiles and real estate activity.
• Discuss ways to develop a business network to start or enhance an international practice with Asian clients or properties.
• Discuss techniques to promote properties, markets, and professional services.

SCHEDULE:
7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.: Sign-in, networking, and breakfast
8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Course

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Seating is limited and registration is required at LEAST 24 HOURS prior. 

REGISTRATION:
PRO Members ($95):
Click here to register.

Non-PRO Members ($95):
Click here to register.

***This course is one of the courses required to earn the prestigious Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. The CIPS Network comprises 2,500 real estate professionals from 50 countries and is the specialty membership group for global business practitioners of the National Association of Realtors®. The CIPS® designation prepares Realtors® to service the growing international market in their local community by focusing on culture, exchange rates, investment trends, and legal issues. Click here for more information about CIPS and the requirements to earn this prestigious designation.

Contact: Jan Dean
Email: JDean@tampabayrealtor.com
Phone: 727-216-3004
Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater FL 33762

Please join the Pinellas International Council for a presentation on Greece by Alexandra Sekouri, the President of the Hellenic Association of Realtors (Greece). Alexandra recently attended the National Association of Realtors Mid-year Meetings in Washington, D.C. held each year for a week in May. Ms Sekouri will be discussing the buying process, types of properties, price ranges, referral system, why one should invest in Greece and much more. Hope to see you there! Please remember to register first.

Greece June 2017

 

This beautiful turnkey contemporary Bed and Breakfast with 2 Professional Tennis Courts and 6 units can be yours for business or pleasure or both! Located in the stunning area of Tamarindo, on the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Province of Guanacaste, where the main attractions are surfing and eco-tourism.

There is a total of 7 bedrooms so you can use one for yourself & the rest for your family, friends, or guests. It is short walk to Tamarindo’s main surfing beach and the business center. Playa Tamarindo is a long, rocky beach with excellent waves and two main breaks for advanced surfers.

Some eco-friendly activities in the area include watching turtles nest during their season, diving, snorkeling, body surfing, zip-lining, estuary trips, sailing, horseback riding and fishing.

Guest suites include a 2 bedroom apartment, 2 – 1 bedroom suites, and 3 guest rooms with a total of 7 bathrooms. Also included is a restaurant and a gorgeous pool which creates a great spot for entertaining. Imagine sitting out by this pool in the morning sipping some fresh Costa Rican coffee from the nearby mountains. The property is 1600 Square Meters with 300 Square Meters of structures. This property offers the owner several means of income & attracting a variety of guests. All of these wonders can be yours for $1,195,000.00.

Tamarindo is easily accessed from Liberia Airport (approx. an hour or so away) with airlines from many major cities arriving daily. Commercial airlines include: Air Berlin, Air Canada, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Jetblue, US Airways and several others.

As well as 3-4 supermarkets, a farmer’s market is held every Saturday morning.  With such fresh food & so many outdoor activities available, it is easy to see why so many are moving to Costa Rica for La Pura Vida!!

Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about this wonderful property. Thank you so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willkommen – Please join us for our February 15th International Marketing session at PRO. Norma Brenne Henning, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany is our speaker. It is FREE but YOU MUST REGISTER on PRO website. Vielen Dank.

Forget what you think you know about the best cities in the world – here are 10 that you’ll want to keep your eyes on

These ten cities are set for great things over the coming years, and each has something unique to offer. Bogotá is an upcoming international tech hub, while Panama City is a playground for the rich and famous. Vienna and Porto are cultural hotspots, and Cincinnati is a sensational place to bring up a family. Read on for more on these on-the-up locations, and a glimpse of some hot properties on the market.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s stunning architecture, such as its parliament building, town hall tower and statue of goddess Pallas Athene, enhances the city’s excellent quality of life. Photograph: Getty Images. Banner image: Downtown Cincinnati and the Roebling Suspension Bridge.
Vienna’s stunning architecture, such as its parliament building, town hall tower and statue of goddess Pallas Athene, enhances the city’s excellent quality of life. Photograph: Getty Images..

Sophisticated, affordable, clean, safe, aesthetically exquisite, and socially democratic, it’s little wonder Vienna regularly tops quality of life polls; the Mercer Quality of Life Survey recently named the Austrian capital number one in the world for the seventh year in a row. Geographically central, overflowing with work opportunities and excellent transport links, it has become a key European business hub. Equally, Austria now boasts one of the highest figures for GDP per head globally, according to the World Bank. A large student population ensures superb recreational activities and vibrant nightlife; Vienna’s bar and multicultural restaurant scene is on the up, while the city’s elegant café culture continues to flourish.“A beautiful city steeped in history, Vienna draws in vast numbers of tourists every year and benefits hugely from this financially,” says Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, Senior Vice President, Head of Operations, EMERIA, at Christie’s International Real Estate. “The government pours money back into the city’s infrastructure, meaning Vienna runs exceptionally smoothly, and residents have a very high quality of life.”

Panama City, Panama

High-rise condominium buildings line Balboa Avenue in Panama City, one of the most exclusive streets in the country. Photograph: Getty Images
High-rise condominium buildings line Balboa Avenue in Panama City, one of the most exclusive streets in the country. Photograph: Getty Images

Boasting a great combination of city, beach, and rainforest in a gloriously tropical climate, Panama’s economy is booming, partly due to the recent expansion of the Panama Canal, according to Bloomberg. Its capital is also rapidly becoming a playground for the super-rich. The new Soho Panama mall brought Chanel, Versace, Burberry, and Ladurée to the city, while the Ritz-Carlton hotel opens later this year. By 2024 its impressive transport, healthcare, and tax systems are expected to attract a further 7,000 super-rich residents. Meanwhile, a new Panamanian cuisine is beginning to emerge at hotspots like Manolo Caracol and Riesen.For savvy investors looking to acquire a luxury residence in this bourgening regional economic hub, Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate Panama Premier Estates is marketing this stunning waterfront apartment, which sits proudly above Panama City. Fitted with three bedrooms and several expansive living areas, this contemporary home is ideal for those wishing to take advantage of everything this exciting city has to offer.

Auckland, New Zealand

Beautiful Waiheke Island, with its pristine beaches and world-class vineyards, is just 40 minutes from Auckland City by ferry.
Beautiful Waiheke Island, with its pristine beaches and world-class vineyards, is just 40 minutes from Auckland City by ferry.

The largest Polynesian city in the world, Auckland is a melting pot of international cultures. It also has one of the most business-friendly markets: the city accounts for 35% of New Zealand’s GDP and is growing at 2.9% annually, attracting new investment and entrepreneurs from around the globe.Auckland ranked as the world’s “hottest” market for prestige property this year in Christie’s International Real Estate’s 2016 Luxury Defined report. Strong local, expat, and overseas buyer demand fueled an incredible 63% annual increase in million-dollar-plus home sales.

“Living and working in Auckland means you get the best of both worlds – a bustling, modern city set in a stunning natural environment,” says Kim Harris of Auckland-based Bayleys Realty Group, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. “The city has a stable business environment, a growing economy, a diverse and skilled talent pool, a worldwide reputation for innovation, and an enviable lifestyle.”

Its most popular areas include Waiheke Island with its vibrant arts scene; Grey Lynn, famed for its chic feel and international food; Viaduct Harbour, full of superyachts and elegant dining, and Mission Bay, which offers a relaxed beach atmosphere.

Lisbon, Portugal

The Alfama district in Lisbon is made up of narrow streets, tiny squares, churches, and whitewashed houses. Photograph: Getty Images
The Alfama district in Lisbon is made up of narrow streets, tiny squares, churches, and whitewashed houses. Photograph: Getty Images

The reigning European Entrepreneurial Region of the Year, Lisbon has worked hard to support domestic business and market itself as an accommodating place for entrepreneurs since the Eurozone crisis. Startup Lisboa has helped found hundreds of businesses, with around 30% of new entrepreneurs coming from abroad. People here are warm, friendly, and laid-back but also energetic and ambitious, and more and more high-tech, tourism, and creative start-ups are appearing. The city runs on a “work hard, play hard” ethic, with its golden beaches and 250 days of sun per year offering plenty of ways to unwind. Culturally, Lisbon has a thriving arts scene, booming nightlife, and a range of fantastic restaurants.“A wonderfully good value coastal city with a relaxed vibe, beautiful beaches, a tremendous culinary scene, and terrific weather, more and more people are understanding how attractive Lisbon is,” says Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, Senior Vice President, Head of Operations, EMERIA, at Christie’s International Real Estate.

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, which once made a top-150 list of American architecture, sits on the waterfront next to The Banks entertainment district.
Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, which once made a top-150 list of American architecture, sits on the waterfront next to The Banks entertainment district.

Forbes recently named the Cincinnati-Middletown area the top up-and-coming city for college leavers, given the huge number of openings for graduates and a vibrant job market. The city is also an emerging food and drink capital: approximately 500,000 people attend Taste of Cincinnati annually, making it one of the largest street festivals in the United States. Key neighborhoods include foodie central Over-the-Rhine; European-style Mount Adams, full of young professionals and artisans; exclusive Indian Hill; well-educated Hyde Park; and family-oriented suburb, West Chester.“The city borders northern Kentucky’s lush Bluegrass region, where the conditions for breeding and racing horses are ideal. Several horse farms have recently been purchased by international buyers,” says Kathleen Coumou, Christie’s International Real Estate’s Executive Director. “These clients can take advantage of the city life, fine dining, cultural amenities, museums, ballet, symphony, and major league sports.”

Honolulu, Hawaii

Set against the backdrop of Diamond Head State Monument, Waikiki in Honolulu was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Photograph: Getty Images
Set against the backdrop of Diamond Head State Monument, Waikiki in Honolulu was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Photograph: Getty Images

The Hawaiian capital of Honolulu boasts great shopping centers, restaurants, and miles of beaches, leading to it being ranked one of The 50 best places to live in America by Business Insider. This modern Pacific city – which runs on a diet of tourism, entertainment, recreation, and exquisite scenery – also has superb air quality and low instances of cancer and heart disease.“In addition to wonderful weather all year round and beautiful natural surroundings, Honolulu is an energizing, multicultural city,” says Les Enderton, executive director of Oahu Visitors Bureau. Honolulu’s art scene has also taken off in recent times.

Kahala Avenue, the most desirable street in Honolulu, is home to a wealth of luxurious homes including this modern, five-bedroom, single-level home designed by Geoffrey Lewis that features high cedar ceilings, and an open-floor plan allowing dynamic indoor–outdoor living. Currently marketed by Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate Choi International, the outdoor pool includes water features and tiki candles, and steps opposite the property lead directly to the beach.

Calgary, Canada

The Peace Bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, connects the northern Bow River pathway and downtown Calgary. Photograph: Getty Images
The Peace Bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, connects the northern Bow River pathway and downtown Calgary. Photograph: Getty Images

The cool, cosmopolitan Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta, regularly ranks high on global living standard lists, and for good reason: low taxes, clean air, low crime rates, and an abundance of nature – the Canadian Rockies are an hour-and-a-half away by car – making life here easy to love. New businesses spring up daily, and, compared to Toronto and Vancouver, house prices here are low: the average price of a property in Calgary in the year to August 2016 was $457,000, significantly less than many other Canadian cities.The city is not only an auspicious destination for young professionals, but also for Canada’s leading real estate market. With a secluded garden backing onto the Heritage Pointe Golf Course, this luxurious, three-bedroom residence is being marketed by Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate The Alberta Collection. Expansive windows flood the open-plan, 3,830 sq ft property with natural light, and warm wooden furnishings and stone fireplaces lend the home a sumptuously rustic feel.

Bogotá, Colombia

Bogotá, the second highest capital city in the world, is an intriguing mix of skyscrapers and incredible scenery. Photograph: Getty Images
Bogotá, the second highest capital city in the world, is an intriguing mix of skyscrapers and incredible scenery. Photograph: Getty Images

Named by Forbes magazine as “the next capital of cool,” Colombia’s capital is an alluring mix of business and pleasure. Boasting a beautiful historic center, a thriving luxury shopping and dining scene, and an excellent cycling network, Bogotá is simultaneously becoming South America’s newest tech hub – Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have all opened offices, while local start-ups are booming. Huge improvements to security and stability have made Bogotá more attractive to both international investors and overseas home buyers, and and has boosted quality of life immeasurably.“The attitude of people in Bogotá is very driven, entrepreneurial, family-oriented, and outdoorsy. In terms of neighborhoods, Zona G is known as the Gourmet Zone, where the high-end and up-and-coming restaurants are located. Meanwhile, Zona T (which has a T-shaped area at its center) is most recognized for exciting bars and the best nightlife,” says Rick Moeser, Christie’s International Real Estate’s Executive Director for the Southeast Region, Caribbean, and Latin America.

Porto, Portugal

The historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes the picturesque Ribeira district on the Douro River. Photograph: Getty Images
The historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes the picturesque Ribeira district on the Douro River. Photograph: Getty Images

Recently named “Europe’s most compelling new food destination” by The Wall Street Journal, Porto’s restaurant scene is catching up with its outstanding wines, and the city is quickly shedding its title of “Lisbon’s little sister.” Portuguese chefs such as Nuno Mendes in London and George Mendes (no relation) in New York, have put the country’s cuisine firmly on the global food map. People are now flocking to sample both Porto’s cellars and dining halls, where the focus is on excellent local produce and “urbane rusticity.”Laid-back and low-key, Porto ripples with cobbled streets, Baroque churches, Art Deco architecture, food markets, jazz bars, exhibitions, and music festivals such as Primavera Sound. For those looking to embrace the region’s charms as a permanent resident or second-home owner, this traditional Portuguese quinta (“country estate”) in the Maia region just north of Porto may entice. Marketed by Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate Luximo’s, it has 10 bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a swimming pool, tennis court, and winemaking facilities attached to its own vineyard.

Valencia, Spain

Santos Juanes church and the Central Market beyond are some of Valencia’s most popular attractions. Photograph: Jorge Bellver
Santos Juanes church and the Central Market beyond are some of Valencia’s most popular attractions. Photograph: Jorge Bellver

Hit hard by the 2008 property crisis, Spain’s historic city of Valencia is now overflowing with real estate bargains, luring young Spaniards from other cities as well as international young professionals keen to take advantage of the coastal city’s low cost of living, warm climate, and attractive culture. Its rich and storied history lends itself to an extraordinary mix of cultures and styles, most identifiably in the city’s architecture, which ranges from old fishermen’s cottages in the Cabañal, to ultramodern flats overlooking the City of Arts and Sciences center, and beautiful façades in Carmen old town.Valencia is considered the most creative city in Spain. The way of life here is ideal for families due to the quantity and quality of schools – including international schools – and the many leisure opportunities,” says Francisco Ballester of Rimontgó, Christie’s International Real Estate’s affiliate in Valencia, Spain.

The city ranked as the world’s top “comeback” property market in the 2016 Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Defined report, and posted an incredible 89% annual increase in luxury home sales. Thanks to a weak euro, property prices below the 2007 peak, and a surge in overseas visitors, Valencia’s luxury housing market is likely to continue on its upward trajectory.  

http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/luxury-lifestyle/10-cities-to-watch-in-2017

Here are International Living’s picks for the top five places to escape to if politics is getting you down.

Top 5 Best Countries to Escape U.S. Election Results Revealed

1. Mexico

Mexico is the only place in the world where U.S. citizens can enjoy an affordable overseas retirement, live right on the beach at affordable prices, yet remain within minutes of the U.S. by car.

Plus, right now with the current exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against the deflated peso, Mexico is a huge bargain.

With its moon-lit fiestas, languid white-sand beaches, ancient colonial towns set in the rugged Sierras, and Mayan pyramids rising from the misty Yucatan jungle, it’s no wonder so many people are starting new lives in Mexico.

With rapidly rising fuel, healthcare, food, and travel costs back home, it’s nice to know that there are still places where it’s possible to live well without burning through retirement savings. Mexico is one such place.

2. Panama

Tropical beaches, First-World infrastructure, high-quality healthcare, welcoming people…there are many things to love about Panama.

Retirees are drawn here by the Pensionado program, one of the best retiree benefits programs in the world. Younger adults…some with children in tow…are moving here in increasing numbers to take advantage of the ease of doing business and the hip, international vibe.

For many, the low cost of living is a major factor in choosing Panama, as is the fact that Panama uses the U.S. dollar. Expats living here have seen their costs drop substantially.

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica…the name alone conjures up visions of lush tropical rain forests and crashing surf on long stretches of white-sand beaches.

Costa Rica inspires these visions for two reasons. Number one, they’re true. Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse and beautiful spots on earth, with Pacific and Atlantic coastlines that are the stuff of legend.

The second reason that the idea of Costa Rica can instantly create pictures of tropical splendor is that it has been one of the most popular destinations for expats and second-home owners for decades.

One place that has been very popular over the years is Costa Rica’s Central Valley…a spot that cradles the country’s thriving capital of San José yet also offers rustic and rural pleasure in abundance, as well as a mild, spring-like climate year-round. The Arenal region, with its centerpiece 33-square-mile lake, is also increasingly popular. It is three hours northwest of San José…a region of farmland, pasture, virgin forest, and unspoiled lake views.

4. Ecuador

Ecuador really does have everything…from the Galapagos Islands to the Amazon basin and the Andes Mountains, from big, modern cities to small, quaint villages. And up until now, one particular area of Ecuador has been overlooked–and that’s its 937 miles of Pacific coastline and its beautiful mainland beaches.

Ecuador draws a wide range of foreigners: entrepreneurs, travelers, humanitarian workers, foreign officials, diplomats, business people of all stripes, and retirees looking to stretch their budget and experience a different way of life. Many expats are attracted by the country’s less-intrusive government and the tranquility of being removed from the terrorist and antiterrorist campaigns that make headlines in other parts of the world.

Generally speaking, the expats who have settled in Ecuador are those who tend to blend into society rather than live together in expat-oriented communities. Nonetheless, a bit of time in any town of significant size in Ecuador is all it takes to find the gringo haunts and watering holes.

5. Colombia

Colombia is no longer just a place for adventurers, speculators and risk-takers. It’s a country that’s hitting its full stride as an expat destination this year as the numbers of expat couples, younger people with portable careers, and single men and women who’ve found the ideal place to live or retire increase. And many of the preconceptions about Colombia being dangerous are at least a decade out of date.

Located at the northern tip of South America, Colombia is where the Pacific and the Caribbean collide with the Andes and the Amazon. It’s a country that is more beautiful, dramatic, and diverse than nearly any other. It offers sparkling colonial cities and world-famous resorts along the Caribbean.

Just three hours from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Colombia welcomes nonstop flights into Bogotá, Medellin, Armenia, Barranquilla, and Cali.

In cities and towns in Colombia, expats find a perfect climate that’s neither too hot nor too cool (60 F to 80 F all year); amazing natural surroundings; plenty of cultural events; history-filled cities; superb healthcare; friendly people; and a welcoming country…all with a fantastically low cost of living–figure $1,500 a month for a couple, all in.

The luxury real estate market in the Great North is white hot with Toronto retaining it’s top spot. Here’s why.

anada has it all: Natural beauty, a pristine environment, sizzling culture, political stability, strong employment, educational excellence, an active outdoor lifestyle, and a currency exchange that welcomes the international real estate investor.

As we look ahead to next year’s Luxury Defined, the definitive global report on prime real estate worldwide, Christie’s International Real Estate checked in for an interim report from our top performing market of 2014.

THE STATE OF CANADA’S LUXURY REAL ESTATE MARKET: SEE THE INFOGRAPHIC 

Toronto not only retains its lofty standing, incredibly, the luxury property market is even hotter than it was a year ago. Last year, Toronto’s 31 Days on Market, the time it takes to sell a luxury home, was half of second place San Francisco’s 71 days. The Christie’s International Real Estate Affiliate in Toronto, Chestnut Park, recently noted that in 2015 the number has dropped lower – to 26.

Days on the Market (in $3 million + category)
Days on the Market (in $3 million + category)

Fueling these sales is the keen interest from Chinese buyers and an appreciation of hard assets, such as art and real estate, as a reliable investment option over the long term, especially when markets are volatile, as they have been in China. These buyers, however, are not strictly investors but rather are moving their families and living here, drawn by the top-notch schools, the clean air, and sense of safety. Vancouver and Toronto are top destinations for the Chinese buyer.

In fact, Toronto leads the other major Canadian markets with a 55% leap in million dollar sales for the first half of the year and a 52% jump in sales over $2 million. More recently, in September, Toronto posted 32 sales in excess of $3 million, which is up from 25 the year prior. Chestnut Park reports that most of the transactions at this price point sold over asking price. The city is on track to pass the mark of 100,000 total sales for the year, which would shatter the previous record of 93,000 set in 2007.

Year-Over-Year Home Sales Volume Growth
Year-Over-Year Home Sales Volume Growth

Toronto did not have Canada’s top sale. That honor went to Vancouver when Mailin Chen, a businessman from Mainland, China, who already resided in Canada and operates a company there, purchased an estate for $51 million. That said, the average price of a freehold detached home in Toronto was $1 million in September, which is an historic breakthrough at that price point.

“I would say, however, that $3 million and up defines the luxury market in this category,” says Chris Kapches, President of Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “For condos, I would put the luxury price point at $2 million. This is an attractive alternative to freehold in that the entry point is more accessible and while the demand is high, with multiple offers on most transactions, the city’s inventory is growing to satisfy that demand.”

Top Real Estate Sales by Region
Top Real Estate Sales by Region

As the city itself becomes less affordable, the outlying areas are seeing renewed interest from buyers. Not only are prices more attractive, Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax, which would translate to $100,000 on a $2 million home, simply goes away on transactions outside the city limit. Chestnut Park reports an explosion in Collingwood and Hamilton where people are purchasing homes for a third of the price and starting businesses and professional practices in retail space that is less expensive as well. One result: in October a home in Hamilton listed at $599,000 sold for $810,000 after 17 offers.

Notable markets also experiencing this ripple effect are Montreal. Our Affiliate, Profusion Realty, has noticed that foreign investors, including a growing number of Chinese buyers, are coming to see the value proposition of to purchasing in a city as vibrant as Toronto or Vancouver but at a fraction of the cost.

In Victoria, sales are also up due to a phenomenon we call “Lifestyle Arbitrage”. This is when sellers opt to cash out of their current residence and relocate to a lower-priced home while maintaining their present lifestyle with considerably more money in the bank. Our Affiliate in Victoria, Newport Realty, is experiencing this a citizens of Vancouver choose to take advantage of the city’s real estate boom, international demand and rising prices then relocate to Victoria. As a result, prices is this bucolic corner of Canada are going up, including the record sale of $7.3 million achieved by our Affiliate over the summer. This is the highest price posted in the past eight years.

The drop in oil prices has hit Calgary hardest in Canada with sales down 28% in the $1 million-plus range and down 38% in the $2 million-plus range. Our Affiliate, Semrau & Associates, reports, however, that some affluent buyers are purchasing teardown properties near the city center and building custom homes.

$1M+Home Sales Volume
$1M+Home Sales Volume
$2M+ Home Sales Volume
$2M+ Home Sales Volume

As with any white-hot real estate market, speculations of an impeding bubble burst in Canadian real estate have proven irresistible to journalists around the world. That said, in the foreseeable future, there appears to be no change in the forces driving the market to these heights. The low value of the Canadian dollar creates a value proposition for international investors. The country is projecting (and preparing for) an increased number of foreigners in 2015 – 285,000, to be precise, compared with approximately 260,000 in 2014. And as political unrest continues around the globe, more people are likely to agree with a United Nations report naming Canada one of the world’s top places to live.

What Do You Get for C$5 Million in Canada?
What Do You Get for C$5 Million in Canada?

Top Listings from our Canadian Affiliates:

Victoria, British Colombia, Canada

This private 200 acre estate ranch with 7000 sq. ft. offers outdoor living space with spacious indoor rooms & magnificent views.
This private 200 acre estate ranch with 7000 sq. ft. offers outdoor living space with spacious indoor rooms & magnificent views.


Alberta, Canada

This gracious 4940 sq ft home is rich in Calgary's heritage & offers gleaming hardwood floors on the main level, 3 fireplaces, formal living & dining rooms, main floor family room & a gourmet kitchen with bright eating area.
This gracious 4940 sq ft home is rich in Calgary’s heritage & offers gleaming hardwood floors on the main level, 3 fireplaces, formal living & dining rooms, main floor family room & a gourmet kitchen with bright eating area.


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This is an incredible renovation of an originally designed Barton Myers residence reminicent of a magnificent manhattan townhome.
This is an incredible renovation of an originally designed Barton Myers residence reminicent of a magnificent manhattan townhome.

http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/market-insights/canada-reigns-global-stage

IRAs Put International Real Estate Investments within Reach

The Spanish real estate market, hit hard by the financial crisis, is now what one analyst calls “a two-speed market.” In many locations, prices have bottomed out and are rising, while other areas may still have room to fall further. When you match attractive prices with the growing interest among many Americans in retiring outside of the U.S., you have a promising opportunity for real estate agents.

When I recently met with real estate delegates from Spain, many did not know that Americans can use their tax-advantaged retirement funds to invest in offshore real estate. They had a lot of questions about how to use Real Estate IRAs as a strategy to grow their business. They definitely saw the potential to sell more to their existing client base of American investors.

One of the strategies of particular interest to this group was purchasing the property in the IRA, then taking it as a distribution in the future. Because the IRA account holder cannot live in the IRA-owned property, it is typically rented out, creating an income stream for the IRA. When the account holder reaches retirement age, he or she can take the property as a distribution.

If the property was purchased with a Roth IRA, it can be taken as a distribution all at once without any tax penalties. If it were owned in a Traditional IRA, the account holder would pay taxes on the distributed amount. For example, Entrust clients will often purchase beachfront property, rent it out and take incremental distributions until the property is fully in their name.

There is no reason U.S.-based real estate agents shouldn’t take advantage of this same technique to grow their business and stand out from the competition. The Spanish delegates clearly understood the importance of asking every American investor client, “Do you have an IRA?”  Sometimes, you   need to look no further than your database to find more business opportunity—inside or outside the U.S.

By Jason Craig, President of The Entrust Group   –  http://rismedia.com

For more information, visit www.theentrustgroup.com.

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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