Archive for January, 2006

$125 Million Trump Estate Tops List of Country's Most Expensive Homes for Sale

After this morning’s post about the $30M+ unit in the St. Regis, I thought it would be nice to compare some other properties around the country. Most notable is Donald Trump’s $125M listing in Palm Beach, Florida.

From RIS Media, “A Palm Beach, Florida home priced at $125 million and owned by Donald Trump tops the list of the 1,000 most expensive homes currently on the market in the U.S., according to the just-released Unique Homes magazine’s special issue, Ultimate Homes, 2006.”

“Trump purchased the waterfront estate, — Maison de l’Amitie — at auction and put Apprentice Kendra Todd to work redoing the home, which is listed for $55 million above the U.S. sale price record set in 2005 with the sale of Ron Perleman’s home, also in Palm Beach. “

“New York leads the list with the most properties in the top 1000 — 333. California follows with a total of 183 properties, and Florida is a close third with 174. Thirty eight states have properties that made the list. Arizona is represented with 47 homes. The Valley of the Sun saw a price increase of almost 55.2% from the periods of September 2004 to September 2005.”

As of today, the San Francisco MLS shows 86 single family homes priced over $1M.


Greenspan tees up last rate rise

From the BBC, “Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan will preside over his last rate meeting on Tuesday before retiring after almost 19 years at the central bank’s helm.”

“Analysts expect interest rates to rise by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.5%, the 14th increase in a row.”

“Set for a quiet farewell, the former jazz musician is leaving behind an economy that has a number of shadows hanging over it, including a large US trade deficit and a government budget deficit that may hit $400bn (£227bn) this fiscal year.”

“After leaving the Fed, Mr Greenspan, who likes to mull over problems in the bath, plans to open a consultancy and may write a book.”


Work to begin on city's priciest penthouse

From the San Francisco Business Times, “Plans to build San Francisco’s largest and priciest penthouse are under way.”

“Victor MacFarlane, an urban developer with projects nationwide, has hired a team to combine the three penthouses he purchased last month at the new St. Regis condo/hotel tower for an estimated $30 million. The properties, now in shell condition, will be transformed into a single residence for his family measuring as large as 20,000 square feet. That could cost $20 million or more in additional construction, according to market estimates.”

“[The construction firm in charge of the project] said construction is expected to begin within the next few months with the MacFarlane family moving in about a year from now. Although he declined to speculate what the project will cost — he said drawings have not even been finalized — initial market reports place it in the $1,000 per square foot, or in the $20 million range.”


After 15 years, the game is over for driving range

From today’s Chronicle, “The last ball will fly off the tee Tuesday at San Francisco’s only lighted driving range. After that, the Mission Bay Golf Center will once again be what it was 15 years ago — an empty lot awaiting development.”

“The driving range opened in the early 1990s on six formerly junk-strewn acres next to Interstate 280. At the time, the neighborhood was nothing more than a collection of warehouses and railroad tracks. But then came the Giants ballpark and the Mission Bay development, and now the area is hot. So the driving range’s landlord, Mission Bay developer ProLogis, has ordered the property cleared to make way for scores of new offices and condos.”

“Over the years, some 3 million buckets of balls were chipped, swatted or pounded down the driving range, Scott says. Regulars included several newsies, including TV anchor Pete Wilson, who a few years back made a habit of showing up between his 6 p.m. and late-night broadcasts. [Operator Jack] Scott also ran a free junior golf program for kids in the Western Addition, and provided free sessions for San Francisco’s high school golf teams. Nonetheless, everything must go — from the double-deck tee structure to the poles, nets, pathways, irrigation system, grass and 800 truckloads of dirt.”

“And while time is running out for the faithful golfers at Mission Bay, Scott is hoping to drive another long shot — he’s approached the San Francisco Port about moving his driving range to the southern waterfront.”


If you own your home

From Sunday’s Chronicle Real Estate section, “If you own your home, you are happier and more satisfied with your life, your children are better educated and less likely to get into trouble, your daughters are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, you vote more often and are more active in your community, you are more likely to recycle and less likely to get mugged. — From “The Social Consequences of Home Ownership,” a 2003 study by Robert Dietz

“Even after controlling for such variables as level of income, education, race, etc., studies conclude that homeowners, as a group, are physically and mentally healthier.”

“In the summary of his 2003 study, “The Social Consequences of Home Ownership,” Robert Dietz, professor of economics at Ohio State University, concluded that there are four major areas of social benefits to homeowners with respect to their families and communities: education of children, political activity, personal happiness and enhanced property values.”

“The Bay Area — and San Francisco in particular — is something of an anomaly,” said Michael Pottepan, professor of economics at San Francisco State University. “Many people who are renters here have many of the same attributes as homeowners.” That said, “It certainly strikes me as entirely plausible that if you can get people to become homeowners, you’re gonna get better social outcomes,” Pottepan said.