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Luxury U.S. homes face sudden slowdown

 

NEW YORK – Feb. 1, 2016 – Global economic woes from China to Russia to South America are damping sales in the high-end housing market. Realtors and other property professionals say topsy-turvy overseas stock markets and dropping currency values partly due to plunging oil prices are dulling demand for mansions, penthouses and winter retreats in the United States and elsewhere.

"You're not going to see material price increases in most markets," says Dan Conn, CEO of Christie's International Real Estate, the luxury-property brand of the auction house.

Looking at individual markets, the stronger U.S. dollar is driving South American buyers away from the approximately 23,000 condominiums in the pipeline for Miami's downtown area, says Peter Zalewski, owner of South Florida development tracker CraneSpotters.com.

Buyers signed nearly 25 percent fewer pre-construction contracts last year than in 2014, calculates Anthony Graziano, senior managing director at Integra Realty Resources, which tracks condo data for the Miami Downtown Development Authority.

He and others say the real test for the U.S. market will come after the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, when the prime home buying season kicks in.

Source: Investor's Business Daily (01/28/16)

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