Top of the Tweets: Foreign buyers eye Manhattan

McMonigle Newport Coast soldThe slide on new homes sales for the fourth consecutive month and the federal government’s plan to push the modification of mortgages for more homeowners underwater were the most often tweeted stories this week. But, I’m discovering that one of the best aspects of Twitter is the tidbits of news that otherwise would escape attention.

So, in the midst of this week’s negative reports, lots of other positives came to the surface, including a post from Inman News (@InmanNews) pointing to a recent survey by real estate marketing and technology provider Point2Technologies showing a rise in confidence among real estate agents and brokers in March, the first upswing in three months.

Receiving a number of retweets in the luxury sphere was a Reuters article on recent sales activity in Manhattan. Foreign buyers who have weathered the financial crises are jumping into the market in response to both the dollar’s recent rally and the potential of rising prices. “The luxury end may be starting to stir in Manhattan,” concludes the article, which details a number of recent sales but also cautions that the price outlook is still uncertain.

More positives for luxury! John McMonigle reported the sale of a $12.995 million property in Pelican Crest in Orange Country, Calif. Second-home success stories continue. Miraval, a high-end resort north of Tucson, has closed on 10 of the 16 homes in the resort. Also, prices remain close to the levels of when the homes were introduced at the end of 2008.  The second phase of construction at Revelstroke in British Columbia nears the May completion date. Looking ahead, expect to see a new lift, which will open more beginning-friendly terrain.

Trend Watch — World’s largest cities merging into mega regions? That’s one projection put forth in the “State of the World’s Largest Cities” report published by the UN-Habitat, the agency for human settlements. Most importantly, these mega-regions, rather than countries, are driving wealth. “The top 25 cities in the world account for more than half of the world’s wealth,” he added. “And the five largest cities in India and China now account for 50 percent of those countries’ wealth,”said co-author Eduardo Lopez Moreno.  CLICK HERE for more.

The week ahead, positive or negative? On Tuesday the next Case Schiller Home Price Index will be released. Expectations are that the rate of decline in prices on a year-over-year basis will continue to slow.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering. Brad Pitt explained this week why he continues to wear that scruffy beard. CHECK IT OUT HERE.

—Camilla McLaughlin

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