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Marquette Turner Luxury Homes were awarded the World’s Most Outstanding Luxury Agency Under 2 Years Old in 2008 by the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, and we would like a design to use on our marketing material.

Any one from anywhere can enter this competition via the award winning 99designs website.

Read the DESIGN BRIEF to find out more details of the competition and enter.

Good luck, and stay tuned for more future competitions, or email us (info@marquetteturner.com.au) if you’d like to be informed of new competitions.

Simon Turner

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Here are the auction clearance rates for Australia’s capital cities for the week ending December 14, 2008.

Source: RP Data

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Auctions; Clearance Rates; Buying property

THIS WEEK’S ARTICLES: Rainforest Living in Queensland; Raffles Residences Manila; Swarovski Bathroom Faucets; Chinese Property Taxes; US interest rates; Australian Banks on the Assault; The Malibu Home of Sting; The Rotating Bath Tub; The W New York…

We bring you the last installment for 2008 of our look at luxury property, design and concepts from Australia and around the world.  Your support throughout the year has made the MTLH blog the most viewed of its kind in Australia and contributed to Marquette Turner Luxury Homes being named as The World’s Most Outstanding Luxury Agency Under 2 Years Old.  Not bad in just a year, and 2009 promises to be even bigger and better.  Thank you!

Please enjoy this week’s articles, or as always you can stay here and read the MTLH blog.

We wish you a fantastic & safe festive period.

Michael Marquette & Simon Turner

Subscribe to the MTLH e-magazine.


LUXURY HOMES
See our luxury homes showcased in Australia & Around The World


FINAL THOUGHT

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey

Contemporary, State of the Art, Rainforest Living

Setting a benchmark in state of the art living ‘Samara’ is without doubt one of the finest acreage properties in Queensland.

Strategically positioned amidst a previous wildlife sanctuary, ‘Samara’ is constructed seamlessly around two lakes and canter levered amidst a stunning rainforest back drop. This property is the epitome of designer living, offering only the finest in schedule of finish.

A fingerprint controls the gated entrance, and access to the estate. The circular driveway leads to a bold, resort style, port-cochere and a stunning entry with cascading ponds. Designed to embrace the Queensland lifestyle, this signature property highlights what true contemporary living is meant to be. From the commercial glass pane entrance, the property is washed with natural stone tiles, and natural lighting from the soaring ceilings and bi-fold doors.

The heart of the home is styled for entertaining with an open fire and a 50″ plasma screen, complete with 5.1 surround sound furbished by undetectable speakers. The mood of ‘Samara’ is defined by its unique use of lighting, all centrally controlled by the automation system. As you move through the house of an evening, 22 individual sensors monitor and predict movements and prepare the spaces around you, with soft lighting.

More information: Visit our website for more images and details.

Contact: Michael Marquette on +61 433 170 170 or via email michael@marquetteturner.com.au or Christine Watson on +61 414 352 680 or via email christine@marquetteturner.com.au

Marquette Turner Luxury Homes is proud to offer luxury apartments for sale in Manila, bearing the name of the legendary “Raffles”.

Raffles Manila will be superbly located right on Makati Avenue in the very heart of Manila’s bustling commercial and financial district and the Philippines’ leading business destination. Just steps from shops, entertainment and corporate offices.

Makati’s skyline is one of the most impressive sights in Metro Manila, where many of the country’s tallest skyscrapers are located. The 30 suite Raffles Hotel and 220 Residence development will be the first significant luxury branded residence in Makati, offering exceptional views of either Manila or Laguna Bay along with glittering vistas of the city. With its unique branded residence concept, Raffles Manila will be unlike anything else in the city; it is poised to become the premier address in Manila, with the first branded penthouse residences. It will be a showplace of cosmopolitan living.

The real estate condominiums for sale will occupy the top 20 floors of the Raffles Hotel (11th to 30th floor), and the 220 residence development will be the first significant luxury branded residence in Makati, offering exceptional views of either Manila or Laguna Bay along with splendid view of the Metropolis.

Following the historical success of the initial release of the Raffles Residences Makati the developer is now pleased to announce the commencement of Phase Two. With premiere residences yet to be released, now is the time to own part of this legendary offering.

The developer is now accepting fully refundable 400,000 PHP (approximately $10,000 USD) deposits through their Opportunity to Purchase (OTP) program. Furthermore a deal has been struck with HSBC with regards to borrowing.

Selling Prices Start at:
– $763,832 AUD (PhP 24,179,828) – $983,372 AUD (PhP 31,151,384) for 2 Bedrooms with a total floor area 124-164 sqm.
– $1,326,488 AUD (PhP 42,017,712) – $1,844,666 AUD (PhP 58,411,391) for 3 Bedrooms with a total floor area 209-251 sqm.
– 4 Bedroom Penthouses with a total floor area of 383-402 sqm. – Pricing available upon request.

More information: Visit our website for more images and details.

Contact: Michael Marquette on +61 433 170 170 or via email michael@marquetteturner.com.au or Christine Watson on +61 414 352 680 or via email christine@marquetteturner.com.au

There’s the Palm Shaped Island and there’s the Map of the World. And just when we thought planners in Dubai could possibly have run out of new concepts, they’re planning the Universe!

Suddenly buying a tree branch or a country doesn’t look quite the same, when Saturn or Mercury are on offer!

Whilst a couple of decades will probably be required to create the islands (when perhaps real estate throughout the world will have been through a few more cycles), Dubai certainly shows no interest in slowing down their creativity.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Dubai; or Palm Island; or real estate

China has unveiled a stimulus package intended to boost its slumping real estate market.

It has slashed taxes for second-hand apartment sales to help owners selling their homes. This means that anyone who has owned a home for at least two years can now sell it without having to pay a tax on the total sales price, just on any profit made (which remains at five percent). The waiting period previously for a tax-free sale was at least five years.

The policy changes are an interim measure valid for one year, and are the latest in a series of moves made since the government announced a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package in November intended to create jobs and spur economic growth through higher spending on construction and other projects.

Analysts expect the Chinese economy to expand by approximately nine percent this year, down from nearly 12 percent in 2007.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on China; or Asia; or Tax

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Auctions; or Luxury Homes; or Buying Real Estate

The US Dollar is gaining strength, however, international real estate buyers are still important, even though their purchasing activity has decreased by 30-50 per cent since June 2008.

So where does the strength still reside? New developments. The W New York is a great example.

The W NY Downtown Hotel & Residence, the has seen 74 percent of buyers, thus far, come from overseas, 41% coming from Korea, 10% from the United Arab Emirates, and eight percent from Italy. This may come as a surprise if you’ve formed the opinion that the market is dominated by British and Russian buyers.

The 56-story building has 223 residential condominium residences, with prices ranging from $1.2 and $2.4 million. It’s hip, it’s dark, it’s cool, and there’s only a few remaining.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on New York; or Luxury Homes; or Investors

It’s big it’s hard…and this is serious work! “The Lancaster”, a luxury residential project besides Hyde Park in London is being gutted by the developer – all of the interior of a 125-meter long Grade II listed building – whilst seeking to preserve the building’s ornate façade.

Dating back to the mid-19th Century, the façade is now propped up by 500 tons of steel, hiding the masses of rubble now left behind.

Façade retention is unsurprisingly a somewhat delicate engineering operation. The external walls needed to be carefully secured prior to the interior demolition and sensors are continually monitoring the structures stability.

It’s the sheer scale of the project that makes this so daunting. Indeed, to allow for underground parking, crews dug beneath the existing structure to excavate 700 pillars to support a new concrete floor.

The Lancasters, scheduled for completion in 2010, will include 77 apartments, all of which will also offer views of Hyde Park, thanks to the 315 windows preserved from the original building. In addition to the apartments, there will also be two 10,000-square foot homes with private pools and wine cellars.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Architects; or Luxury Homes; or London

THIS WEEKS STORIES: Luxury is…Elizabeth Taylor’s Homes; the Great Australian Tax Grab; Phone Box Furniture; The Blind Leading The Blind; London Luxury Home Prices Falling; Loofah Homes; and more…


The 2008 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to former Finnish President and international peace envoy, Martti Ahtisaari.  He has been instrumental in bringing peace, or at least calmer days, to historically troubled parts of the world such as Aceh and Kosovo.  He has recently brought together parties from all sides in Iraq, giving them “first-hand” contact to individuals they could both relate to and whom appreciate the hurdles, such as former opponents in Northern Island – perhaps proof that anything is possible with hope, hard work and tenacity.  Fortune can always be on your side.

Please enjoy this week’s e-magazine (and SUBSCRIBE if you haven’t already), or as always stay here and read the MTLH blog.

Regards

Michael Marquette & Simon Turner

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. Gandhi

One of the Laureates of the 2008 Rolex Awards, which rewards pioneering and enterprising individuals, is Elsa Zaldivar from Paraguay, a poor, landlocked country in the heart of South America, who has found a new use for an old vegetable.

Elsa has been a long-time advocate and helper to the poor whilst being environmentally conscious. She has uncovered a method to mix loofah – a cucumber-like vegetable that is dried to yield a scratchy sponge frequently used as an abrasive skin scrubber – with other vegetable matter such as husks from corn and Caranday palm trees. Mixing them with recycled plastic, strong, lightweight panels can be created. These panels can then be used to create furniture and construct houses, insulating them from temperature and noise.

As the design of the panels has been refined, improvements have meant lowering costs. The panels initially cost about US$6 per square metre to produce, however, the cost has already dropped to less than half that figure, making it competitive with existing construction materials, such as wood.

About 300,000 Paraguayan families do not have adequate housing.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read more articles on the Environment; or Awards; or Kiva (loans that change lives)

The English born star, winner of two Academy awards and known for her style, extravagance and husbands, is the owner and resident of these stunning American mansions:

Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

The 7,172 sq ft home has six bedrooms and bathrooms, multi-car garaging, stunning gardens and swimming pool.

Miami Beach, FLORIDA

Situated right on the waterfront on the suitably named Star Island Drive, the residence, complete with lush gardens, tennis court, pool and private jetty, is 9,364 sq ft and has seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Fit for a Queen of the Silver Screen.

(images courtesy of Microsoft Earth)

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Homes of the Rich & Famous; or Luxury Homes; or Overseas Investment

Once you list your home for sale you may find it difficult to step aside and let your agent take over.  You may be wrestling with the temptation to linger around while prospective buyers view your home, hoping to get the chance to point out all of the “bells and whistles” you know make your house more “sellable”.

If you really want to help, however, you will leave the house whenever it is being shown.

We have found that the sales process does not really begin until buyers have begun to voice their personal objections about a property, which makes their motives, plans and position much clearer to the agent.

Unsurprisingly, most buyers are unlikely to feel comfortable voicing their opinions in front of the home owner.  Many buyers are walking through with family members or friends and want to be able to openly discuss the pros and cons of the home.  Sometimes their objections are serious enough to remove your house from consideration.  This may not be the case though, as oftentimes homebuyers have specific criteria they are “judging” the home on and just want to make sure it measures up the their wants and needs.  If they really like the house they are going to want to talk freely and openly about the pros and cons of the home.

It is often difficult for the home owner to listen to buyer objections without taking them personally, and this is often the case sometimes even when the agent is conveying these objections to the owner.  Regardless, it is important to remember that these objections often do not reflect actual criticism of your property, simply the “inner monologue” of a buyers thought and later negotiating process.

If a seller is standing at the agent’s elbow, the buyer won’t be comfortable enough to allow the process of raising objections take place. If the buyer feels intimidated or suppressed, the sale could be lost.

Also, if the home owner is pestering the buyer about how great their home is then they might feel like there is something that they are trying to cover up.  The best way to help is to give your real estate agent room to make the sale.  They will be viewed as far more impartial and this is ultimately what you have engaged their services for.

A quality agent, will have excellent credentials and come highly recommended.  Ask them prior what training they have had, if they are trained in negotiation, and what associations/awards they have to their name

Michael Marquette

FYI: Read related articles on Real Estate Agents; or Luxury Homes; or Selling Your Home

More information: Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, 2008’s Winner of the World’s Most Outstanding Luxury Agency Under 2 Years Old, are tertiary trained in negotiation and are one of Australia’s just two Board of Regents for the prestigious Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate.  Contact us to find out how we can represent you on +61 433 170 170 or email michael@marquetteturner.com.au


Further to our recent report of the NSW tax hikes to hit the property industry, now it’s been revealed that Queensland Premier Anna Bligh plans to impose a special tax on landholdings worth more than $5 million.

Under the property tax surcharge, part of a series of measures introduced as the QLD Government attempts to plug a $4.3 billon hole in the state’s budget over the next four years, landholders who own parcels of land will pay a 0.5% surcharge from 2009-10.

Sure to hit property developers hard at a time when the industry can least afford it, the decision will also likely cost 3500 jobs. It is important to recognize that the property sector employs one in seven workers in Queensland.

On top of the property tax surcharge, the Bligh Government has also raised vehicle registration costs by an average of 6.5% and delayed the abolition of transfer duty on core business assets by 18 months.

Whilst we are in no way suggesting that the Queensland Government shares similar brain cell(s) or genes than the hapless NSW government, what is concerning is the tendency of Australia’s fiscal “experts”, it would appear, to resort to anything but measures that stimulate and encourage innovation businesses and in turn the economy. Surely reducing land tax – a policy long championed by Australia’s real estate industry – would be a better option to stimulate the sector and economy.

Michael Marquette, Co-President of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, states “Are the states tightening their belts, penalizing businesses and therefore consumers with the hope that the Federal Government will deal with the aftermath? Whatever it is, the economic credentials of those that run our States and Territories should be seriously scrutinized.”

Isn’t the relative basket case that is NSW – Australia’s most populous State – a good enough example of what not to do?

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on the Economy; or the NSW State Government; or the real estate industry

The Reserve Bank has slashed interest rates to the lowest level in history to 4.25%. The Reserve Bank cut rates by a full 100 basis points (1%), making property an attractive option for those in search of investment options given the volatility of the stock market.

Australian interest rates have averaged over 8% for the last 59 years and the Bank has signaled that it is serious about avoiding a recession. It is projected that Australia will continue to grow in 2009 and avoid recession, one of the few nations predicted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to perform positively.

The massive rate reduction should give buyer confidence a boost and increase the level of buyer enquiry across all price ranges. We have started to see increased levels of enquiry from the United States with the current exchange rate hovering at $0.65-$0.66 US.

I believe that ex-pats and foreign investors will increasingly recognize the benefits of investing in the Australian property market.

Michael Marquette

A spectacular light show was put on at the unveiling of the new $1.5bn marine-themed Atlantis resort built off the Gulf Coast of Dubai on Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree.

A host of international stars including pop diva Kylie Minogue, who was paid a reported $US4 million for her performance, and Hollywood stars Robert de Niro, Charlize Theron, and Chris Tucker joined celebrations marking the opening of the resort.  Organisers claimed that the fireworks display for the $20m party could be seen from space. You can watch directly from your desktop by pressing play on the image below.

Created by Kerzner International Holdings Limited, the stunning new 1,539-room resort first welcomed guests in September 2008. Nested atop the crescent of The Palm Jumeirah, the opening of Atlantis, The Palm the resort encompasses a 46 hectare site with 17 hectares of water themed amusement at AQUAVENTURE, extensive fresh and salt-water pools and lagoon exhibits, an open-air marine habitat, a seemingly endless stretch of beach, luxury boutiques, numerous dining choices including four celebrity chef restaurants, an exciting nightclub, a Spa and Fitness Club, and 5,600m2 of meeting and function space.

The Atlantis wouldn’t be complete without its amazing underwater world. The Lost Chambers Suites, with both bedroom and bath views directly into the mesmerising underwater world of the Ambassador Lagoon, are quite unique.

Stretching over three floors, the Neptune and Poseidon Suites welcome guests with a grand foyer leading down a sweeping staircase into an elegant aquatic-themed dining and living area, with butler’s pantry. Then, of course, there are the sumptuous bed and bathrooms with their underwater views. If guests are unable to tear themselves away from watching the 65,000 marine animals, a 24-hour dedicated private butler is available to serve refreshments.  Simon Turner

FYI: Related articles on Dubai; the Rich & Famous; and the World’s Most Expensive

More information: The Atlantis Palm

This fantastic two-storey Victorian terrace will be auctioned by Marquette Turner Luxury Homes on Saturday 13th December at 3pm, on site, with bidding to start at $1 million.

Occupying a prized and central position, this impeccably presented home at 40 Adelaide Street, Woollahra is nestled in a row of charming terraces and offers exceptional convenience to Bondi Junction’s shopping and transport hub, along with beautiful Cooper Park.

Exuding a warm and inviting ambiance, this home combines wonderful character features with all the required comforts for modern living. The home enjoys a 2B zoning which allows for the operation of a home office, such as a dentist, doctors surgery, psychologist and psychiatrist rooms and offers many other professional options.

This zoning is extremely sought after in the area and provides an excellent opportunity for commercial level rental returns for astute investors who may also choose to reside in another area of this deceptively large home.

FYI: To see more of the property click on the images above or HERE or contact Michael Marquette on0433 170 170 or via email at michael@marquetteturner.com.au

You can also see other properties to buy from Marquette Turner Luxury Homes.

Experts suggest that the price of parking your car is, in general, inversely proportionate to the amount of office space available.* Therefore, due to a relative glut in commercial office space in Australian cities, we have some of the highest parking rates in the world!

Monthly Parking Rates (all in US Dollars)

  1. London City, UK                $1,167
  2. London West End, UK        $1,136
  3. Sydney, Australia              $775
  4. Hong Kong, China            $742
  5. Perth, Australia                 $610
  6. Brisbane, Australia            $592
  7. New York, Midtown, USA  $585
  8. Tokyo, Japan                     $552
  9. Stockholm, Sweden          $509
  10. Dublin, Ireland                 $508

Therefore, particularly to all you Aussies, there’s never been a better time to look for a more economical and sustainable method for your work travel arrangements.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read more Environmentally related articles; others on the Credit Crunch; or Sydney real estate

*the experts in this case are the Commercial Research team from Colliers International

SEATTLE – Luxury Real Estate’s Board of Regents announced today its continued expansion in Australia with Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, which will be the exclusive representative of the New South Wales, Australia territory.

LuxuryRealEstate.com is the most-viewed luxury real estate Web site in the world, featuring more than 66,000 high-end properties in 106 countries.

Marquette Turner Luxury Homes specializes in the sale of luxury properties in New South Wales, with a particular focus on the cities of Sydney and Newcastle. Established by Michael Marquette and Simon Turner, the Agency is at the forefront of luxury real estate in Australia.

“Marquette Turner Luxury Homes has quickly become an important part of our international network, and I’m pleased to offer them this place on our Board of Regents,” said John Brian Losh, CEO and publisher of LuxuryRealEstate.com, and CEO, chairman and broker of Ewing & Clark, Inc., Seattle’s oldest real-estate brokerage.

The focus of Marquette Turner Luxury homes is on satisfying the long-term needs of their luxury clients. The firm is highly selective in choosing which clients to work with and offer an extremely personalized boutique approach.

Michael Marquette, co-President of Marquette Turner said: “Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate has no peer when it comes to showcasing luxury property from around the world.  Having been chosen to represent Australia’s premier city, Sydney, on the Board of Regents, we are truly at the pinnacle of worldwide luxury real estate.  We look forward to pioneering and partnering with the finest Luxury real estate organization and it’s members throughout the world.”

The Board of Regents is a prestigious affiliation of luxury brokers, which forms the governing body of the global Luxury Real Estate network. It is comprised of 84 brokerage firms representing more than 600 offices and 1,900 luxury real estate professionals from around the world. Each Board of Regents member is selected because of his or her qualifications and commitment to the Luxury Real Estate brand.

For more information on Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, visit www.marquetteturner.com.au. For more information on the Board of Regents, visit www.Regents.com.

About the Luxury Real Estate Board of Regents
The Board of Regents is an exclusive network of the world’s most elite luxury real estate brokers, comprised of the most legendary names in the industry selected by Luxury Real Estate CEO John Brian Losh. The Board of Regents is the governing body of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, the worldwide network of luxury real estate brokerage firms. Members of the Board of Regents are marketing experts, providing innovation and unparalleled service to their clients. For more information, visit www.LuxuryRealEstate.com or www.Regents.com.

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