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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

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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

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

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


Three stunning homes, three vacant blocks of land, and a water front parcel of land have just been listed by Marquette Turner Luxury Homes on Hope Island at Queensland’s Sanctuary Cove.

Sanctuary Cove is Australia’s leading lifestyle community offering wonderful facilities and 24 hour active land and water security. Sanctuary Cove has Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval for all foreign investors. It is set over 474 hectares and offers fantastic lifestyle options that are complimented by two championship golf courses, four harbours, 15 restaurants, harbor-side cafes and fashion boutiques. Sanctuary Cove also features an extensive recreational club, a Country Club and the five-star Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove Hotel.

HOUSES:

3008 Hillside Walk – 711sq m – $1.125 million AUD

3009 Hillside Walk – 711sq m – $1.175 million AUD

3010 Hillside Walk – 711 sq m – $1.125 million AUD

VACANT LAND:

8081 Riverside Drive – 994 sq m – $1.125 million AUD

3012 Hillside Walk ; 3011 Hillside Walk; & 3006 Hillside Walk; – All 711 sq m – All $465,000 AUD

To view more information and see more images of each property, simply click on any of the images above. Alternatively, select this HOPE ISLAND link to go straight to all the properties and blocks of land available.

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

FYI: See related articles on Luxury Homes; or Investment Opportunity; or Queensland.

“The Red House Manor”, Quebec, QC, CANADA:Dating from 1608, the stunning and iconic “Old Red Manor” is unequivocally the oldest habitable building on the North American continent.

When Bertrand Chesnay de la Garenne received the Royal Concession in 1652, he found there “a solid ruin with three walls and a large stone fireplace of 5 feet long.” This is the left side of the Manor which contains the master fireplace. In 1764, the French Captain Cazeau added the second level, and the manor remained the property of the Cazeau family until 1940.

Restored in 2005-2006, to the most exacting standards of luxury and caring touch. It is 30 metres in length (96 ft) and 9 metres (30 ft) wide and has two levels, with multiple living, dining and entertaining areas, six generous bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. This property is for sale in two lots.

To view more information, images and the video click HERE.

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

FYI: Read related articles on Worldwide Luxury Homes such as Bora Bora, TAHITI; Villas in Tuscany, ITALY; or Raffles in Manila, PHILIPPINES; or AUSTRALIA

It is World AIDS Week, and we were struck by the story of Ethan Zohn – the $1 million winner of Survivor in the US that pledged his winnings to the prevention of AIDS.  Utilising his soccer skills from his time in Zimbabwe, he started Grassroots Soccer,  a charity that seeks to educate African children in an effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.  Good on him.  We have made donations to our local organisations, and even if you are finding things tough, every little helps so please give what you can.

Please enjoy this week’s stories, or simply stay here and enjoy the MTLH blog.  We thank you!

Regards

Michael Marquette & Simon Turner

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.  Elie Wiesel

It’s worth imagining what 2009 could bring. I am a not a pessimist but it is worth glaring into the crystal ball and letting go of today and dreaming – dreaming it is December 2009.

Has the US Fed pumped trillions of dollars into the US economy and what has been the result? Have property prices stabilized and how is Citibank going? Has the bailout really cleaned out the poisoned loans? Let’s dream!

We have bailed out the 3 car manufacturers and we have bailed out the banks. The banks have hoarded money and monetary policy is having no effect. Interest rates are at the lowest level ever – 0% and the Dow is hovering around 5000 points. Superannuation has lost trillions and those that would be retiring have realized that another ten years of work is required (at least) to make retirement possible.

Small and medium manufacturers are all but gone – car companies are waiting to get supplies and difficult car finance is all but crippling sales. Many of the smaller car dealerships have closed, finding the credit crunch a hard go and the larger dealerships holding too large an inventory are closing. Surely more money will solve this, but maybe not! With monetary policy crippled what can President Obama do?

The Fed has decided to pump more money into the economy and inflation is now an issue. Inflation is a real problem, with OPEC deciding to reduce supply by a total of 10 million barrels a day to increase the price of oil. Their greed has accelerated issues in the economy with transport companies struggling to get paid by clients, forced redundancies and supply train chaos ensue.

Credit scarcity has caused loan delinquencies to flourish with 5 million US households in foreclosure. Prices continue to fall and Citibank is on a downward spiral. What are the options for President Obama? Let Citibank fail or pump yet more money into the economy? This will force the US dollar to fall even further and prices are going up and up.

The US economy is now at breaking point with reliant economies collapsing. There is no savior to come to the US aid – the world is simply not capable of saving the US as it’s too big. Japan and the EU are crippled. Is the US in recession, depression or bankrupt? With trillions of dollars of debt President Obama has few options.

This chance to imagine is just one example of what could be. There are so many variables and so much left to be answered. This situation would cause so much grief and I am an optimist, hoping and praying that our leaders find solutions to the problems we face. Solutions that are not only needed but vital to the livelihood of so many families and vital to the survival of the world superpower that we so rely on for our economic and military security.

Michael Marquette

FYI: Read more articles on the Credit Crunch; or 2009; or US Economy

In the rolling Tuscan hills not far from the mythic cities of Florence, Siena and San Gimignano is one of the largest private landholdings in all of Italy. Two grand cypress-lined lanes ascend to a historic castle. Dotting the estate are restored Casali (farmhouses) each with dramatic glass-tiled private pools. This treasured property is Castello di Casole, the newest and most romantic addition to the Timbers Collection portfolio.

Castello di Casole has a home to suit you with residences located privately throughout the estate or together in an enclave, just steps away from a five-star hotel.

A Signature Development of Timbers Resorts, the Castello di Casole estate is one of the largest landholdings in all of Tuscany – a 4,200-acre game reserve and working agricultural estate actively producing vintage wine and olive oil.

Commanding the most favored sites throughout the property are the ruins of modest Casali, each of which are unique to each other and are separately named with their own custom style, layout and color scheme. Each Casale farmhouse is a collection of main home and outbuildings, which now serve as unique and inviting guest quarters. Indoor spaces for each family compound are 4,000 to 7,000 square feet or 370 to 650 square meters.

Prices range from 290,000 – 590,000 Euro for Residential Interests; Whole Ownership pricing starts at 3.7 million Euro.

To view more information, images and the video click HERE (or any of the images above). You can also visit the Castello di Casole website.

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

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

Australia’s economy will avoid a recession next year, helped by lower interest rates, government spending and exports.

A recent Report (Economic Outlook No 84) by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stated that the Australian economy will grow 1.7 percent in 2009 from 2.5 percent this year, before accelerating to 2.7 percent in 2010, despite the depressed international economic environment, the impact of the financial crisis and the fall in the terms of trade should be relatively contained within Australia.


Furthermore, the OECD expects the Australian unemployment rate will increase to 6% from 4.3% by 2010 but inflation will ease.

The forecast is relatively glowing for Australia when compared to the other major economies of the world, stating that 21 of the 30 member economies of the OECD will go through a protracted recession of a magnitude not seen since the early 1980s.

In recent weeks new property listings have shown a substantial decline and this is likely due to the proximity of the Christmas period. Michael Marquette

FYI: Read related articles on Interest Rates; the Economy; and the Credit Crunch

More information: OECD Economic Outlook No 84

Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia” the movie is out in theaters/cinemas right now, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

The reviews have been mediocre – particularly in Australia – but for those of you who have yet to visit Australia or those that need a reminder of just how stunning the heartland of Australia is, we wouldn’t be proud Australian’s if we didn’t invite you to watch the movie!  For a small taste, please watch the trailer below.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Australia; Luxury Homes; and Nicole Kidman

“Bailout” has been named as the “Word of the Year”, being the word that has been searched the most in online dictionaries and has become suddenly infused into daily language.  “Turmoil” was up there too!

Things may be worse than they were perhaps a year ago, but please take a moment to think of all the good things.  During this Thanksgiving holiday – an American institution that surely everyone throughout the world should recognise – be thankful for what you’ve had, what you are, and what you can be.

One of the phrases Marquette Turner has coined is “Luxury is…” – this week we share with you some comments people have shared with us.

Please enjoy the stories in our blog, or you can go straight to the e-magazine.  We thank you!

Michael Marquette & Simon Turner

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

In a world that can be brutal, harsh and tough going it is worth taking time to consider what we have enjoyed and what it means to us.

I thought it was an important time to consider what “Luxury” means to us all. It’s a chance to reflect over Thanksgiving and put into words what we can too often take for granted. The “Luxury is” is an amazing combination of two words – it is amazing because it causes us all to feel something, to imagine.

So what is Luxury to you? In 50 words or less write what “Luxury is” to you. We will publish as many responses as possible. Happy Thanksgiving!

Michael Marquette: Luxury is more than I can touch, it’s intangible. Luxury is an emotion, felt when I dare to dream of something that I value, that I have desired. It drives me forward, forces me to act, allows me to feel special, successful, spoiled, lucky – fortunate in every way.

Christine Watson: Luxury is the feeling of soft silk on your skin, wearing diamonds and pearls, rose petals scattered everywhere, being pampered and spoiled. Luxury is first class air travel, a personal valet, and Jimmy Choo shoes. Luxury is not having the need for anything, only the want.

Simon Turner: The ability to say sorry. The capacity to say I’m wrong. Knowledge: the desire to increase it and the timeliness of drawing upon it. Peace & Quiet. Happiness, Healthiness and Hope. Intangible.

Alex Lee: Luxury is excellence achieved.

Amy Cooper: Luxury to me involves good friends, wine and seafood in an ambient waterfront location! It also involves hot men, but let’s not go there!

Jayke Menese: Luxury is a home in Montreaux with a view of Lake Geneva. Can’t get better than that. The best setting and views in the world…”

Kevin Hussein Nguyen: Luxury is getting a full night’s rest, uninterrupted by nothing but sweet dreams.”

Thank you to everyone for sharing!

Without fear nor contest, the following listings of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes have received a price reduction in the past week, with the explicit consent of the owner.

Woollahra

Stockton

Merewether

Corlette

Simon Turner

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

I read an article today on the Domain blog in Australia (owned by Fairfax Media) and I cannot believe the total rubbish it conveyed to people. I am so disappointed that I feel forced to discuss it. We can all recognize that someone has done well for themselves – we can praise and applaud that – well done John McGrath – to a point. We can also recognize when they have said something that is too hard to comprehend. So much as to make it simply unbelievable and it has to be discussed.

In a world that is missing realism at times and where the base expectations of the population are set according to media, lies – half-truths at best it is important to point out what is totally ridiculous. Not only do people feel inadequate but they lose sight of reality, feel unsuccessful and like in this case downright ill-informed.

John McGrath, founder of McGrath Estate Agents, stated in a recent blog that property in Australia fell into one of three bands. The Lower End (below $750,000), the mid range ($750,000-$3 million) and the upper end ($3 million to $30 million).

The pure facts are these. Anyone kidding themselves to think that $3m is mid-priced is either lying or living in a fantasy land. The facts are simple – 3.65% of all residential property in Australia in 2007 sold at or above $1million. In other words 96.35% of residential property sold was sold at or less than $1 million. $3 million is NOT mid priced – not in Sydney, not in Regional Australia – not anywhere in Australia. The information is so poor that it needs to be quickly corrected.

I’m not questioning that John McGrath has done well for himself over the years – but that simply does not excuse information that is blatantly incorrect. Since John McGrath has become a franchise agency, seeking to compete with the likes of LJ Hooker and Ray White, it is laughable that he should set such benchmarks given that the majority of the properties for sale through his franchise offices in New South Wales are of “the lower end”.  I’m sure this isn’t the message his agents are conveying to their clients.

Why point this out? Simply people are given so much information that cannot be backed up by evidence and those that are unaware of the reality can at times feel inadequate. What do you need to do to be successful? What have you done wrong? How can you possibly achieve that? The reality is very different to the perception.

I am disappointed that John McGrath would publicly say something that is simply wrong – he is smarter than that and it concerns me that many people will read his material and question themselves thinking he is telling the truth – Shame on you John McGrath.

Michael Marquette

FYI: Read related articles on Luxury Homes; Buying Real Estate; and Michael Marquette

Fully managed and serviced by Four Seasons, the 15 Private Residences on Bora Bora represent one of the most exclusive and desirable resort – home opportunities in the world. Providing either lagoon or Pacific Ocean frontage, these rare and precious sites range from .5 to 1.25 acres.

You may choose from a portfolio of exquisitely appointed architectural designs ranging from 4,000 square feet/ 370 square metres to 11,500 square feet/ 1,070 square metres or create your own personal vision of paradise. Providing either lagoon or Pacific Ocean frontage of .5 to 1.25 acres, owners may choose from a portfolio of exquisitely appointed architectural designs ranging in price from $6M to $17M USD.

View the video

VIEW MORE DETAILS

FYI: For more information relating to purchasing these fantastic homes in Bora Bora, Tahiti, please contact: Michael Marquette on+61 433 170 170 or via email at michael@marquetteturner.com.au or Christine Watson on +61 414 352 680 or via email at Christine@marquetteturner.com.au

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

After years (at least 20 – maybe even 30) the money to revitalize the city of Newcastle is on the way. After the Newcastle Earthquake in 1989 there were as expected – losers and winners. Hamilton did well although the movement of shops into shopping malls outside the city in the suburbs didn’t assist the inner city Newcastle area.

With a mostly Liberal Federal Government, a completely inept Labor State Government and a Council that seems to deliberate and deliver nothing, the last ten years have achieved nothing for Newcastle. It’s exciting to see that private enterprise has come to the party with enormous vision and opportunity for the “forgotten city”.

The GPT Group (who also own Charlestown Square) is putting forward a sensational proposal to revitalize the City and plan to commit $650 million to the project. Like with all investments of this magnitude by locally based companies there are parts of the proposal which will not be perfect for everyone although GPT deserve the total support of everyone in the community.

When a corporation shows such confidence in a community like Newcastle (now the seventh largest city in Australia behind The Gold Coast) it should be embraced. GPT will assist Newcastle to move forward and repair the damage and neglect of the past with a vision for the future.

I hope the dysfunctional state government offers to pay for a high speed train link to Sydney to give our Newcastle – the beachside and harbor city, the best chance possible of growth. Regardless let’s hope for Kevin’s sake that the Governor sacks the NSW Government (Better now than risk it at the Federal election in 2010).

Michael Marquette

FYI: See more articles on Newcastle; New South Wales; Luxury Homes

More information: www.newcbd.gpt.com.au

This week we present stories such as Luxury Home Sales in Sydney: The Truth and Fiction; The Beckham Effect, where we look at David Beckham’s very first home and what it’s on the market for as well as his current home in California with Posh Spice-wife, Victoria; we also look at the cost of parking your car in some of the most expensive cities in the world; you can customize your bathtub for a pretty penny; and our WISE GUY shows why the Australian dollar suddenly has run out of friends.

And lots, lots more.

To read the latest e-magazine: CLICK HERE

“Be a fountain, not a drain.”
Rex Hudler

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