Ultra Wealthy Buying Homes As ‘Opportunity Gateways’ For Investment Diversification And Citizenship Or Foreign Residency

Portland, ME (August 12, 2015) — Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in announced today, a growing number of ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals view homes as ‘opportunity gateways’, driving buying decisions that are based on potential opportunities from owning these luxury residential properties, according to the latest study by Wealth-X and the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand.

The UHNW Luxury Real Estate Report: Homes As Opportunity Gateways two trends that are fueling the rise in the number of ultra wealthy individuals who are buying luxury homes:

  • International home-buying by UHNW individuals (defined as those with at least US$30 million in assets) from emerging nations seeking a safe investment diversification.
  • Home-buying as part of a program to gain citizenship or residency status in foreign nations.

The report provides insight into the UHNW residential real estate opportunities in Sydney and Vancouver for buyers seeking safe investment diversification; and Malta, the Bahamas and Sao Paulo, which may appeal to ultra wealthy buyers who are seeking citizenship or residency through property investment.

The UHNW Residential Real Estate index, tracked by Wealth-X, rose to 115.2 in Q2 2015, an 8.3% rise year-on-year, and the sixth consecutive quarter in which the index has risen. The continued rise in the index reflects the confidence of UHNW individuals to invest in luxury residential real estate.

The index takes into account the full range of luxury residential properties that are owned by the world’s wealthiest individuals. Wealth-X data shows there are 211,275 UHNW individuals globally, who collectively hold nearly US$3 trillion in real estate assets, equal to 10% of their net worth.

Below are other key findings from the report:

  • 12% of second homes purchased by UHNW individuals in emerging countries (those who reside in BRICS nations) are located outside their country of residence.
  • Recent market fluctuations in emerging nations are leading a new generation of UHNW investors to consider investing in luxury residential real estate in Western markets.
  • Chinese UHNW individuals make up the third largest share of foreign UHNW homeowners in the United States, behind only Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • Twenty nations in Europe and the Americas now offer citizenship or residency programs to individuals willing to invest in domestic residential real estate.
  • Many residential real estate markets with such programs – including Sao Paulo, Malta, and the Bahamas – offer good long-term investment opportunities.

Wealth-X President David Friedman commented: “Wealth-X is pleased to partner with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand for this third luxury real estate report for 2015. This new joint study explores the trends and home-buying motivations of a distinct group of ultra wealthy individuals in the emerging markets. As their wealth grows, so will their investment fueled by various motivations, be it to diversify their portfolio or to gain citizenship or residency in a foreign country.”

According to Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, this joint report was designed to provide an understanding of the trends driving buying decisions of ultra-high net worth individuals around the world. “The research reveals trends that go beyond traditional motivations and help guide real estate investments that contribute to long-term wealth,” he said.  “It underscores the important role real estate plays in a larger strategy to build a valuable asset portfolio.”

Download the report here.


Significant Sales Presented By Sotheby’s International Realty

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Maine Home Sales Up Over 18% In June

SOUTH PORTLAND (July 22, 2015)—Sales of single-family existing homes in Maine jumped by hefty double-digits in June. According to Maine Listings, 1,788 homes changed hands last month, resulting in an 18.18 percent rise in sales. The statewide median sales price (MSP) for homes sold during the month of June increased 1.46 percent to $187,700. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

The National Association of Realtors today reported a nationwide single-family existing home sales increase of 9.8 percent. The national MSP also rose 6.6 percent in June to $237,700. Regionally, the Northeast experienced a 12.5 percent uptick in sales, while the regional MSP increased 3.9 percent to $281,200.

Marie Flaherty, 2015 President of the Maine Association of Realtors, said, “sellers now have more confidence to make a move they have been considering for a long time. Many are highly-motivated to relocate, and they have strategically priced their homes to leave less room for negotiation, which they hope will result in a faster sale.”

Flaherty, a Realtor with The Flaherty Group, said “Buyers should be prepared to make their best offer, since the seller or their agent are not required to notify them of the existence of other offers. If a home is in a highly desirable location, well presented and priced at the market, there are often multiple buyers competing for the property. With the limited supply of homes in some areas, it’s important to enlist the services of a highly-skilled Realtor to help ensure a successful transaction.”

Below are two charts showing statistics for Maine and its 16 counties. The first chart lists statistics for the month of June only, statewide. The second chart compares the number of existing, single-family homes sold (units) and volume (MSP) during the “rolling quarter” the months of April 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014 and April 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015.

June 15 Maine Housing Report2_Page_2

First Frederick W. “Rick” Griffin Scholarship to Eric Yemma


Eric Yemma

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine (July 2015)— Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty awarded the first Frederick W. “Rick” Griffin Memorial Scholarship to Eric Yemma. Eric graduated from Kennebunk High School in June. The memorial scholarship fund totaling $25,000 will provide a $2,500 scholarship to a college-bound Kennebunk High School graduating senior each year for the next 10 years.

“Rick Griffin was a great friend, a warm and generous colleague, and a true leader in the Kennebunk community,” said Christopher Lynch, President of Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty. This is the first year the scholarship has been awarded. “The Rick Griffin Scholarship Fund is committed to identifying students who champion all that is special about the Kennebunks, and this year we have a terrific individual.”

Eric Yemma was selected based on academic ability, achievements, leadership and commitment to the community. The scholarship was intended for individuals who are recognized by teachers, school administration and peers as one who personifies and embodies all that is “special” about living in the Kennebunks. They are students that exhibit their passion through academic, athletic, and community involvement while demonstrating a commitment to making the Kennebunks a better place to live and work.  Eric will be attending Merrimack College in North Andover Massachusetts.

“We are proud to offer this scholarship in Rick’s honor and look forward to sharing his story with the Kennebunk High School seniors over the next decade,” said Lynch. “I am hopeful that Eric and future recipients will return after college to continue to have the same positive impact on the community that earned them the scholarship.”

“I never had the privilege of meeting Rick Griffin, but I understand that he was an amazing individual who had a positive impact on the Kennebunk community” says Eric. “I will hold myself to high standards and work hard to be an upstanding individual just as Rick Griffin was.”

Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Kennebunk, Portland, Brunswick, Damariscotta, and Camden is Maine’s leading luxury and lifestyle property company with more than 70 agents and 5 offices serving Maine coastal communities from York County to Hancock County.

Offices Located at:

2 City Center, Portland, ME 04101 207-780-8900 (Greater Portland Real Estate)

141 Maine Street, Brunswick, ME 04011  207-729-2820 (Mid-Coast Maine Real Estate)

150 Port Road, Lower Village, Kennebunk, ME 04043 207-967-0934 (York, Ogunquit, the Kennebunks)

170 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543, 207-563-2775 (Bristol, Christmas Cove, Boothbay Harbor)

46 Bay View Street, Camden, ME 04843 207-230-1003 (Camden, Rockport, Mount Deser , Mid-Coast)

The Main Reason You Should Not Wait to Buy…

The Main Reason You Should Not Wait to Buy | Keeping Current Matters

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report concentrated on the challenges renters in this country are facing because of the diminishing supply of quality rental units and dramatically escalating rents.

However, there was also information buried within the report that revealed that now is definitely the time to buy your first home or move-up to the home of your family’s dreams. With home prices still below peak values and mortgage rates still near historic lows, the monthly mortgage payment on a median priced home is less than at almost any time in the last 25 years.

Here is a graph which helps visualize the data from the report:

Median Mortgage Payment | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With home prices increasing and mortgage rates projected to increase, now is the time to buy.

KCM Blog

Summer eNews



Welcome to our summer e-Magazine Newsletter! Our loyal followers have grown to well over 40,000 subscribers in all 50 states and several countries around the world. It is humbling that you have chosen Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty to be your eyes and ears for Maine Real Estate.

Please click the image above or click here to view this issue.

Pending Home Sales Reach Highest Mark In 9 Years!

Pending Home Sales Reach Highest Mark In 9 Years! | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their Pending Home Sales Index Report and revealed that it is at its highest level since April 2006.

The Pending Home Sales Index is “a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings”. The higher the Pending Home Sales Index number, the more contracts have been signed by buyers that will soon translate to sales.

Every region of the country has experienced year-over-year gains in pending sales as seen below:

Pending Home Sales by Region | Keeping Current Matters

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun cites job creation as a major reason that the housing market has boomed this spring, going on to say,

“It’s very encouraging to now see a broad based recovery with all four major regions showing solid gains from a year ago and new home sales also coming alive.”

Yun went on to caution that,

“Housing affordability remains a pressing issue with home-price growth increasing around four times the pace of wages. Without meaningful gains in new and existing supply, there’s no question the goalpost will move further away for many renters wanting to become homeowners.”

So What Does This Mean To Buyers?

There is a lot of competition out there right now for your dream home. Prices are going to continue to climb, act now before you are priced out of your future home.

What Does This Mean to Sellers?

If you are on the fence about listing your home for sale right now and debating whether now is the time to move on with your plans of relocating… now is the time!

There are more buyers that are ready, willing and able to buy their first, second, third, vacation, or investment property now than there has been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

Listing your home for sale now will give you the most exposure to buyers and the best sales price.

Bottom Line

Whether you are planning on buying or selling a house this year, waiting to act no longer makes sense.


Maine Single Family Home Prices Up 8.86 Percent and Sales Volume Up 2.53 Percent In May

SOUTH PORTLAND (June 22, 2015)—Maine home values continue to rise in most counties, further illustrating a more stable real estate environment across the state. According to Maine Listings, 1,335 single-family existing homes changed hands last month, leading to a 2.53 percent increase in sales overall. The median sales price (MSP) for those homes reached $185,000—a rise of 8.86 percent. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

Nationally, sales were up 9.7 percent in the past 12 months. According to the National Association of Realtors, the national MSP increased 8.6 percent in May to $230,300. Sales in the regional Northeast jumped 11.3 percent while the regional MSP rose 4.8 percent to $269,000.

Traditionally, the summer market ushers in booming business for single-family existing home sales—which the current data confirms. Buyers hope to move and settle before school begins in the fall, and Realtors offer professional guidance to make that timeline happen. Marie Flaherty, 2015 President of the Maine Association of Realtors, said, “buyers today have access to more information than ever, but the market data needs to be properly interpreted and analyzed. A Realtor with extensive local knowledge helps buyers make educated decisions when submitting an offer on a property.”

Flaherty, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Westbrook, reminds buyers to visit mainerealtors.com to Find a Realtor . The site lists qualified, licensed Realtors by market area, and also includes a link to home listings through www.Realtor.com.
Below are two charts showing statistics for Maine and its 16 counties. The first chart lists statistics for the month of May only, statewide. The second chart compares the number of existing, single-family homes sold (units) and volume (MSP) during the “rolling quarter” the months of March 1, 2014 to May 31, 2014 and March 1, 2015 to May 31, 2015.


5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner

5 Reasons You Shouldn't For Sale By Owner | Keeping Current Matters

In today’s market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are five reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 43% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $208,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $235,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $27,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

Credit: Keeping Current Matters

Guess Where Residential Rents are Heading?

Guess Where Residential Rents are Heading? | Keeping Current Matters

Each month, many people are faced with the decision of renewing their rental lease for another year or purchasing their first home. One of the questions that must be answered before they make a decision is – “Where are rents headed?”

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article on this issue. Their conclusion:

“Apartment rental increases slowed in the first quarter from a year earlier, but the move is more likely a temporary blip than the beginning of a long-term respite for renters.”

The article goes on to quote Ryan Severino, a senior economist at Reis:

“I wish I had a better story to tell renters these days, but I think they’re in for some rent increases for the foreseeable future.”

Probably the most interesting part of the article came in the Comment Section where a proud landlord proclaimed:

“As a landlord I can tell you I don’t pay property tax. I don’t pay for repairs. The tenant pays. I get my money off the top.”

Here is a chart showing rent increases over the last 25+ years:

Median Asking Rent Since 1988 | Keeping Current Matters


Credit: Keeping Current Matters