Under the Radar: North Cyprus and Canada

By Jessica Ganga and Marlene Ridgway

North Cyprus 

“With 300 days of sunshine,  golden beaches, friendly people, and stunning countryside, it’s no wonder that many visitors seriously consider buying property in North Cyprus,” explains Aylin Pelin Onar, Broker/Owner and Global Luxury Ambassador of Coldwell Banker Maximum.

Cyprus consists of 480 miles of stunning coastline, attracting buyers from all over the world. ©iStockPhoto.com / Mindstorm-Inc.

As the third-largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus boasts 480 miles of coastline, citrus groves, gorgeous beaches and has a capital growth average of 20 to 40 percent annually over the past three years, making it a prime opportunity for luxury buyers, according to Onar. There’s also a certain mystery surrounding the island that is appealing. “It’s no surprise that according to legend, Julius Caesar gave the island to Cleopatra as a token of his love.”

 

With the highest-priced listing in the area being an $8 million, 150,000-square-meter villa built on a private hill, it’s clear that there is an expanding demand for luxury properties. “Our market is growing due to improving local and international economic conditions,” says Onar. Situated between three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the location has contributed to the growing international market. “We are receiving clients from Turkey, Russia, Scandinavian countries, the Middle East, England, Israel and Australia,” notes Onar.

 

With the continuing development of new constructions and homes, the luxury market is expected to keep expanding to sustain the demand. Up and coming areas such as East of Kyrenia can provide the 5-star accommodations that luxury buyers now expect, including social facilities such as gym centers, spas, pools, and high security. “East of Kyrenia is the shining star, especially with its seafront luxury sites. The natural beauty, beautiful beaches, amazing mountain views, 18-hole international golf course, and 5-star hotels with casinos are the attraction points of this area,” says Onar.

Aylin Pelin Onar

Aylin Pelin Onar

Broker/Owner, Global Luxury Ambassador

Coldwell Banker Maximum

AylinPelin.Onar@CB.com.TR

www.MaximumVelver.com

Page 30

Luxury properties in Esentepe, Kyrenia, North Cyprus embrace the island’s natural beauty, such as this home with gorgeous ocean views that sold recently for $900,000 USD. Photo courtesy of Sadi Yolgecen.

Recently sold for $7.7 million USD in Kyrenia, North Cyprus, this house examplifies the ultra-luxury listings available. Photo courtesy of Sadi Yolegecen.

Canada

With its diverse landscape and abundance of land, Canada is an ideal location for luxury buyers seeking a new place to call home. Of Canada’s many cities, Toronto is one that is family friendly and among the safest in the country. “People see Canada as a safe place to invest their money and raise their family. Toronto is the biggest city in the country and the financial centre of the country,” says Barry Cohen, Broker at RE/MAX Realtron Barry Cohen Homes Inc., Brokerage in Toronto.

As Canada’s largest city, Toronto has grown to be a rich metropolis with no shortage of things to do. “It’s a very cosmopolitan, multicultural city,” says Susan Macarz, Broker at RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage. Toronto boasts picturesque parks and playgrounds, country clubs, a theater district and nightclubs, to only name a few. Toronto also features some of the best schools in the country, attracting families seeking to provide their children with a top-notch education, according to Macarz.

Toronto, the largest city in Canada. ©iStockPhoto.com / PGIAM. 

Toronto’s real estate market is diverse and continuously changing. “What’s happening is that there is very little land left in Toronto, so what people do is they buy big properties with an older house on it and they tear it down because they are buying it for land value,” says Macarz … Another trend that Macarz noted was the increase of townhomes and condominiums in the area, specifically Central Toronto, adding to the variety. “What I’m finding more often now is … there’s townhomes that are being built along the major streets. These townhomes start at about $1.5 million CAD and up,” says Macarz. Tall high-rises are being built that feature luxurious condominiums that have sizeable square footage, according to Macarz.

Along with urban-styled living spaces, Toronto is home to spectacular estates and mansions. According to Macarz, luxury buyers can find homes priced from about $4 million CAD to $30 million CAD. The most expensive listing in Toronto is located in the Bridle Path area, on the market for $32 million CAD by Cohen’s team. “It’s a magnificent multi-generational estate with a completely separate two story in-law apartment with its own entrance, elevator, and garage,” says Cohen. The 35,000-square-foot home also features an indoor pool and tennis courts.

Overall, both Macarz and Cohen made clear that Toronto is a premier location for people seeking to find their dream home.

In the St. Andrew-Windfields area of Toronto, elegance and contemporary blend in this listing recently sold for $7.1 million CAD by the Barry Cohen Team. Photo courtesy of Barry Cohen.

Barry Cohen

Barry Cohen

Broker, RE/MAX Realtron, Barry Cohen Homes Inc. Brokerage

Susan Macarz

Susan Macarz

Broker, RE/MAX Ultimate, Realty Inc. Brokerage

This editorial appeared in the Unique Homes Global ’19 Issue.

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Selling Near the Stars

star property itself, this private estate offers incredible attention to detail and elegant interiors that exude sophistication.

Patrick Fogarty of Hilton & Hyland represented the buyers, German national Ekkehart Hassels-Weiler and his new husband Omar Romero, who were eager to acquire this unique home. Fogarty says the home was on the market for less than a month and bought in under four.

Externally, the home is almost mysterious at first glance, as the long driveway affords complete privacy from the street. That mystery transitions into pure awe once the house is in full view, as Fogarty says the home’s proportions and classic design give it a grand feel that enhances with every meticulous detail. “The style is timeless rather than of the moment,” he says, adding that the overall aesthetic is tasteful yet opulent.

Built and developed by the seller, British property developers Ian and Richard Livingston, the estate greets visitors with a graceful motor court that features both trees and fountains. The front doors open to a striking grand entry with 30-foot ceilings and walls of marble, all opening up to a grand staircase and detailed floor plan. A strong yet beautiful harmony is felt in every room, from the dramatic kitchen to the tasteful master bedroom and baths. Interestingly, Fogarty notes that though “the home is grand in scale, [it] still manages to feel like a home.” Other features of this estate include a master wing, gym, theater, guesthouse, staff quarters and bocce court. The expansive backyard also boasts an ozone pool that highlights the perfect California indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

Only approximately five minutes from Rodeo Drive, the 8-bedroom, 11-bath home remarkably reflects a sense of tranquility and serenity, allowing the new owners to relax with complete privacy. The blend of rich landscaping and natural materials, such as stones, wood, steel, and brass, also enrich its character and depth, making it a true sanctuary.

Photos by Berlyn Photography 2019.

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

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The Abundance of Aspen

Maroon Bells ASPEN / COLORADO 

Photo: Vkoulampet / wikimedia commons

Originally named for the abundance of aspen trees in the area, Aspen’s abundance has grown exponentially in terms of luxury, from fine restaurants and world-renowned ski resorts to some of the most artistic and culturally stimulating experiences. These aspects and more are appealing to buyers and continue to shape Aspen’s diverse, high-end lifestyle.

Though the market is plentiful with a large inventory of luxury property options, the Aspen market is finite due to local and state development rules that restrict building in certain areas of the town, according to Craig Morris of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty. “Supply and demand are always in favor of our sellers,” he says, but adds that what people want is nearly always achievable. These demands result in an interesting balance of both classic, historic homes with original architecture, and newer construction primarily built on “teardown” properties.

This interweaving of old and new structures is special to Aspen, says Carrie Wells of Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate, as it further adds to the character of the town and continues to bring in affluent buyers seeking luxury amenities. She notes that particularly in downtown Aspen, the “core,” new residential developments are not permitted and current properties have become more valuable. Wells, and other agents like Robert Ritchie of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, say buyers have grown to cultivate lifestyles in Aspen to fit their own needs. Bespoke estates are either renovated internally, increasing their worth, or new homes are being built more beautiful and upscale than the last. Though Aspen seems to be constantly changing, Ritchie says changes help “shine it up” and ultimately makes the town look good.

And truly, “looking good” is an understatement when considering the luxury and culture that exist in every corner of the city. From an exclusive G650 club and top-rated restaurants to a variety of world-class ski resorts and outdoor amenities, Aspen’s elite can find their true home in a place like this. Whether you hit the slopes or visit the Aspen Music Festival every year, Aspen is a place that can fit any lifestyle, which to buyers is often a priority. “We live in our own little fantasy world and people often suggest that living here is not ‘the real world,’” Morris says. “It’s the ‘real world’ to those that decide to put living and lifestyle at the top of their list, and when they do, they never look back.” 

Colorado

Carrie Wells

Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate

970.948.6750

carrie@carriewells.com

www.CarrieWells.com

Page 54 & H&E 161

Colorado

Craig Morris

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

970.379.9795

craig.morris@sothebysrealty.com

CraigMorris.com

AspenSnowmassSIR.com

Pages 52-53

Colorado

Robert Ritchie

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

970.379.1500

Robert.Ritchie@sothebysrealty.com

AspenValues.com

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

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Aspen’s abundance has grown in terms of luxury, from fine restaurants, world-renowned ski resorts to some of the most culturally stimulating experiences.

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Footloose Fortunes

©istockphoto.com / ClaudioVentrella

While the pace of wealth creation may be slowing, the story now is how it’s spreading around the globe.

“The increasingly footloose nature of wealth.” That’s how global consultancy Knight Frank characterizes today’s trend in affluence. When it comes to real estate, all it takes is a quick look at the worldwide activity of major brands to see a clear illustration of this concept.

The locations of new affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty in recent months include Oklahoma City, Arkansas and Kansas, along with Cyprus, Slovakia and Qatar. Qatar is the second location in the Middle East for Sotheby’s. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has extended its reach to global hubs, partnering with major firms in Europe and the Middle East. Now, they count Berlin, London, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Dubai and Frankfort in their network. Coldwell Banker has offices in 49 countries. Luxury Portfolio International, the luxury arm of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, has affiliates in more than 70 countries.

“The fact that the world is becoming smaller and smaller, the speed of information flow, and travel contribute to people’s interest in owning properties elsewhere, both for Americans and foreign nationals,” explains Joyce Rey, executive director, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.

Markets may go through cycles and new partnerships emerge, but the foundation of global real estate hasn’t changed. “The luxury buyer understands that one of the best, if not the best, investments they can make is property,” explains Michael Jalbert, executive vice president, Global Field Operations for HSF Affiliates, the parent company of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

Chatter regarding a potential recession might form a smokescreen, but wealth creation will continue to be a constant, according to Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report, which forecasts a rise, over the next five years, of 22 percent in the number of individuals whose net worth exceeds $30 million, a group often classified as Ultra High Net Worth, UHNW. Over the next year, existing UHNW, especially in the U.S., expect their wealth to increase.

When Rey began her career in the 1970s, foreign buyers were a rarity, especially in Southern California. Today, she says, the percentage of foreign buyers purchasing ultra-luxury properties, those priced above $20 million, has remained pretty steady. “Usually it waffles between about 20 percent to 25 percent. And that hasn’t changed over the years.” For the first nine months of 2019, foreign buyers accounted for 31 percent of purchases of $20-million plus residences in Los Angeles’ tony west side.

Rey was one of the first to reach outside U.S. borders to forge connections. After the increase of Japanese buyers in 1980s, she traveled to Japan to meet one-on-one with agents and potential buyers. “I feel if a quarter of your buying population is foreign, you should be reaching out to the foreign market,” she says.

Bob Hurwitz, founder and president of the Hurwitz James Company (HJC), was also on the leading edge of the global outreach. “In the early 90s, I recognized that the buyers for my highest-priced properties were more and more often originating from overseas. This was actually before the Internet was even a reality for marketing purposes. As a result, I started focusing a significant percentage of my marketing to exposing my listings here in the states to affluent foreign buyers.” He also created a network of HJC representatives to promote his listings overseas. Currently, Hurwitz represents nearly $3 billion in luxury properties and developments worldwide.

Even those who work in the global arena today are occasionally surprised by the geographic diversity of investors and buyers. “One stat that recently jumped out at me is Aruba is home to 90-plus nationalities and ethnic groups, which I thought was fascinating,” shares Stephanie Anton, president of Luxury Portfolio International. “One of our affiliates there also pointed out that many of their buyers are coming from India.”

And this isn’t an isolated instance. Indian buyers are cropping up in many other primary and second-home locations, including Portugal. Among foreign buyers in the U.S., India ranks third after China and Canada. India is expected to lead the five-year growth in Asia’s ultra-high net worth population with a 39 percent increase, followed by the Philippines (38 percent) and China (35 percent).

Increasingly, the ultra-wealthy are not necessarily tied to one country or one region. Approximately, 26 percent plan to emigrate in the next year. Already, more than a third hold a second passport and 22 percent plan to buy outside their country of residence, according to Knight Frank.

However, 2018 saw only a marginal increase (0.8 percent) in the size of the ultra-wealthy population, which Wealth X describes as a “marked slowdown” from the year earlier. The combined net worth of the ultra-wealthy declined 1.7 percent, the first annual fall in three years, according to Wealth X. However, it’s important to view these changes in context, because 2017 saw dynamic wealth creation with double-digit growth in the number of ultra-wealthy and impressive gains in asset markets.

The global outlook this year is nuanced. Rising interest rates and the end of quantitative easing means we are reaching the end of super-charged returns on everything from classic cars to art and property, according to Knight Frank. Government policies continue to transition as some countries seek to attract wealth, with a record number offering citizenship and residency through policies regarding investment, while others restrict outflows of capital. Others, including Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK will continue to make it more difficult for wealthy non-residents to purchase properties.

Looking ahead, expectations are for slower price growth in key markets. But, as with any correction, a shift in values is an opportunity to which buyers respond, something that is already happening in London, where agents see a potential turnaround, particularly for higher-priced properties, underway.

“London’s general property market has experienced a slowdown and fall in housing prices. That said, the luxury property market is certainly bottoming out and we are experiencing buyers returning to the market, which is demonstrated by our revenues being up 146 percent year on year,” says Martin Bikhit, managing director at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co.

“Given all the uncertainty of Brexit, values in London have come down significantly. It’s a buyers’ market,” says Jalbert.

The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar to sterling makes the value equation even more appealing. “American buyers have been able to take advantage of savings up to 45 percent compared to the 2014 peak of the market. U.S. buyers believe that the market is going to spike post-Brexit and there is now an opportunity to buy competitively. Indeed, this is illustrated by the fact that American hedge funder Ken Griffin was the buyer behind two of London’s most expensive property transactions within the past year,” according to Bikhit, who calls this surge a “pre-Brexit boom.”

Hurwitz sees luxury penthouses in many traditional hot markets, including London, as good opportunities for buyers, since those prices have seen a big decline. Other recommendations in Europe include France as well as Tuscany, which, he says, has an appeal that transcends the strictly financial. “Finding something totally renovated in an authentic manner is key.”

A flat or pied-à-terre in Paris has become a rite of passage for Americans, says Anton, noting reports of particular interest coming from Silicon Valley. Paris is one of the bright spots in Europe, placing third on Knight Frank’s list of the

fastest-growing luxury markets.

“France and Italy are still two of our top locations and our offices are expanding in numbers and experiencing a very solid claim in the market,” says Craig Hogan, vice president, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.

Berlin is Europe’s rising star. It has topped Urban Land Institute’s list of markets to watch in Europe for four years in a row, and currently ranks second after Madrid on rankings of the fastest-growing luxury real estate markets. Luxury residential here is a small but vibrant niche, with the number of privately owned apartments selling above 1 million euros growing by 17.5 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Stefan Schulze, COO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rubina Real Estate, says, “If Berlin succeeds in further expanding its potential in scientific and culture fields and remains one of the influential centers in Europe, it can be deemed certain that not only the number of premium new development projects but also the quality of luxury real estate will continue to grow sharply.”

Global Buyers in the U.S.

From the perspective of foreign buyers in the U.S., Hurwitz says, the market has changed multiple times over the last few years, fueled by factors as diverse as the attitude and oversight of a foreign buyer’s own government regarding money leaving their country, to crushing economic changes in their country of origin, to U.S. government restrictions on shell companies buying, to various others. Hurwitz says, “I still believe the U.S. is a safe bet and I am telling my clients to buy here.”

During the 12 months from April 2018 to March 2019, global purchases of U.S. properties fell sharply, with purchases declining by 36 percent. The dollar volume as well as the average price also declined. Rather than lack of interest from potential buyers, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, cites what he calls “a confluence of factors — slower economic growth abroad, tighter capital controls in China, a stronger U.S. dollar and a low inventory of homes for sale.”

John Smaby, NAR president, adds, “There is still significant interest in U.S. properties across the globe, and the U.S. is still seen as a safe, secure place to invest.”

London

©istockphoto.com / _ultraforma_

Tuscany

©istockphoto.com / mammuth

Paris

©istockphoto.com / Givaga

Madrid

©istockphoto.com / SeanPavonePhoto

Global Bright Spots

Along with real estate professionals from over 27 countries, Stephanie Anton recently returned from her company’s international conference in Athens. “It was thrilling to hear and see firsthand about so many bright spots in the market,” she says, including places where property markets were hard hit by political and financial turmoil during the recession. “One that was particularly obvious was our host city itself. The optimism of the Greek people was palpable.”

Both Spain and Portugal are seeing an influx of buyers and a surge in sales. Both suffered during the recession and are experiencing a strong turnaround.

“I think there is a sentiment of Europeans kind of holding their breath and waiting to see what happens with Brexit. But yet, there are also bright spots and the bright spots are more of those second-home markets because they’re lifestyle purchases. And so people are less concerned about the economic impact of Brexit because of making decisions on purchasing second or third homes,” Anton observes.

Some of the strongest luxury markets this year have been in resort locales. San Miguel de Allende continues to rank at the top of best cities and second-home destinations. “Our typical luxury buyers are investors looking for properties to take advantage of the lucrative vacation rental market, or shopping for their second or third vacation homes,” says Nancy Howze, with CDR San Miguel.

“Upscale consumers tend to have a broad world view,” says Jalbert. “They understand markets and are attracted to a range of places. Buyers in different parts of Europe are looking for a weather change, so it’s no surprise to see the resurgences of locations along Costa Del Sol and Portugal.” Jalbert adds that almost 100 percent of the luxury transactions in their eight offices in Portugal are from buyers outside the country. “It’s just an incredibly enchanted place where they have beautiful properties, but where there has also been significant investment in infrastructure,” he says.

One thing that has remained constant across the globe is the attitude of the elite regarding buying. Some of the highest sales in the last year can be tracked to global buyers, according to Hogan. “They will spend the money but need to know it’s a wise decision.”

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

Under the Radar: North Cyprus and Canada

In honor of our annual Global issue, we highlight areas not always thought of at the top of the luxury real estate list — but they should be.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Live Like Royalty in Cyprus

The Villa Diva estate, listed for $3.185 million, spreads across 6,000 square meters of land with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and mountains.

Featured Agent: Kathie Robidou of Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties

Listed by Elite agent Kathie Robidou, this custom-built home on 20.2 acres offers stunning views, a gated entry and privacy.

Tamarack Resort is More than Just a Destination

The Village at Tamarack is the latest ski-in/ski-out residential addition to the renowned Tamarack Resort in Idaho’s scenic Valley County.

An Italian Masterpiece

Formerly owned by tenor Titta Ruffo, this penthouse in Rome, Italy was recently redesigned by “starchitect” Dante Benini to grant the comfort of a yacht.

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Listed by some of the top producers in Northeast Florida, this Ponte Vedra Beach home offers 2,404 square feet and waterfrontage.

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Located approximately 25 kilometers from Florence, this magnificent castle for sale is one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Luxury Living on the Lake

This unique lot in St. Clair Shores is positioned to enjoy dazzling sunrises, fishing off the dock and watching boats, all in a tranquil environment.

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Grand estate features extravagant design and dazzling views of Sarasota's Intracoastal Waterway.

Waterfront Bliss in Florida

Make your waterfront living dreams come true with this Punta Gorda, Florida property! Sparkling views won't be missed from your own indoor pool.

Featured Agent: Kathie Robidou of Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties

Listed by Elite agent Kathie Robidou, this custom-built home on 20.2 acres offers stunning views, a gated entry and privacy.

Tamarack Resort is More than Just a Destination

The Village at Tamarack is the latest ski-in/ski-out residential addition to the renowned Tamarack Resort in Idaho’s scenic Valley County.

Sprawling Estate with Incredible Views and Amenities

A stunning showplace of architecture and craftsmanship, this sprawling estate offers an elevated living experience in Kauai’s most desirable enclave, “Anini Vista.” Featuring incredible views: epic ocean, white water, Anini Reef, Hanalei mountain range and Bali Hai sunsets.

Crystal Clear Water Views in Nevada

Stunning views from this picturesque condominium await! Stillwater Cove in Nevada is full of luxurious amenities and wonderful entertainment.

An Italian Masterpiece

Formerly owned by tenor Titta Ruffo, this penthouse in Rome, Italy was recently redesigned by “starchitect” Dante Benini to grant the comfort of a yacht.

Who’s Who Luxury Real Estate Retreat Announces World Record Holder As Keynote Speaker for Spring Retreat

Want to learn how to become the real estate industry's go-to professional? Ryan Avery is the expert you've been looking for.

Tamarack Resort is More than Just a Destination

The Village at Tamarack is the latest ski-in/ski-out residential addition to the renowned Tamarack Resort in Idaho’s scenic Valley County.

New Luxury Residence Begins Sales

Pendry Residences West Hollywood features stunning interiors and high-end amenities.

Stacy Gottula joins Celebrity Team Eklund-Gomes

Stacy Gottula, one of the premier luxury real estate brokers with the Agency, has officially redirected her career toward working with Eklund and Gomes.

Engel and Völkers Snell Announces New Partnership

Luxury real estate company, Engel & Völkers Snell Real Estate, recently announced its newest partnership with Lifestyle Asset Group, an exclusive vacation home company.

New report affirms the allure of a second home

Luxury Portfolio International's newest report discusses "The Allure of the Second Home" and how affluent buyers are showing interest in resort markets.

Chinowth and Cohen Realtors to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

With more than 65 years’ experience between them, Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, co-founders of Chinowth and Cohen Realtors, have proven to be leaders in the luxury real estate industry.

Home of Dean Martin for Sale

Totaling approximately 27,500 square feet, the massive concrete home with a modern museum-style aesthetic was completed in 1995, and has since replaced the longtime home Dean Martin originally purchased in the 1950s.

Renowned Chef Gastón Acurio is Joining Atlantis, Dubai, in 2020

One of the world’s leading Peruvian restaurants is announced as the latest culinary addition to The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, set to open late 2020.

Pimar Wins Award for Restoration of Ancient Italian Walls

The Italian limestone manufacturing company Pimar won first-place for its restoration of Parco delle Mure Urbiche in the city of Lecce.
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A Castle in Tuscany

Located approximately 25 kilometers from Florence, this magnificent castle for sale occupies an incredibly dominant position and is without doubt one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.

Named Torre Del Castellano, the exact origins of the castle are unknown however documents dating back to the 14th century note the castle within local records. It is believed to have been built around a watchtower, first with a signalling function and then as a garrison, hosting a small group of soldiers for the control of the major roads that linked Florence to Arezzo and Rome.

Throughout the centuries the castle increased its strategic importance as it was located on the southern borders of the Republic of Florence, in an area where the power of noble feudal families was still strong, and where they often took refuge during wars and disputes of the time.

The castle eventually lost its military function and was subsequently transformed into a manor house. As with many other former military buildings located in the countryside, it was later converted into a farm and at that time cellars and an oil mill were established in the basement. After a long period of dilapidation in the first half of the 20th century, the castle was restored by the current owners.

The main tower at a height of 30 metres offers absolutely breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.

The property has all the characteristics to be transformed into a luxury boutique hotel or alternatively it could be used as a stunning private estate. This is a unique opportunity to purchase one of the most impressive castles currently on the market not just in Italy but throughout Europe.

Distances

Florence: 25 km

Arezzo: 50 km

Siena: 70 km

Airports

Florence: 40 km

Pisa: 110 km

Details

Price: Price upon request

Interior: Living Space: Approximately 1,277 square meters

Cellar/Cantina: Approximately 434 square meters

Land: 9 hectares/22-plus acres

Rooms: 26

Bedrooms: 9

Baths: 7

Chapel/Capella: Separate and included in this offering

 

For more information, contact:

Jean Mastagni, Broker Associate

DRE License#00479256

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

36 Tiburon Boulevard

Mill Valley, CA 94941

jeanlmastagni@gmail.com

Office:  415 381-7686

Cell:   415 310-7386

www.jeanmastagni.com

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Luxury in the West

A modern traditional masterpiece of privacy and perfection. An exquisite Mediterranean work of art and appeal. An elegant estate designed with soaring ceilings and refined finishes. Their common denominator? All located in the Lone Star state, and sold through Supreme Auctions, known for accelerating marketing for luxury real estate. See these exclusive sales below. 

Piney Woods Edge – Houston Texas

Piney Woods Edge is a modern traditional masterpiece of privacy and perfection showcasing pristine lines of modern architecture, and the impeccable mastery of Houston’s premier homebuilder, Randy Ratcliff. Each corner of this home is filled with exquisite detail and opulent features. Located in Piney Point Village within the prominent Houston suburbs of the highly desirable Memorial Villages communities, just minutes from the heart of Houston for both business and pleasure. 

Even though the property was located in a highly sought-after community called Piney Point Village in Houston, it lingered on the market for over two years with the listing agent doing all that was available to market the property to potential buyers with little to no activity. Supreme Auctions implemented our 45-day Accelerated Marketing Program which drove prospective buyers to take action.

Catina Hollow – Dallas Texas

Catina Hollow is an exquisite Mediterranean work of art that will dazzle you with its serene setting and abundant appeal. Designed with distinguished architectural elements and refined finishes throughout, this outstanding property is positioned in one of the premier estate neighborhoods in Dallas within the highly sought after Preston Hollow Community. Located a brief 15 minutes from Dallas Love Field Airport and downtown Dallas with all that the city has to offer. 

The property was on the market for about a year and not stimulating any new buyer activity. With summer fast approaching, which is not the best time of year to sell in Dallas, plus the fact that the seller had already purchased another home, they chose an expedited sale with Supreme Auctions. 

Starwood Creek Manor – Frisco Texas

Privately nestled on over an acre, Starwood Creek Manor is an impeccable Traditional estate designed with soaring ceilings and refined finishes throughout. Located within the gated Starwood Community, this exquisite home is positioned overlooking the creek and walking paths with access to the Community amenities. Situated within 25-minutes away from DFW International Airport. 

The property was on the market for a little under a year, during which it received only seven viewings. The listing agent conducted three months of research as to which auction company to select, she contacted Supreme Auctions.

All photos courtesy Supreme Auctions.

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Gazing into Real Estate’s Crystal Ball

©istockphoto.com / Jirsak

The luxury real estate outlook for the coming decade includes understanding millennials and dealing with low inventories.

A new year and a new decade prompts pundits to dust off crystal balls and prognosticate on what’s ahead. But experience teaches us that vision is not always in focus.

To illustrate her perception of luxury in 2020, Stephanie Anton, president of Luxury Portfolio International, points to Pantone’s color of the year, a classic blue symbolizing protection, sustainability, peace and confidence. “That’s exactly how I feel about the market. It’s going to be a peaceful year, solid, with nothing dramatic happening.” 

Others might agree with Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, COO for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, who says, “The U.S. luxury property market has never been as exciting as it is today. While certain real estate markets are currently experiencing some softening, others are seeing an uptick in sales.”

“It’s a time of change,” says Craig Hogan, vice president, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury. In hindsight, there is a good chance 2020 will be viewed not as a year of spectacular sales or an unusually strong market, but rather as pivotal — the year in which millennials became real estate influencers, sparking a transformation more significant and substantive than simply sales or the number of transactions. The turnover from baby boomers to millennials will take more than a decade to complete and will impact all facets of real estate from design to communication to how transactions are conducted.

Looking Back

When the last decade began, there was only one certainty for real estate: we were in a recession, perhaps the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Tentative hints of a recovery arrived with the new year, but as the decade unfolded, it was clear the worst was not over. “Bumping along the bottom” became a catch phrase to characterize the long, slow recovery. By decade’s end, almost all markets were back to or had surpassed pre-recession values. A few became hot markets with a surge of new residential property and skyrocketing values followed by another period of adjustment. Many others bounced by and remained hot markets through the end of the decade. By early 2019, the possibility of another downturn loomed as some economists and housing experts bet a recession was waiting in the wings.

Today, a few clouds hover over some forecasts, but expectations are the economic expansion, the longest in history, will continue. Jobs, the economy and continued low interest rates continue as positives. For real estate, the year ended on an upbeat as markets revived in the second half. Still, a lack of inventory continued to hamstring sales with only a 3.9-month supply of homes on the market at the end of October, down from 4.3 months recording October 2018. Noting that residential construction is still under-building to meet demand, Rover Dietz, NAHB chief economist, points to higher development costs, which, he says, “are hurting affordability and dampening more robust construction growth.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $270,900, up 6.2 percent from October 2018. October’s price increase marks almost eight years, 92 straight months, of year-over-year gains.

The probability of a recession in 2020 is 29 percent, according to 14 housing economists and experts gathered by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in December for a forecast summit. They project a 2.0 percent increase in GDP in 2020 and 1.9 in 2021. Annual median home prices are expected to increase by 3.6 percent in 2020 and 3.5 percent in 2021.

“Real estate is on firm ground with little chance of price declines,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. However, Yun cautioned that lack of inventory, not enough for sale homes to meet demand, was still a detriment. “In order for the market to be healthier, more supply is needed to assume home prices as well as rents do not consistently outgrow income gains,” he explained.

Year-end bought more positives with an increase in builder confidence for single-family construction, the highest point since June 1999, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market index. “Builders are continuing to see the housing rebound that began in the spring, supported by a low supply of existing homes, low mortgage rates and a strong labor market,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Connecticut.

New Markets to Watch

In recent years, a big change has been the migration of luxury to secondary markets such as Denver and Houston. This year, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Nashville, Cincinnati, Boise, and Kansas City were added to the luxury orbit, according to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Looking ahead, John Brian Losh, chairman and publisher of LuxuryRealEstate.com, believes that all of the fundamentals for a positive year for real estate are in place. “I think nationally it couldn’t be better. The economy is booming. It’s an election year, and people don’t want to raise taxes during an election year. It’s rare to have a slowdown during an election year. The luxury market is all about consumer confidence. If confidence is high, the market will stay strong.”

Still, some media reports portray luxury sales in freefall, particularly from Manhattan, which is finding new ground after a mid-decade surge in prices, or L.A.’s tony Westside enclaves, where a spate of speculative development pushed prices to unjustified levels. Yet, Manhattan and Beverly Hills both posted sales that set record prices in 2019. 

I think nationally it couldn’t be better. The economy is booming. It’s an election year, and people don’t want to raise taxes during an election year. It’s rare to have a slowdown during an election year. The luxury market is all about consumer confidence. If confidence is high, the market will stay strong.

John Brian Losh

Chairman & Publisher , LuxuryRealEstate.com

“What’s interesting is what we’re hearing and feeling is not as bad as we hear in the media,” shares Anton, following a recent two-day summit with 15 leading brokers.

Something Meghan Barry, president at LuxuryRealEstate.com, has heard this year from more than a few agents is they are having their best year ever.

While Anton agrees “there is definitely a softening in luxury generally,” she also points out, “There are bright spots. It’s not a horror story. Things are flat year over year, and as we look to the coming year, we think it’s going to be the same.”

Lesli Akers, president, Keller Williams Luxury International, sees the growth of inventory as a positive. “We’re starting to see more supply and we need to. It’s not moving into a buyer’s market. It’s moving more into an adjusted market. I think the luxury market is strong now.”

Heading into 2020, there are also a number of encouraging indicators for luxury from a continued vibrant global market to a surge of demand for second-home and resort properties. “With the creation of new wealth around the world, cities like New York City, London and Dubai, just to name a few, will continue to thrive in the luxury arena,” says Johnson.

London

©istockphoto.com / sborisov

Tokyo

©istockphoto.com / tawatchaiprakobkit

“We have been seeing a strong increase in demand in Dubai’s super-prime segment, with transaction volumes increasing by 81 percent year-to-date in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year. The mainstream market over the same period saw a 2.2-percent decline, although since then the wider market has seen increased transaction volumes, increasing 11.1 percent year-to-date in August over the same period last year,” says Dounia Fadi, chief operating officer, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gulf Properties.

“Some of the hot markets that are emerging globally are Canada, Japan, Portugal and New Zealand,” says LaTorre. “Canada continues to generate strong interest. Specifically, Vancouver, which is steadily regaining momentum, experiencing the greatest gains in year-over-year employment growth among Canada’s three largest census metropolitan areas, so confidence in the city’s fundamentals remains high. There is a strong focus on Tokyo, especially with the Olympic games in 2020. It’s currently on a world spotlight.”

In London, prices are down, and the general property market has slowed. But the luxury market, which Martin Bikhit, managing director at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co. describes as “certainly bottomed out,” is reviving with buyers returning to the market. It’s still a buyers’ market, which creates new opportunities for investors and foreign buyers. Bikhit sees Americans and others from countries with currencies pegged to the U.S. dollar taking advantage of prices and exchange rates offering savings of 45 percent compared to the 2014 market peak.

“International buyers are using the currency play to their advantage and timing their investments accordingly. Therefore, we are seeing a number of international buyers looking to buy in the UK,” says LaTorre. And, she adds, “we’re still seeing foreign interest in the U.S. luxury market.”

Hot luxury locales this year were resort markets, and the passion for get-away properties or the new family gathering spot is not expected to change soon. “The preferences of the consumer have changed dramatically. We’re seeing wealthy millennials are particularly interested in purchasing second homes,” says Anton.

Tax policies also came into play this year in a big way and expectations are they will continue to shape demand and bring more interest to low tax states such as Texas and Florida. Expectations are taxes and government policies will remain motivations for buyers. “The weather, the climate and taxation have a lot to do with where people move, especially in this economy,” says Losh.

Not only are more consumers migrating to lower tax states, but Hogan says an increasing number of agents are licensed in two states such as Illinois and Arizona or New York and Florida. “We have always had people with dual licenses. Now we have agents who have established a presence and market themselves as having offices in two locations.”

Many are also revising their acquisitions too. “People are looking for multiple small properties instead of one large property,” adds Anton.

In the last year and a half, both Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and Luxury Portfolio International conducted research into millennial attitudes and the potential influence of this cohort on luxury market. “The buyer pool has changed. In the luxury space, we’re now faced with people with different expectations, different styles of communication and different experiences,” Hogan says.

Already evidence of the transition from boomers and Gen X to millennials can be seen. By spring 2020, millennials will account for more than 50 percent of all mortgage originations, according to George Raitu, senior economist at Realtor.com. By 2030, Wealth Engine and Coldwell Banker Global Luxury estimate millennials will hold five times as much wealth as they do today.

Currently, the number of wealthy millennials in the luxury market may be small, but they are extremely influential. For one thing, Hogan says, they are buying more real estate than their parents. “They own an average of three homes, while their parents own an average of 1.4, and they’re spending more money.”

Overall, millennials are defying earlier predictions by starting families, moving out of urban neighborhoods and owning cars. What’s ahead is uncertain, but agents and brands are preparing for dramatic changes in the industry overall. 

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE WINTER 2020 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

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Destinations of Interest: Panama

©istockphoto.com / SL_Photography

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Stephanie Villarreal, President and Realtor of Your Panama Real Estate Connection, says that one of the most unique aspects of the country is in their very name — connection. “Panama is very connected … amongst others, Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport is known as the ‘Hub of the Americas,’ making Panama very easy to get to,” she says. The connection also extends into a selling point, especially for American buyers, as Panama uses the U.S. dollar as its currency, unlike other Central and South American countries.

Panama’s accessibility via air and sea helps to deepen its connections internationally. Because of this, according to Villarreal, the country’s diversity is far reaching, as many Americans, Canadians, Europeans and others have chosen Panama as their preferred retirement destination, or have purchased real estate and live either part-time or full-time in the country. A recent real estate trend in Panama also includes more international buyers, particularly from mainland China. “There are many well-known multinational corporations with regional headquarters in Panama City as well as embassies of many countries,” Villarreal notes.

Luckily for interested buyers, there is plenty of inventory in a range of property options. Villarreal and her brokerage work with listings in many regional areas with different unique characteristics, from highland properties and waterfront listings to island living options. Elegant Panama City apartments in luxury residential buildings are especially appealing, created by reputable architects and builders into “property masterpieces.”

These masterpieces continue to grow in number and variety. For example, the exclusive Santa Maria development in Panama City is being further developed — it boasts an 18-hole Nicklaus-design golf course, and the city’s historic district, Casco Viejo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Villarreal also mentions that there are several unique private island options with modern conveniences, including state-of-the-art marinas.

Panama

Stephanie Villarreal

President, Realtor

Your Panama Real Estate Connection

888.899.0019

info@yourpanamaconnection.com

www.YourPanamaConnection.com

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THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

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Supreme Auctions has 100% Success Rate in Houston

Located in Spring Valley Village, this spacious estate sold due to the proprietary Accelerated Marketing Process of Supreme Auctions.

Supreme Auctions announced the recent closed sale of Westview Heights in West Houston, Texas. This luxury home is conveniently located within minutes of Memorial Park, as well as being a short 20-minute drive to Interstate 10, which will put you in the heart of downtown for business, the Galleria, City Center, and Memorial Shopping Center.

The results of Supreme Auctions’ accelerated marketing program for Westview Heights produced over 24,602 unique views to the website from 104 countries and 153 direct inquiries were made about the property. Supreme Auctions also received 11 registered bidders for the estate and the property sold on auction day.

“We are thrilled that the sale of Westview Heights represents our third successful transaction with John Daugherty Realtors in Houston this year,” stated Jennie Heal, President of Supreme Auctions.“With Supreme Auctions’ proprietary sales and marketing efforts, we garnered the attention of motivated buyers for this contemporary estate. In addition, our knowledge of the luxury market allowed for heightened interest and ultimate sale , which elated the seller as this home was on the market traditionally for over two years with little to no activity. The entire Supreme Auctions team is proud of having the highest success rate, at 96%, in the luxury real estate industry this year among all auction companies.” 

“We decided to use Supreme Auctions for our listing because we had heard so many good things about them and they had just finished two auctions within our company, which were very successful,” stated Judy Mousa of John Daugherty Realtors. “The experience with Supreme Auctions was superb, very professional and everything about it was over the top… the marketing, the details, the feedback, and just being able to understand how it all works was wonderful. As an agent, I would definitely recommend Supreme Auctions because we feel like through this experience, not only did we sell and please the seller, but we gained so much more knowledge. There are so many properties right now in our market; we are experiencing a soft market so the high-end luxury homes are sitting longer than we expected them to. With Supreme Auctions, we felt we could get the property sold quickly. If I could give sellers and agents some positive advice, it would be to use Supreme Auctions when you want your property listing sold.”

Photos courtesy of Supreme Auctions

A Guide to the Michelin Guide

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce that both the hotel’s signature restaurants, the Italian Il Ristorante — Niko Romito and the Chinese Bao Li Xuan, have been awarded Michelin stars during the Michelin Guide Shanghai 2020 presentation ceremony.

Tiles Traveling Through Time

Travel through time and admire seven handcrafted designs in the New World Collection designed by Sasha Bikoff for New Ravenna, America’s premier mosaic designer and manufacturer.

Spring Into This Season’s Interior Design Trends

After a long, cold winter, it's time to spruce up your home's interior with spring's latest design trends.

Spruce Up Your Bedroom with 2020’s Color Trends

From dusty lilac to vibrant mango, 2020 is the year of experimenting with color.

Live Your Best Light

If your home's style is feeling a little under the weather, try experimenting with some new lighting. You might be surprised at the life it brings.

How to Add Elegance to Your Bathroom

Elevate your bathroom's appeal by adding a touch of luxury.

Large Windows and How to Dress Them

Large windows are certainly on-trend right now and with good reason. Natural light and unforgettable views are a must-have in the realm of luxury.

Changing with the Seasons

We spoke with luxury landscape designers about how they work through the challenges of the changing seasons and find beauty in the landscape all year long.

Picture Perfect

The right wall decoration can give a home that unique touch that helps further showcase you and your style.

To Ireland With Love

A new color collection from Curator pays homage to the artists of the Emerald Isle.

Declutter Your Space

Start 2020 off right by organizing your space and making room for a decluttered start.

The Art of Writing

Exclusive writing instruments elevate the tradition of putting pen to paper — a ritual technology cannot erase — into fine art

Bedding for a Cause

The Good Sheet, a luxury bedding brand based in Tasmania, Australia partnered with non-profit organization, One Tree Planted, is planting five trees in its home state of Tasmania with every bedding set sold.

Modern Midwestern Makes

These two Midwestern brands, both with a reputation for timeless design, craftsmanship, and innovation, will debut a new collection in January 2020.

Concrete-Inspired Gift Guide

Looking for inspiration this holiday season? Check out this gift guide with an edge. These concrete-inspired items are perfect for your home or office and will stand the test of time to celebrate for years to come.
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An Italian Masterpiece

 

Formerly owned by tenor Titta Ruffo, this astonishing penthouse in Rome, Italy was recently redesigned by “starchitect” Dante Benini to grant the comfort of a yacht.

“The home offers an ancient atmosphere on top of Monti Parioli with modern furnishing mixed with an overall touch of elegance, all of which make you at your ease,” says Andrea Barbera of Coldwell Banker Barbera Group International Real Estate, who is listing the property for 6 million euros.

Offering smashing views, this home features three levels with a private elevator, four bedrooms, five baths and a terrace that is nestled between the rooftop loggia and the turret.

“Visitors enjoy the view of the city because the terrace overlooks the north side of Rome, including Flamino Stadium and Monte Mario,” says Barbera.

 

 

The Ways to Wellness

With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to swing into health and wellness. Envisioning and reflecting on your health goals is a breeze when your home supports and sustains your best self.

Vestige of the Historic Grand Estates of Chicago’s North Shore

With panoramic views of Lake Michigan, this incomparable residence in Winnetka, Illinois remains a vestige of the historic, grand estates of Chicago’s North Shore.

Elegance in Key Largo

This Florida Keys home is the perfect blend of serenity and luxury.

Exquisite Seaside Villa

Through a long-winding and manicured driveway, off of the Old Highway on Plantation Key in Islamorada, FL, this villa sits on two acres facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Oceanfront Luxury in the Cayman Islands

This property is equipped with the luxury, space and beauty of the Cayman Islands.

Virtually New Condo in the Cayman Islands

This luxury condo in the Cayman Islands is one of only 12 condos in a well-established and beautifully maintained complex.

Colonial Revival in Massachusetts

On 4.4 acres on a pristine hilltop in Beverly Massachusetts, this stunning 6,000-square-foot Colonial revival is surrounded by manicured lawns, meadows, extensive gardens and stone patios.

Paradise Living in Panama

With a view of the beach and plenty of bedrooms, this Panama home is the oasis of your dreams.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Penthouse Sets Record for Most Expensive Home Sale in Brooklyn History

A stunning penthouse at Quay Tower just sold for more than $20 million, setting a new record for the most expensive home sale in Brooklyn history.

Under the Radar: North Cyprus and Canada

In honor of our annual Global issue, we highlight areas not always thought of at the top of the luxury real estate list — but they should be.

The Ways to Wellness

With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to swing into health and wellness. Envisioning and reflecting on your health goals is a breeze when your home supports and sustains your best self.

Selling Near the Stars

With neighbors including Sandra Bullock, Ricky Martin and Tony Pritzker, it’s no surprise this Beverly Hills estate recently sold for $42.75 million.

On Location: Haig Point, Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Daufuskie Island offers Southern charm and comfort that can only be found on an island with no bridges.

Footloose Fortunes

While the pace of wealth creation may be slowing, the story now is how it’s spreading around and prompting change in real estate markets around the globe.

The Aloha Spirit

Experts say it’s the perfect time to buy in Hawaii. But when isn’t it?

Travel in 2020

Unique Homes and Tourradar.com have rounded up all the buzziest destinations for the year ahead so you can start planning your next great adventure in 2020!

A Castle in Tuscany

Located approximately 25 kilometers from Florence, this magnificent castle for sale is one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Lady Globetrotters

Though not the case for all, more female travelers are breaking away from stereotypical female-catered trips and pursuing high-intensity travel experiences

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