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    This $100 Million Private Island in the Bahamas Comes Fully Furnished and Move-In Ready

    Why own a vacation home when you can have a whole island? Those looking to really get away from it all this winter are in luck, as Little Pipe Cay, a private island in the Bahamas, has hit the market once again for $100 million. No small price, and $15 million more than the property was going for when it was first listed in 2018.

    What justifies the uptick in price? Simply put, owning an island is now more appealing than ever. Many left major cities behind for more far-flung locales last year during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that interest doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Little Pipe Cay has some geographical advantages compared to other isles too, as it’s located in the 350-island Exumas archipelago. So it’s not far from Miami, should you ever want to hop over to the city for a long weekend.

    One of the residences 

    Photo: Lifestyle Production Group

    The 40-acre island is more built out than most others on the market, too, instead of just being an undeveloped piece of land: Six of the structures come fully furnished and are move-in ready. The main residence, for instance, is 5,300 square feet and has a primary bedroom with dual bathrooms and walk-in closets. Nearby is a separate structure for entertaining, which features a dining area, a pub, a spa and a gym. There are four guest houses on the property, plus storehouses and staff quarters. The island’s current infrastructure can be credited to investor and businessman Michael Dingman, who previously owned the property, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

    A living room 

    Photo: Brett Davis

    Of course, as incredible as a property like this one is, upkeep doesn’t come cheap. Running costs total about $1.5 million, though there’s room to turn it into a money-making venture. The future owner could transform the place into a resort, similar to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, and turn a profit.

    Homes on the island combine indoor and outdoor living 

    Photo: Brett Davis

    Or you can keep it to yourself. The area’s crystalline waters and scenic vistas are certainly worth having access to year-round.
    Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes of Douglas Elliman hold the listing. Check out more photos of the island below:

    One of the bedrooms 

    Photo: Brett Davis

    A lounge area 

    Photo: Brett Davis

    The pool 

    Photo: Lifestyle Production Group

    One of the beaches 

    Photo: Lifestyle Production Group More

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    The Lavish Lake Como Villa from ‘House of Gucci’ Is Coming to Airbnb—for One Lucky Guest

    “House of Gucci” hits theaters today, and if you want to live like Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci (played by Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, respectively), you’re in luck: One of the family homes featured in the film is now available for an overnight stay via Airbnb for $1,125—but only for one lucky booker.

    The grand Lake Como residence stars as Aldo Gucci’s home in the film. Gucci was the chairman of the fashion house from 1953 to 1986; he was the eldest son of founder Guccio Gucci. A wide shot of the home’s facade appears within the first 15 seconds of the trailer.

    The living room 

    Photo: Bruno Erhs

    Outside of the Ridley Scott drama, the mansion is known as Villa Balbiano. According to the Airbnb listing, it’s one of the largest private residences on Lake Como. It was originally built for Tolomeo Gallio, an Italian cardinal, at the end of the 16th century. Angelo Maria Durini, another cardinal, took over the property a century later and used it as a party pad where he hosted many lavish festivals and banquets.

    Many of the art and antiques found in the home were sourced from Christie’s and Sotheby’s. 

    Photo: Bruno Erhs

    Today the home is still a remarkable place to live (or to throw an over-the-top party). There are frescoes on the wall that date back to the 17th century by brothers Giovanni Battista Recchi and Giovanni Paolo Recchi, as well as ones by Agostino Silva. Many of the collectible furnishings and artworks that decorate the residence were sourced from Christie’s and Sotheby’s. 

    One of the bedrooms 

    Photo: Bruno Erhs

    The home has six suites altogether, and each was designed by revered French architect Jacques Garcia. Outside there’s a pool, plus a private pier and boathouse for those who want to spend time out on Lake Como’s picturesque waters.

    One of the bathrooms 

    Photo: Bruno Erhs

    The catch? You’ll only be able to book the place for one night. The Airbnb host is making the Italian villa available on March 30, 2022, for one guest and a plus one to spend the night in the primary suite. Bookings open on December 6 at 12 pm EST, so if you see “House of Gucci” between now and then and have your heart set on the home, best mark your calendar.

    Check out more photos of the villa below: More

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    Barings Announces £250m Real Estate Mandate

    Barings has announced a £250m real estate debt mandate with The Phoenix Group for its matching adjustment portfolio.
    In partnership with Phoenix, Barings will build a portfolio of investment grade buy and hold UK commercial mortgage loan assets across a range of commercial property sectors, including industrial, residential and offices across Greater London and regional locations. The facilities will have a term of between five and 50 years and Phoenix will look to match the cashflows and duration of the assets against the profile of its annuity liabilities.
    Barings has already agreed its first deal for the new mandate, a £30m first mortgage loan on a 30 year term secured against a mixed used office and retail property on Tottenham Court Road, London, with a loan to value below 50%.
    Barings head of real estate debt for Europe & Asia-Pacific Sam Mellor said: “To have secured this mandate with a leading institution such as Phoenix is a reflection of the strength of our real estate business in Europe. We have steadily built a strong track record in the space and the ability to source off market opportunities as well as draw on our expertise as an owner and developer of real estate assets positions us well.
    He added: “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Phoenix as they build their exposure to this asset class. The insurance market is strategically important to our business and we have a long history of managing capital for insurers, with Phoenix’s focus on customer outcomes and sustainability aligning closely with our own priorities. The Phoenix mandate also aligns with our wider UK debt strategy targeting loan sizes of between £30m and £200m and diversified across the UK geographically and by asset class. As the banks retrench from the UK lending market, we continue to see a healthy pipeline of opportunities. Through this relationship we look forward to delivering strong returns to match Phoenix’s liabilities. Our performance in 2020, despite the challenging market environment, has put us in a good position as we look to grow our loan book this year in the UK and across Europe.”
    The Phoenix Group head of manager oversight James Mitchell added: “We are delighted to establish this partnership with Barings with the first deal for this UK Real Estate Debt mandate. The Barings team’s experience and expertise in this asset class were clearly differentiated during our selection process and we are looking forward to working with the team to help facilitate our growing needs in this asset class. Our ability to work with our Asset Management Partners to deliver high quality UK Real Estate Debt assets is only increased with the addition of the Barings partnership.” More

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    Stamp duty changes spur rise in interest from overseas buyers

    Mortgage searches by advisers around visas and non-UK residents has seen a significant rise according to Legal & General Mortgage Club. Data from the SmartrCriteria tool, which helps advisers to determine whether a particular lender would consider a mortgage application from their client, shows that criteria searches related to ‘visas’ were ranked as the most searched term at the end of July.
    Throughout July, mortgage searches by advisers for ‘expats not in the UK’ also featured in the top 10 search terms, whilst a search combination of ‘expat not in the UK’ and ‘foreign income’ has remained in the top five searches by advisers. According to the data, one in every 22 residential searches is for a query relating to an applicant currently on a visa or an expat not based in the UK.
    The data also suggests that a growing number of overseas buyers are also reacting to recent changes to stamp duty, which include a 2% surcharge for non-UK buyers beginning in April 2021. SmartrCriteria searches related to applicants on a visa showed a 146% for buy-to-let searches, as well as 97% for residential criteria enquiries since May 2020. Of the residential visa searches made in July by advisers, 88% of applicants have a Tier 2 or other working visa and the majority (71%) have been in the UK for two years or more.
    The rise in visa-related enquiries coincides with increased interest from Hong Kong-based buyers as they turn their attention to the UK housing market. Recent industry data has shown a surge in demand from Hong Kong based buyers, which could grow further following the Government’s announcement on 22nd July of a new route to citizenship for 300,000 British National Overseas passport holders.
    Kevin Roberts, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Britain’s housing market is bucking the trend and has faced unprecedented levels of demand since reopening in May, and now figures show that a growing number of overseas buyers are also taking interest in UK property. Our SmartrCriteria tool is tracking some of the key industry trends in the mortgage market’s new normal and shows recent announcements from the Government have clearly gained the attention of non-UK based buyers. Many are now looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday while also investing in the market before the 2% surcharge for overseas customers takes effect.
    “Our latest figures also coincide with increased interest from Hong Kong buyers, who are now looking to the UK housing market as a ‘safe haven’ amidst political uncertainty in the territory.
    “There is an opportunity for advisers to support many of these buyers, particularly if they have little to no credit history in the UK. Lending criteria is changing every day in the mortgage market at the moment, and advisers will be key in helping these borrowers and others to cut through the noise and find the best product for their particular circumstances.” More

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    Cities with biggest rise in residential prices revealed

    Manila and Budapest saw the strongest rise in annual price growth year-to-date and in Q1 2020 respectively, according to the latest Global Residential Cities Index from Knight Frank. Manila leads the annual rankings for the second consecutive quarter, with price growth of 22% in the year to March 2020, with Budapest following closely behind at […] More

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    13 Spectacular Hamptons Summer Houses That Are Still Available to Rent

    Courtesy of Douglas Elliman New Yorkers, anxious at the best of times, are having an especially angst-ridden year. For those free from health or employment woes, What-To-Do-About-Summer has been a mounting source of anxiety—especially for working parents facing months without camps or nannies. The classic Hamptons rental season, bookended by the Memorial and Labor Day […] More

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    Luxe Rentals in the Hamptons Skyrocket as the Wealthy Look to Quarantine Away From the City

    “People were calling on a Wednesday and wanting move in by Friday. They’d sign the lease, wire the funds and be on their way,” says Gary DePersia, noted Corcoran broker who has specialized in Hamptons’ luxury real estate for over 25 years. “It started in mid-March when people realized there would be a shutdown. The calls haven’t stopped.” […] More

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    As Sales of Second Homes Collapse, Sellers Hunker Down for the Long Haul

    For those living in cramped, Covid-infested cities, vacation homes are worth more than gold. In the US, anyone who has one is living there right now. In countries with a stricter lockdown, retreating to a rural weekend bolthole is less straightforward—Scotland’s chief medical officer had to resign on Monday after being given a police warning […] More