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$50-million and up

…Jonathan Miller, chief executive of New York real estate appraisal firm, Miller Samuel Inc., shares “The trophy property has become a new market category that does not follow the rules and dynamics of the overall marketplace….

…The $50-million home, once a castle in the air, is now becoming less shocking to prospective buyers. Mr. Miller says, ”I’m at the point where I’m calling this a new category of housing.”…

…Whatever the asking price, these exclusive homes can’t solely be defined by money alone. Mr. Miller says that these “are unique properties that attract global interest.” As the rich get richer so does the likelihood of more record breaking real estate sales. Mr. Miller suggests the driving force might be long term investment, “while the sale of trophy properties early on in this three year phenomenon may have helped start the trend, the key driver is the search for capital preservation by the world’s wealthy”….

… Mr. Miller explains,” Luxury real estate has morphed into a new world currency that provides investors with both a tangible asset and a cachet that cannot be found within the financial markets. Think of the houses as the world’s most expensive safety deposit boxes.”…

…“Unique hard assets like real estate, vintage cars, watches, art, etc, are part of this trend,” Mr. Miller says….

…With the international credit crisis and volatile political tone of the world these days, Mr. Miller concludes these are factors that are going to “remain unchanged over the next few years and the U.S. luxury housing market is expected to remain a safe haven for investors for quite some time.”…

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