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【The Business Times】Great time for billionaires to splurge on real estate

【The Business Times】Great time for billionaires to splurge on real estate

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IT'S a billionaire's delight: in a market awash in luxury properties and buyers more skittish about parting with their cash, brokers are working harder to close mega-deals. That sometimes means discounts, and even the super-rich like a bargain.

"Pricing was a little high, so we went through a correction," said Alexander Ali, an external spokesman for Nile Niami, the movie-producer-turned-developer of multi-million dollar mansions in Los Angeles. With lower prices, Mr Ali is predicting that "a lot of homes will close in the next month". Consider this example of the Los Angeles market's new dynamic, which has relied heavily on buyers from overseas.

Mr Ali held an invitation-only open house for a six-bedroom mansion on Londonderry Place up the hill from Sunset Strip built by Niami. Exotic pool dancers and a camel showed up - the event cost US$100,000 - but the asking price was still lowered by 36 per cent to US$34.95 million. The developer's portfolio includes a US$44 million home, which the local media reported was sold to a Saudi buyer.

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