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Property Sale Prices & Celebrities

4 June 2017

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Britney Spears mansion for sale

Pop princess Britney Spears is saying "I Wanna Go" away from this Thousand Oaks mansion

In Greece it is normal in rather large scale development project to either offer for free or next to nothing a unit, e.g. house, to a celebrity, in order to attract as an addition the sort of people who want to live “next” to a celebrity. The celebrity gets the property next to nothing, but then there is a good percentage of locals that are attracted because of this and who are prepared to pay a premium depending on how close is one to the celebrity’s house. For our part and living in Cyprus for so many years, we never place an added value on such occasions, but then we are proven wrong. There are all sorts of celebrities, the international ones and the locals. Perhaps we could place a value if (excuse our ignorance on the names) say Madonna buys in a project, Lady Gaga etc, but to have a point of reference, local names is quite different.

In a project in Limassol, which comprises of a most attractive apartment block, next to the beach, the developer had 60% of the units unsold within six months during the year 2009. Suddenly we are informed that only 30% is left unsold. Asking for the reason of such an upsurge in sales during these difficult times, we were informed that two well known Greek singers (male and female) and one composer all born in Cyprus “bought”. That was enough reason to lure the type of people who like this sort of thing. Hence the sales. In Greece in a project that we were managing, we were approached by a celebrity’s agent to offer a house gift to her and in exchange we could use her name in the adds and even for her to make a few appearances in the common club/pool. We turned the offer down (price of the wanted gift approximately €1 mil.) – A mistake on our part? She bought in another location with similar terms and that project is now everywhere in the popular gossip magazines, whereas through the celebrity a private TV. channel has produced a series of “chat and sing” programmes on spot. This is showing our outdated [?] age and should we place a value on such a nature of “buyers” we would place a value to politicians mainly such as Bill Clinton and even Tony Blair (the latter with his holidays at Tuscany in Italy made Tuscany even more popular for the British politicians, high income earners and others. His example has been followed by David Cameron adding value to the area and causing rental and capital prices to increase accordingly.

Even the restaurants that the British Prime Minister visit are a point of reference advertised as such in the menu and the local press (***Prime Minister of the U.K. preferable dish). We have reported in this column in the past of another celebrity (doctor) with his own t.v. program in the U.K. who was promoting a project at Pafos [retirement homes]. Using huge U.K. adds he says “If I could have this on the N.H. I would have certainly subscribe it”.

On another note a huge project under development at the Protaras area comprising of 250 units, accommodating all sorts of sports facilities, club etc, is promoted by an international U.K. footballer. You might think who cares, but then you will be also wrong. It appears that people with money not affected by the recessionary situation are also the sports people who, not only earn money in amounts difficult to spend, but there are so many “crazy” others who place a special value being close to and having a glism of their favorite stars they are willing to pay (we must admit that if Beckham was at the project’s bar, we would have done our best to say a hello, but not pay extra say €20.000 for an apartment). The same celebrity bought a house at Palm Island - Dubai - with good promotional results.

The celebrity’s name is important in most other countries and in a recent search in London the agent stressed repeatedly that in the apartment block once belonged to Sir Lawrence Olivier (of the Lawrence of Arabia fame). Keeping in the holiday spirit we have asked several of our staff and friends how much they value in terms of paying a premium for an apartment had he/she (celebrity) bought there or lived there in the past: The priorities were:

  • Winston Churchill (history lovers)

  • Mitterran (human rights activists)

  • Karamanlis (reminiscence of Greek better times)

  • Hitler (wants to have an income from visitors)

  • Bill Clinton (sexy approach)

  • Beckham (sporty types)

  • Vissi / Theophanous (dreamers)

  • Berlusconi (beautiful women around)

  • Sean Connery (machio types)

For my part (Antonis Loizou) I could place some value in an apartment where Elton John lives, provided he did not practice his piano while I was there, but then others will pay anything for a next door apartment just to get a hello. Elton John stayed at Anassa Hotel special suite – as did Tom Jones. We understand that since then the suite has a special premium for those guests who want to get the “aura” of these artists.

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