Monthly Archives: September 2020

Opulent Seychelles Hotels Blend Luxury and Beauty

Seychelles is the jewel in the crown of Indian Ocean. The destination is teeming with panoply of lavish accommodations that justly cater to leisure travellers who grab tickets on flights for sampling the blend of beauty and luxury.

Seychelles is a well-known luxury destination. Impeccably laced with tranquil, white sand beside the ever-running, topaz waters and a great deal of lavish properties, the destination receives fair share of pleasure seekers who book tickets on flights for staying in the lap of luxury and natural splendour.

Maia Luxury Resort & Spa

The plush resort soothes the senses with acme of opulence. Conveniently located in scenic Anse Louis, it offers something beyond picturesque vistas and apt accommodation. Boasting acres of utterly verdant gardens and pampering with peerless services, the property is flawlessly designed to suit the needs of every sybarite who buy tickets aboard flights for landing in a heaven called Seychelles. One can opt from wide selection of villas including Maia Signature; Ocean Front; Ocean Panoramic and Ocean View Villas. Each villa is intricately adorned with svelte designs and has its own set of advantages. Its remarkable spa is a place of rediscovery and pampers with top-notch therapies and beauty treatments. Furthermore, the fine dining option of the resort guarantees a gastronomic pleasure with Creole, French, contemporary and Mediterranean cuisines. Unsurprisingly, staying at this posh accommodation is the most foolproof way for getting the maximum bangs for bucks invested on vacations and airline tickets for arriving in Seychelles.

Constance Ephelia

Perched on the island of Mahé and facing the reputed Port Launay National Marine Park, Ephélia is hospitality personified! It has emerged as a popular stamping ground among adventure travellers grabbing tickets aboard country bound flights. Lured by its extreme lavishness and great diving and snorkelling opportunities, hordes of divers and snorkelers prefer to stay at Constance Ephelia. And the enchanting property goes the extra mile to offer something for every level. Its diving school offers beginners’ courses, wreck dives and night dives. The wide-ranging accommodation options like junior suites and family villas brim with all the essentials for rewarding experience. It also features a wonderful Spa de Constance that blends the healing traditions of East and West. Certainly, travellers who are taking flights to travel to the nation would do themselves a world of good by lodging at Constance Ephelia in Seychelles.

Four Seasons Resort

Its not often you come across resort where once-in-a-lifetime vistas of the Indian Ocean come packed with sincere, sophisticated services and unmatched lavishness. You’ll find it all at Four Seasons, the beguiling property set in the Petite Anse, Baie Lazare in the middle of marvels of nature. Tree-top villas, pristine beaches and superlatives service all blend here to portray your idea of seventh heaven. The blissful experience of lodging at this magnificent property is surly worth the cost of air tickets and room tariffs. There are over 67 room retreats, nestled in the middle of sheer verdancy close to the seaside gems of the Indian Ocean. Visitors spending on flights and staying at Four Seasons in Seychelles can enjoy the refined interiors and outdoor spaces built in bewitching Creole style. Dining at its gourmet restaurant is all about regaling the palate with the ultimate in Mediterranean, Southeast Asian and Creole-inspired cuisines. ZEZ and Kannel are the two sophisticated eateries for indulging in royal treat.

Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree, located on the scenic south-western coastline of Mahé Island is renowned to roll out the red carpet and mollycoddle guests with the best of luxury. It boasts 60 elegantly Creole-style villas combining the Seychellois architecture and hospitality. Offering a fine set of facilities and amenities like refined restaurants, plenty of outdoor gambols including kayaking, nature walk, cooking classes, fishing, birding and beach sports, it is apparent that the property leaves no stone unturned when it comes to spoiling the guests with choices. Banyan Tree Spa remains a star attraction where experienced therapists devote time and special care to provide marvellous treatments and therapies based on Asian healing traditions. All in all, the tropical haven has everything what it takes to satiate the whims and wishes of even the judicious travellers who make tickets reservation for international flights and take vacations in this exotic archipelago.

Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove

Last but not the least, Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove in Beau Vallon Bay on the north side of Mahe Island, remains a popular choice of sophisticated vacationers. Honoured as “Seychelles Leading Resort” at The World Travel Awards, the hotel truly understands the needs and expectations of visitors and provides high level of satisfaction. It features an array of rooms and suites that are uniquely designed to meet the desires of honeymooners and families. Couples can escape to comfortable retreats with king-size bed and private balcony offering picturesque views of Beau Vallon Beach. Families can happily stay and take advantage of various recreational activities offered by the hotel. There is a Fitness & Spa centre boasting a gym, steam bath, massage rooms with open-air showers and Zen Spa offering wide choices of beauty treatments and massages. With all this much more, it enjoys a special place on the travel trail of swarms of holidaymakers who spend on tickets for flights to enjoy holidays in Seychelles.

Why Gurgaon Has a Good Scope for Residential Projects in 2016

Some of the best residential projects are happening in the city of Gurgaon in the next 12 months. As the real estate market picks back up and the Indian economy continues to recover, this is one of the premier regions to find the best deals and most beautiful properties on the market. Here are a few reasons by Gurgaon should be your real estate destination in 2016.

1. A Wide Range of Options

One of the best aspects of Gurgaon real estate is the fact that there are many different types of homes available in varying townships. If you’re looking to spend a lot of money for luxury, you’ll be able find such an environment as easily as you can affordable housing. According to the Real Estate Times, the two types of buyers that have emerged in Gurgaon recently are those looking for residential property versus specifically luxury properties. Well-known real estate developer Unitech has recently put down new residential projects in Gurgaon that features luxury amenities. Not only do these types of townships boast the usual services, such as club houses, open green spaces, and excellent access to major roadways, but there’s another level of luxury now offered.

The Ivy Terraces, for example, are a group of properties situated within Wildflower Country and boast access to self-contained services such as schools, nursing homes, shopping areas, banks, and taxi stands. Luxury housing these days is an up and coming commodity, and if you’re looking for a wide array of options from which to choose, look no further than the townships and new projects in Gurgaon.

2. View from the Top

Don’t forget that although you may find a gorgeous flat to live in, you don’t want to forego natural beauty either. According to India Homes, one of the strongest reasons why Gurgaon projects are a good bet for investment is the fact that many apartments offer attractive views of the bucolic landscapes that surround the Millennium City. Properties are located within a more open setting than a city such as clogged and sometime claustrophobic nearby Delhi. Although larger cities and their surrounding suburbs are known for being major business capitals, Gurgaon has the best of both worlds. You can go to work in the Millennium City, or commute to a job in a larger city nearby, but then go home to both a beautiful, luxurious township filled with greenery. This is helpful in leading a life that’s balanced between personal enjoyment and peace, and hard work in your professional life.

3. The Economic Forecast Is Sunny

Gone are the dark days of the recession that were full of doubts and insecurities about the future as the national economy continues to improve. In fact, real estate experts reported to Business Today at the end of last year that it’s time to start investing again, especially due to the fact that prices in certain areas, including Gurgaon, have lowered due to various market factors. If you’re looking to get in on the ground floor to buy some of the best residential projects for 2016, Gurgaon is one of the safest areas in which to invest. Whether you’re seeking luxury or simply a decent home for an affordable price, the outlook in terms of investments and return are looking increasingly better as time goes on. Given that the current national government is also especially interested in expanding and fostering business and economic growth, there’s never been a better time to get back on the real estate bandwagon.

4. Developments Slated for 2016

The Hindustan Times reports that, due to Gurgaon’s rapid growth in spheres ranging from industry, business, and urbanization, it has the potential to become a forerunner in cities that are capable of self-financing. It’s a city on the rise, and the continuous growth of the corporate sector and companies setting down roots has ensured a steady flow of jobs, structure, and has served as a draw for many different types of property buyers. This includes everyone from expats to middle class professionals looking for a good property investment that will retain its value. Next year is shaping up to be a good year for many sectors, including the real estate market. Gurgaon itself is also continuing to meet many expectations of its residents, and growth hasn’t slowed down so far in 2015.

The year 2016 is slated to be an exciting time for the real estate market in India and new residential projects in Gurgaon, with new interest generated in emerging properties and reputable developers continuing progress in prime areas. The more buyers who are interested in these homes, the more demand will meet supply. Although the entire country experienced serious economic setbacks, as did the rest of the world in the past few years, recovery will continue into 2016. Act now to get in on some of the best deals in the real estate world, especially in fast growing locations like the Millennium City, and reap the rewards in years to come.

London and Monaco are Europe’s Most Expensive Cities For Residential Property Buyers

Closely on its tail is Prime Central London, where 120 sq. m. super-luxury apartments can cost £1,170,000 or £9,750 per square metre (sq. m.) (in Euro: €1,742,656, or €14,522 per sq. m.). Apartments of 120 sq. m. in other luxury areas of Central London are likely to cost £580,000 or £4,833 per sq. m. (€863,880 or €7,199). The large difference is explained by London’s highly segmented top-end market, with super-luxury apartments in absolutely prime areas commanding considerable premiums.

Paris and Amsterdam follow London. A 120 sq. m. apartment in either of these cities has an average purchase price of €800,000 (€6,667 per sq. m.).

Moscow is Europe’s sixth most expensive capital for buyers of residential property. And though apartments in Moscow can be rather rewarding for buyers in terms of rental income returns, investors should be aware of the high risks (purchases are cash-based, and the authorities can suddenly turn hostile).

Dublin makes an appearance among Europe’s most expensive cities in 10th place, with a high end 120 sq. m. apartment on average costing around €600,000.

The Baltics, till recently Europe’s hottest residential investment destination, are now expensive. A high-end apartment in Central Vilnius, Lithuania will cost on average around €3,792 per sq. m (€455,000 for 120 sq. m.). Latvia follows closely with high-end apartments in Central Riga costing an average of €3,020 pr sq. m. Rental yields in the Baltics have also dropped to very low levels.

There are still some very inexpensive capitals in Europe. Berlin, in particular (€3,167 per sq. m.), is now experiencing inflows of foreign money in response to its relatively low prices. But much less expensive are Slovakia’s Bratislava (€1,292 per sq. m.); Warsaw, Poland (€1,175 per sq. m.); Skopje in Macedonia (€1,125 per sq. m.) and Chisinau in Moldova (€917 per sq. m.). It is to be expected that foreign buying in some of these capitals will accelerate.

Rental returns are falling

The rental returns on owning apartments in Europe vary greatly – from around 14.13% in Moldova’s capital Chisinau, to 2.43% in Monaco. The trend is for rental income returns to fall, because rents are not keeping pace with prices anywhere in Europe. As 2007 dawns, rental returns are lower in most locations than they have been for 20 or more years.

To some extent rental returns appear to correlate with risk. Most of Europe’s ‘high yielding’ countries are in the East. Apartments in four Eastern European capitals earn above 10% rental returns: Chisinau, Moldova (14.13%); Warsaw, Poland (13.28%); Sofia, Bulgaria (10.56%); and Bratislava, Slovakia (10.06%). The higher risks of the East may be a factor in these returns (high corruption, political risks).

But risks are not the only factor. The Global Property Guide believes that the relatively recent arrival of the market economy, high interest rates, and relatively undeveloped mortgage markets. To illustrate, it would surely be hard to label the historic city of Bratislava, Slovakia, as a high-risk location, yet the rental income returns are excellent.

Western Europe generally suffers from another, different disadvantage: High taxation. There are high rental income returns to be earned in Amsterdam and Paris (8.25% in both), in Munich (7.80%) and Brussels (7.53%). But all four cities are high tax environments.(Poland and Moldova are also high tax for rental income.)

Property in Prime Central London returns surprisingly high rental yields, at 7.13%. Note that this “Prime” category encompasses relatively a narrow group of super-luxury apartments in absolutely prime areas (Belgravia, Chelsea, and Knightsbridge). The high returns in these select locations contrast with the significantly lower rental yields (5.79%) available in Central London’s other luxury areas (Kensington, Bayswater, Notting Hill Gate, St Johns Wood, Highgate, Islington, Highbury, and Primrose Hill).

Rental returns cannot fall forever

Nowhere in Europe are rents keeping pace with the continued rise in property prices. This is cause for concern. At the Global Property Guide, we informally consider a danger signal to be rental returns of around 4% or below.

Several European capitals offer rental income yields around or below this 4% level. An example is Madrid, where rental returns are now at only 3.15%.

See the tables at: [http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/articleread.php?article_id=82&cid]

Tips To Find The Best Apartments for Sale in Colombo

Understanding The Market For Apartments For Sale And How To Decide On The Type Of Property You Would Want To Own In Colombo

Popularity Of Apartments For Sale

With the growth of the economy in Sri Lanka, there has been an increased focus on the real estate market within the island as well. Due to the higher concentration of development occurring closer to the capital city Colombo, it has also increased the demand for property either for purchase or rent in the vicinity. But such rapid developments and increased demand has also led to a scarcity of free land available. Since the need to buy home properties has to be provided with a solution, many leading apartment builders have begun several projects to provide potential homeowners with viable solutions to choose from. This sort of developments is supported by statistics that indicate that the entire Western province covers only 6% of the country’s land areas but close to 28% of the population seek to make their homes in the area.

Since this trend has been on the rise during the past few years, now you can find many apartments for sale and also apartments for short term rent that can be chosen according to your requirements. There are also several good houses for sale available in nearby areas but due to the high prices, they are not suitable for many interested homebuyers. In terms of apartments there are broadly two categories, namely, luxury apartment projects and micro apartments available for consideration.

Types Of Apartments For Sale

Popularity of luxury apartment projects

In previous times, real estate agents and property developers focused more on offering stand-alone houses for sale. But now, with the limitations highlighted above, these developers have looked to offer those who want to buy home units the option of choosing from luxury apartments. It has been found that the demand to buy apartment that fall into the luxury category comes from the Sri Lankan community as well as foreigners. Such investments made in relation to own properties in Colombo area have also shown high increase in popularity. As per the statistics gathered up until 2015, there have been close to over 2600 luxury apartment units and it is further estimated that this number could reach close to 6000 units by 2019. Such luxury units are also found to be available for those who wish to rent an apartment, giving rise to more and more apartments for short term rent being offered.

Potential for micro apartments in Sri Lanka

Another alternative to houses for sale is the availability of real estate in the form of micro apartments. Many apartment builders have also invested in such projects that have been in high demand among those who want to buy apartment space in Colombo. The target market for this type of property has actually found appeal among the affluent customers who might even want a luxury apartment as well as middle-income individuals who want to invest in such a home for them. Similar to the above category, this type of housing solutions are also available as apartments for short term rent for those who are unable to buy home units by making an outright purchase and therefore look to rent an apartment instead. This opens up the possibility for more home seekers to get closer to their dream of owning a home in a prime city location.

Choosing Between Apartments And Houses For Sale

When you consider purchasing such properties you should be prepared for making the investment. The main decision you would need to make would be in relation to whether you actually want to buy apartment space or you still would like to look out to buy home in the form of a separate house. As a primary consideration when you invest in real estate you would need to decide on the space or size of home. Normally houses in Sri Lanka tend to cover about 2700 sq ft while an apartment would generally fall in the range of 1000 to 1500 sq ft. In addition apartments tend to offer additional services such as security, cleaning, waste disposal and other recreational facilities that are normally not available with separate housing units. But on the other hand, you might want to consider the following that are normally not available with apartments.

  • When you buy apartments you will get a limited parking slot allocation
  • Modifications are not possible
  • Most apartment complexes have restrictions on owning pets
  • Your possibility of engaging in gardening activities is very minimal

Considering When To Rent An Apartment

Due to the various requirements of homeowners there are several other options made available in terms of being able to rent an apartment. Many individuals who would be looking at living in small living spaces for short periods of time can consider finding apartments for short term rent. Since there is a high portion of the population that need to find accommodation to travel to work and for other arrangements in the city limits, this has become more of a financially viable option many prefer. Depending on the requirement you could even arrange to extend the rental period once agreed with the renter. This is also a great way to check whether you can adjust to an apartment style living. If the lifestyle appeals to you, with time, you could also consider owning an apartment of your own.

To cater to much of the demand to wanting to buy apartment properties, there have been several investors and developers who have taken interest in developing projects which are in demand for this market. Among these companies there are several reputed apartment builders operating in the island that have produced several leading apartment projects and have several others lined up as future projects.

The Perks of Living in a Luxury Neighborhood in Hawaii

With its scenic terrains and seascape, a rich culture, and an easygoing vibe, the Aloha State easily lands a spot among the list of favorite vacation destinations around the world. To enjoy the best of Hawaii, find a luxury neighborhood, and savor these important perks of living the high life:

Spectacular views

Developers of luxury neighborhoods invest in the most sought after locations to be able to provide future property owners the best views. Many estates even come with unobstructed views which can never be taken away. Residents can then wake up to dramatic views of the ocean, the sunset, the mountains, or a golf course – often from different rooms of the same house! Imagine yourself strolling through your own house, cottage, condo or resort property with such a grand panoramic view.

Access to exclusive clubs

Residents of luxury neighborhoods like those found in Kukio and Mauna Lani can easily gain access to highly exclusive clubs for sports favored by the affluent, especially golf. These clubs offer top-class amenities, from splendid golf courses and spas, to open air bars and dining pavilions, just like in Kukio Golf and Beach Club. Most also provide dedicated concierge staff, and invites to special events throughout the year.

Round the clock security

Exclusive neighborhoods in Hawaii are very secure places to live in. They are gated communities, often with 24-hour manned security at the entrance – as in the case of Hualalai Resort – and security guard patrol services. Others, like The Bluffs at Mauna Kea, make residents and guests go through an electronic gate. Additionally, the individual luxury estates can only be accessed by driving through private, paved roads.

Membership in a private, close-knit community

Living in an exclusive neighborhood brings people together into one community, where they can share their similar interests, be it in the field of business, sports, art, music, or philanthropy, through festivals, benefit galas, and other events. Like Michael Dell and Egon Durban who discussed their important business deal for leading tech company Dell while walking about the Kukio Club grounds, or Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson who played poker together in their commune, neighbors in Hawaii luxury neighborhoods enjoy the Aloha State together.

Best of the outdoors

There are just so many activities to choose from and breathtaking places to visit, often located just a few steps from the swankiest communities in Hawaii. These include snorkeling, yachting, horseback riding, or flying, or simply walking by the beach. Truly, luxury neighborhoods in Hawaii are the ideal home for those with huge love for the outdoors and the island life.

Buying A House In A Safe And Comfortable City

Buying a new house can be a difficult task because there are so many intricate factors to consider. You must assess your budget, investigate the community, and most importantly make sure your children and family can enjoy the home. You want the home to be strategically placed in a location that’s perfect for your various needs. However, buying a new home will provide much fulfillment if you find a house that matches your expectations.

There is a Real Estate Group in Utah named CedarCityHouse that can meet all of your home buying expectations. You will experience benefits such as famous tourist attractions, various recreational parks, and a thriving economy. Utah is also one of the safest states in America with a plethora of excellent parks and outdoor activities to enjoy. The communities are generally inhabited by friendly people who do not like crime. Utah should definitely be one of the top states on the list for your new home purchase.

One city that has a warm and welcoming community is Cedar City. Cedar City, Utah provides quality housing and neighborhoods for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds. The city is known as “Festival City USA” because of the seventeen events and festivals it offers for its residents and visitors. You can visit Cedarcityhouse.com for a dream home; you will get important advice and information about the latest real estate market conditions. You can also get other important info about nearby listings, schools, and businesses, local info, demographics, housing details, etc.

While you will find it easy to find homes for sale in Cedar City, Utah, you should observe important home buying guidelines. Some guidelines include determining the budget through price research. The latest real estate price research can be done by reputable real estate agents such as David Hornick, who will guide you through the process from beginning to end. You will be provided a tour of the surrounding area to familiarize yourself with the area.

Furthermore, if you are a new buyer in Cedar City then it is best to do an interview to determine what kinds of properties you’re seeking and generate lists meeting those requirements. Real estate agents in this city are professionals who want their clients to be satisfied. They are knowledgeable about the right market prices and can give you good advice on budget matters. Even among the most affordable options, there are many homes in Cedar City that are high quality that will make you proud to be a resident off the great state of Utah!

The Prices Of Aspen Real Estate Are Not Extraordinary Anymore

Aspen real estate has always had a treasured place on the upper tears of the price ladder. But what enables us to judge if real estate is pricey or affordable. There are two different ways to measure this: Real estate might look cheap or expensive compared to the budget you have for buying a property and it might look reasonably or excessively priced compared to other luxury real estate in other resorts like Deer Valley or Utah.

The first case is to do with your personal finances. Your budget is setting the tone. If you have $300,000 to spend on a condo then Aspen or Snowmass will definitely look expensive. On the other hand if you budget is $3 million then comparing Aspen properties to other luxury ski destinations will show you that prices are on par or lower than its competition.

Aspen condos in the central core of town range from about $1,300 to $1,900 per square foot depending on all the usual criteria like location or state of upkeep. Prices in Vail, Colorado are about the same for Lionshead and Vail Village developments. International real estate prices, for example in Dublin, have far outpaced Aspen. For international buyers Aspen can feel like a bargain.

The weak US Dollar is doing its share to make US properties look attractive for buyers from the Euro zone or British citizens.

Aspen and Snowmass with its few thousand single-family homes and 5,000 condos between them are on par with standard Manhattan Real Estate. This is not comparing Aspen to the Fifth Avenue co-ops that demand prices of up to $6,000 per square foot. Manhattan with its millions of dwellings is priced similar to a luxury resorts like Aspen and Snowmass. This should ensure that real estate in Aspen will do well in the future.

The US Real Estate Faces a New Crisis

This time last year, my wife called me and said the four words no husband ever wants to hear…

Honey, we have termites.

I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, we live in Florida – everyone gets termites here. The pest-control guy had found the clue – a few bug wings. But where was the nest?

I found it soon enough, up on our second-story deck. The structure’s made of concrete, but the decking itself? Yep – plywood. Just walking around up there, you’d never see it. But the critters had bored a little hole through the tarpaper sheathing, steadily chewing away the wood underneath.

It’s not unlike the new U.S. real estate boom. It appears a bedrock of economic strength. But as I’ll show, events far away – in China – are now weakening this market in subtle, powerful ways, with repercussions for the U.S. economy itself.

When people talk about the rebound in U.S. real estate, primarily they’re talking about luxury homes. It’s the hottest, most lucrative end of the market. Sales for houses priced above $1 million rose almost 9% last year, more than double any other price category, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Buyers from China are the ones setting those record prices. How?

One is sheer numbers. Chinese buyers account for nearly a third of all home purchases by foreigners in the U.S. (and nearly triple those of Canadians, the next closest nationality group).

Two, Chinese buyers are more than happy to pay above top dollar – their median purchase price is $523,000 – more than twice the U.S. average.

Three, cash is king – and Chinese homebuyers love cash. According to the NAR, 76% of Chinese purchases were all-cash transactions.

First Australia, Then U.S?

But what happens now, after a 40% crash of the Shanghai Composite Index, and a still-slowing Chinese economy?

If you read the headlines, the “expert opinion” is uniformly bullish on what China’s woes mean for U.S. luxury home purchases. The rationale is that further weakness in China will only spur mainlanders to buy more U.S. real estate, not less.

To me, that sounds like bubble talk. I heard similar rationalizations when I was a financial journalist, covering the boom and bust of the U.S. housing market.

Perhaps America’s luxury home realtors should look to Australia, where Chinese property buyers also drove up luxury home prices to insane levels. More recently though, sales have started to tail off in the places where Chinese buyers are most active – the two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

And Morgan Stanley, in a recent note, became the first major financial institution to declare that Australia’s housing cycle has peaked. The bank’s analysts expect “further declines in auction clearance rates (i.e. sales) and house price momentum, with a negative impact on construction occurring over 2016.”

Could the U.S. luxury home market not be far behind? The anecdotal data certainly points in that direction.

Realtors in the San Francisco Bay area now tell local media that buyers from China are hitting the “pause button.” Another said she’s seeing price reductions among her high-end ($3 million and up) properties. A Sotheby’s agent told KCBS-TV, “It’s been a little slower now. I feel like there’s been some kind of shift.”

In Miami, where Chinese buyers were a rising force in the marketplace, luxury home sales fell 10.6% in the most recent quarter. The number of listings keeps rising too – up 15% from year-ago levels.

Recession Risks?

Even the Chinese themselves may be seeing the writing on the wall. I ran across an article on a Singapore-based website aimed at high-wealth, English-speaking Chinese recently. The title of the article? “Now Is Not The Time to Buy in San Francisco.”

The national data also raises an interesting point. In a midyear report, Realtors.com noted that the total number of foreign buyers of U.S. real estate fell 10% in the 12-month period ending in March. Yet the dollar volume of their transactions (we’re talking residential sales here), rose 13% to a record $104 billion.

Translated, it means fewer buyers chasing higher prices. To me, that says “bubble.”

So let’s say I’m right, and that bubble has peaked. What does it mean?

Morgan Stanley, in its recent call on Australia’s Chinese-fed housing bubble, believes the coming U.S. real estate slowdown raises the risk of a recession in the Land Down Under.

Could it happen here too?

Considering so many of these homes are purchased for cash, the risk to the banking system seems minimal.

On the other hand, homebuilders haven’t been this confident in years. This summer, the Wells Fargo/National Association of Home Builders sentiment index hit its highest level since November 2005 – just before the U.S. real estate sector went over the cliff.

Likewise, the boom in luxury residential sales spurs a Field of Dreams mentality (“If you build it, they will come”) among builders and developers. That means lots of speculative development, and ever larger orders for lumber, concrete, premium windows, cabinets and lots of other high-value building components.

What happens if real demand doesn’t meet expectations?

It’s just another sign, as Jeff Opdyke has mentioned often, of a U.S. economy left with very few “legs” for support.