195M mansion now the most

195M mansion now the most

$195M mansion now the most expensive listing


Only two months after a Florida mansion set the record for the most expensive public listing, a private compound with its own vineyard has taken the crown.

The estate, called Palazzo di Amore, was listed on Thursday for $195 million by Coldwell Banker Previews International. Located on 25 acres in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, the mansion—currently owned by real estate magnate Jeff Greene—overlooks LA. It also surpasses the previous record for a public listing, which was held by Le Palais Royalin Hillsboro Beach, Florida, for $139 million.


Coldwell Banker Previews International

Coldwell Banker Previews International
The Palazzo di Amore in Beverly Hills, Calif., which is listed for $195 million.

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Interested? Here’s what you get for your $195 million:

  • • More than 53,000 square feet of livable space, with 12 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms;
  • • A 15,000-square-foot entertainment center with a disco-ballroom, revolving turntable-style dance floor, DJ booth and laser-light system;
  • • A 50-seat private screening room, bowling alley and game room;
  • • A 13,000-bottle wine cellar and garage parking for 27 cars.

Guests enter through a marbled two-story, sky-lit entryway with twin curving staircases. Outside, the grounds feature a waterfall that’s set into the hillside. The outdoor entertaining areas include a 128-foot reflecting pool and fountain, and the recreational facilities include a swimming pool, spa, an outdoor barbecue area and tennis court.

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The 5,000-square-foot master bedroom features a fireplace with a hand-carved wooden mantel, and a sitting area with Juliet balconies. The master bath includes a traditional “hammam,” a Turkish-style spa with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling iridescent Moroccan tiles.


Toronto condo market sees one of its best years

A Porter Airlines plane take off from Toronto's Billy Bishop Airport in front of condo towers on Wednesday April 10, 2013. (Chris Young For The Globe and Mail)

Toronto condo market sees one of its best years, agency says

positive outlook housing 2015

Daily Market Update

(FULL CREDIT: by Jamie Henry)


Positive outlook for housing starts in 2015
Construction next year should be pretty much in line with 2014 according to new figures from the CMHC. “The trend for housing starts has been up in recent months, particularly in multi-unit structures. This has been broadly supported by key factors such as employment, disposable income and net migration, which are expected to continue to be supportive of the Canadian housing market over the 2014-2016 forecast horizon,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC. The building of condos is likely to moderate during the early part of next year but that will be offset by an uptick in new single-unit starts. The agency predicts that there will be more general moderation in 2016 assuming economic conditions stay roughly in line with expectations.
Most markets to see increased prices over next 12 months
Data from CMHC has revealed predictions for house prices and sales levels over the next 2 years with most markets continuing to see price rises. Those increases are predicted to be broadly in line with current levels. There are two areas where declines are forecast; New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. New data from Statistics Canada due today will shed more light on the state of the economy which could result in revised forecasts for housing.
Most expensive house for sale in Canada revealed
The most expensive house for sale in Canada is on the outskirts of Calgary; the first time for a while that the city has surpassed Toronto and Vancouver. The historic house that was once owned by the Ford Motor Company family boasts 2 properties on the 242 acre site and even comes with its own vintage gas station. It will set you back $37.9 million. If you need a big dining room, a property in Toronto’s Bridle Path has one large enough to seat 100 people along with 10 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms; all for a cool $28.8 million. If a coastal view is your thing then a Vancouver property comes with 1.2 acres of land but is essentially a boarded-up wreck. Not exactly a bargain at $25.8 million but the views are stunning! Read the full story.
Wages hike forecast for next year
The Conference Board of Canada predicts that we’ll all have a little more money in our pockets in 2015. Their latest report on wage outlook suggests that increases will be slightly above inflation with non-unionized staff receiving an extra 2.9 per cent and those in a union picking up 2 per cent more. Inflation is expected to be 1.9 per cent. With additional benefits for many tax payers as a result of government income-splitting rules announced yesterday it should add a little extra confidence to consumers. 

How long is a banking day

How long is a banking day?

It is better to pick an exact date for sending waivers of conditional clauses when closing a real estate deal.

(FULL CREDIT:  Real Estate, Special to the Star, Published on Mon Sep 23 2013)

Most real estate deals are conditional for a few days upon the buyer either obtaining financing or being satisfied with the results of a home inspection. The condition clause typically states that if the condition is not waived by the end of the day, the deal is automatically cancelled. If the condition is waived in time, then the deal becomes firm and binding. The question then is, how long is a typical day, and does it change if it is referred to as a business day or banking day? If you are not clear, it can become very costly to figure out.

Here’s why:

Sheri-Lee Weslock agreed to sell her home in Burlington to Neil Sexton on March 30, 2008, for $647,500. The deal was conditional for four banking days on the buyer obtaining satisfactory financing. If the notice was not delivered, the deal would be cancelled. Mr. Sexton claimed that his real estate agent told him that the clause meant he had until 4 p.m. on the last day, being April 3, 2008, to deliver the waiver, or the deal would be cancelled. There was no reference to 4 p.m. in the condition.

Sexton admits he faxed his waiver to his agent at 3:30 pm on April 3, 2008 but that he then immediately changed his mind and told his agent not to send it after all, because he did not have confirmation that he had obtained his financing. The waiver was, however, faxed to the seller’s agent at 6:30 p.m. on April 3, 2008. This was not disputed.

Sexton attempted to cancel the deal the next day, saying he did not get his financing, did not intend to send the waiver and if it was sent, it was sent too late, because the banking day already ended.

Weslock then re-sold the property for $520,000 because the market turned and sued Sexton for her loss, which including carrying and other costs, which exceeded $180,000.

In a Superior Court decision Feb. 7, 2012, Judge William Hourigan determined that a banking day is no different than a regular day and ends at 11:59 p.m. If Sexton had wanted the condition to be time sensitive, such as 4 p.m., it should have said so in the condition. Therefore, the waiver sent by Sexton was in fact sent in time and he could not get out of the deal. Sexton thus had to pay the entire buyer loss of $180,000 plus $14,000 in costs. Sexton represented himself, without a lawyer.

There are many lessons to be learned from this case. Under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, a business day means a day that is not Saturday, Sunday or a statutory holiday. However, that is not the universally accepted definition of a business or banking day. There are also arguments as to when you start counting the days. In addition, many banks are now open on Saturdays and Sundays. You get the picture.

In my opinion, not only should the words “calendar day” should be used in any condition, it is better to pick an exact date when the condition will expire and it should also be clear that the condition is open until 11:59 on the final day, so that there is no confusion or misinterpretation. Never send in a waiver for a financing condition until you have a written signed commitment from a lender agreeing to give you your money.

Finally, understand that once a real estate deal is firm, it can be very costly to change your mind, even if it happens the very next day. Be prepared before you sign any real estate contract.

Crowdfunded Liberty Village

Crowdfunded Liberty Village bus makes first run

First of the community-financed transit service sets off at 7:45 a.m. from highrise complex

(FULL CREDIT:  Olivia Carville Staff Reporter, Published on Mon Oct 06 2014)



A crowdfunded bus service for transit-starved Liberty Village residents has made its inaugural run Monday morning.

The privately-run bus service, dubbed the Liberty Village Express, set off on its first run of the morning at 7:45 a.m., with a total of four trips scheduled from the corner of Pirandella and East Liberty Streets to Union Station.

Co-organizers Brett Chang, 23, and Taylor Scollon, 24, coined the concept after hearing about the neighbourhood’s transit woes.

Over the past few years, West Toronto’s Liberty Village has grown into a huge complex of highrise apartments and townhouses.

The transit system can no longer cater to the growing population and the area is significantly underserved by public transport, Chang said.

The 504 King streetcar, which collects the Liberty Village commuters, is the busiest streetcar route in the city, carrying on average 60,000 people per day. It is often too crowded to pick up the neighbourhood residents or “they stuff them in like sardines,” Chang said.

Liberty Village resident Andrew Willis, 27, told the Star public transit was “almost non-existent” in the highly populated area.

Fellow resident Stephen Wright said the lack of public transport was tarnishing the neighbourhood.

“There are too many people and no real regard for how the people move — it’s more about the cars, “ he said.

Chang and Scollon created the company Line Six Transit to provide the community with “an alternative, faster, more comfortable and more human way to ride,” Chang said.

Commuters donate $25 per week for five rides — which is $2 more per ride than the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) $3 token.

So far, Line Six Transit has signed on 64 backers and raised $2,775.

The Liberty Village Express pilot service is running from Oct. 6 to 10. If successful, it will continue to operate and the pair hopes to roll the service out into other areas underserved by the TTC, Chang said.

The TTC has a legal monopoly in Toronto, but Chang said Line Six Transit was not violating any local bylaws or competing against the commission.

“We see ourselves as complementary to the TTC, “ he said.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross has previously said the commission was not concerned with the new business venture, but that it would be monitoring the situation.

Chang believes Line Six Transit is one of the first crowdfunded bus services in the world.

“Communities designing transit is new to the world. We have not heard of it before,” he said.

City councillor Mike Layton (open Mike Layton’s policard) (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), who has been pushing the city, TTC and Metrolinx for more transit options for Liberty Village, says he’s not sure if the business model will work. It may be a more comfortable ride, but with traffic and no signal or lane priority, it’s not clear the bus will be any faster.

“You should be able to get around this city in a reasonable amount of time in a reasonable amount of comfort without resorting to a private service like this,” he said.

But he acknowledged that in Liberty Village, the condos were developed before appropriate services were in place.

All-door boarding on the TTC — something transit officials have recommended begin in the New Year — should speed service on the King car. With 60,000 riders a day, the streetcar carries more people than the Sheppard subway.

Metrolinx is also looking at ways of serving more Liberty Village residents on the GO train from Exhibition. That would offer commuters a seven-minute trip to Union Station every 30 minutes, said Layton.

“We’ve estimated there are 2,000 people travelling from the subway to Liberty Village every day at the three streetcar stops that serve (the area). If we can get the 2,000 people off the King streetcar, that will be an enormous relief of pressure to folks travelling on that car who don’t live in Liberty Village and maybe don’t have the luxury of just walking over to a GO train station, “ he said.

A group of condos along Queens Quay has been providing shuttles to various city destinations for about 30 years, said Ulla Colgrass, member of the York Quay Neighbourhood Association.

“People just wouldn’t move here unless there was some means of transportation,” she said.

Condo residents own the minibuses and pay for the service through their condo fees.

“The fact somebody had to put a private bus service into play, something we don’t even contemplate within the city, to get downtown from a bustling residential and commercial neighbourhood because the public transit wasn’t adequate, that says it all.

During a press conference Monday morning mayoral candidate John Tory was asked about the bus service.

“And I can tell you right now I have answers for that in the short term and the medium term. The short term answer is I’ve already said in my platform there will be an express bus service the TTC will run as they should be doing, between Liberty Village and downtown. Long term, there will be a SmartTrack station right there at Liberty Village and people are going to be able to get to work.”

With files from Tess Kalinowski and Paul Moloney

PATH blazes new trail to RBC

PATH blazes new trail to RBC WaterPark Place

(FULL CREDIT: Globe and Mail: JOSH O’KANE)


Pedestrians leaving the southern-most portion of the PATH will walk into the soaring lobby of RBC WaterPark Place III. Since the building is so close to the waterfront, the designers used bright colours with soft finishes putting a different spin on the traditional office lobby space, Oxford Properties vice-president Mark Cote says. (Dale Wilcox)


To the casual eye, it’s another glass tower lining Lake Ontario. But the RBC WaterPark Place III building marks a series of victories, big and small, for the City of Toronto, its waterfront dwellers and landlord Oxford Properties Group Inc.

The 30-storey complex, on Queens Quay across the street from the lake, will officially open in December. But it’s already slowly filling with workers who’ll take advantage of a Toronto first: a waterfront connection to the city’s PATH pedestrian network, providing shelter from the Canadian elements northward to Union Station.

“In February, you don’t want to be walking on Bay Street under the Gardiner [Expressway] when there’s a north wind blowing,” says Andrew McAllan, Oxford’s senior vice-president in charge of real estate management. Ensuring the former parking lot at 85 Harbour St., which the company has owned since the ’90s, was developed with a connection to the PATH “was a prerequisite for us.”

The link means Toronto pedestrians will be able to walk from Yonge-Dundas Square to the waterfront without stepping outdoors. It’s also a victory for the thousands of residents who’ve flocked to condo towers in the city’s rapidly developing south core, the once-neglected swath of land south of Union Station.

But Oxford believes development makes downtown’s north-south divide unnecessary: by establishing a link to the growing business community south of Union Station, it strengthens Toronto’s core as a whole.

“By having connectivity, from Queens Quay to Queen Street, I see one [downtown] core,” Mr. McAllan says.

The PATH extension – planned by the city and Oxford, with the consent of other private landowners, with bridges designed by WZMH architects – will be swiftly embraced by waterfront residents. Ulla Colgrass, a founder and board member of the York Quay Neighbourhood Association, says she first met with the city about the possibility 10 years ago. “We’re elated. We always thought that it would be essential.”

As the property of a pension fund – Oxford is the real-estate wing of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System – the new WaterPark tower is a build-and-hold investment that needs to keep paying dividends. The PATH link, set to open the first week of October, is just one element of Oxford’s strategy to attract and retain top tenants and talent for the long term.

The demands of a young work force have been kept in mind. “We’re recognizing that employers work differently now, and the real estate has to be able to adapt to that or it’s quickly going to become redundant,” Mr. McAllan says.

WaterPark Place features secure bike lockers and change rooms, floor-to-ceiling glass windows for a flood of natural light, with glass fins to deflect harsh rays and absorb heat without blocking the view of the city. Meanwhile, a fibre backbone runs through the tower, allowing numerous features to be connected and customized, including localized lighting and heating. Once an employee swipes his or her card to enter the building, an elevator will take them to their floor, as their work area is lit and its temperature adjusted. This kind of tracking can help conserve energy.

Other distinguishing features have sustainability in mind, too, reducing energy use and boosting the building’s lifespan. This includes the sun-deflecting fins, a green roof, and deep-water cooling from the neighbouring Great Lake. “Instead of having huge chillers consuming electricity, the building operates using far less energy and more cost-effectively,” Mr. McAllan says. “We have to constantly strive to marry the environmental demands with the economic demands.”

The $420-million building, designed by WZMH Architects, was built to LEED Platinum standards, though it has not yet earned the designation from the Canada Green Building Council. But the two original buildings in the complex – WaterPark I and II, built in the ’80s – have undergone $20-million in upgrades as part of the same project and have been officially recertified to LEED Platinum status, from Gold.

Close to 85 per cent of the building is now leased, largely by Cisco Systems Canada Co. and flagship tenant Royal Bank of Canada. The bank will occupy 65 per cent of the tower, which will become the headquarters for two of its divisions – technical and operations, and personal and commercial banking.

Most of the 4,200 RBC employees who will move into the centre this fall work in older buildings on Front Street. The bank is moving toward newer, sustainable office space, and expects to have 60 per cent of its non-client-facing Toronto employees in collaborative, open-concept workspaces by 2016.

Their space in the new tower was designed with all of this in mind. “It really fit into our wheelhouse of what we want to do with all our buildings in Toronto – and globally,” says Nadeem Shabbar, RBC’s vice-president of corporate real estate.

The PATH link to Union Station was a “critical” part of the negotiations for the space, Mr. Shabbar says. The new segment extends above ground from the Air Canada Centre in the north to WaterPark in the south. With so much infrastructure to navigate around, the bridge is a necessary anomaly to the pedestrian system that’s closer in spirit to Calgary’s +15 pedestrian system than Toronto’s.

Extending it to the waterfront was a process with a lot of moving parts – literally. Numerous stakeholders were involved, from city councillors and departments to private landowners, including Oxford. But it also includes a feat of design never before seen in Toronto: a bridge over Lake Shore Boulevard, hooked under the Gardiner Expressway, that’s capable of sliding over five metres to allow for repairs to the expressway.

The moving parts were largely co-ordinated by local councillor Pam McConnell, who told The Globe and Mail that a PATH link was “the most important public-realm improvement that could be made” in those blocks south of Union Station.

It was a crucial part of Toronto’s PATH master plan, says James Parakh, the city’s urban design manager in charge of downtown. “It’s a very good project – great for the architects and great for the city.”

The office complex also balances the area’s numerous condo towers. That, says Oxford’s development vice-president Mark Cote, was intentional. “We had a lot of offers – people knocking on our door, wanting to build condo towers on this site,” says Mr. Cote. “But we intentionally held them off because we wanted to create a true commercial complex and enhance the mixed-use nature of Toronto’s waterfront, which we think is very important.”


Manhattan’s New Most Expensive Listing

Manhattan’s New Most Expensive Listing: A $130 Million Park Avenue Penthouse


New York City has a new most expensive apartment for sale, and it’s not even built yet.

With an asking price of $130 million, the 12,394-square-foot triplex planned to top a luxury tower that is set to go up at 520 Park Avenue would be the most expensive apartment New York has ever seen, surpassing the $118.5 million asking price for three separate unitscurrently being marketed together in Battery City’s Ritz-Carlton tower.

The 54-story condominium tower at 520 Park Avenue is scheduled to begin rising by February 2015, says Arthur Zeckendorf of Zeckendorf Development. Set on 60th Street two blocks east of Central Park, 520 Park Avenue is designed to rival another, wildly successful Zeckendorf project: 15 Central Park West, now a billionaire enclave and one of New York’s most prestigious addresses.

“Clearly 520 Park is the 15 Central Park West of the Upper East Side,” Arthur Zeckendorf told Forbes. “Both buildings were designed to be sister buildings.” He described the penthouse at 520 Park as having 15-foot ceilings, with old world finishes and modern amenities.


The luxury condos at 15 Central Park West sold out in four years to buyers including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb, Spanx billionaire Sarah Blakely, the musician Sting, and actor Denzel Washington. The tower even inspired a book: House of Outrageous Fortune, by Michael Gross, which documented a supposed war for one of its penthouses between Loeb and activist investor Carl Icahn.

The Zeckendorfs are hoping for another home run, but there is a real question of how much more luxury the New York City market can take. Several other high-rise residential luxury developments are underway just south and east of Central Park, including Extell’s One57 tower at 57th Street, Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue, and the super-skinny 111 West 57th Street, which will be just 60 feet wide. The first of the super towers, One57, quickly sold half its apartments in 2012, but now stands at only about 70% sold, sources tell Forbes.

“My gut feeling is that there’s only so much demand for this type of product,” says Ben Thypin, director of market analysis at Real Capital Analytics. “One 57 is seeing trickling demand.”

But Jonathan Miller of appraisal firm Miller Samuel points to the rise in global wealth as a reason that the many towers might eventually find buyers. “If you look at what’s driving luxury investors into this market, a lot of it, at least on the international side, is a global phenomenon characterized by significant economic challenges in Asia, Europe, and South America. And I don’t think those conditions are going to be altered much over the next few years. I think the demand flow will continue.”

Miller also points out that with interest rates low, developers can more easily afford to build high and price their apartments just as high. And with so many projects coming onto the market, Miller says that potential buyers are feeling less urgency, perhaps waiting to see how some of the towers come out before committing.

To date the record for the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York is held by Ekaterina Rybolovleva, daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who paid $88 million for a 6,744-square-foot condominium penthouse at the Zeckendorf’s 15 Central Park West. The record for the most expensive co-op sale in New York is held by Millenium Management founder Israel Englander, who recently paid $71.3 million for a six-bedroom apartment. (Two penthouses at One57 sold for a price sources describe as between $90 million and $100 million, but the records have not yet become public, and won’t until the building is complete.)

Robert A.M. Stern Architects designed the 520 Park Ave tower, which will contain 31 homes. The tower’s seven 9,100-square-foot duplexes are priced at $67 million; its 23 4,600-square-foot single-floor apartments, dubbed “simplexes,” start at $16.2 million. Zeckendorf Development’s partners for the new Park Avenue tower are Rafael and Ezra Nasser’s Park Sixty LLC and Eyal Ofer’s Global Holdings.


How to spend a day on West Queen West

How to spend a day on West Queen West

(FULL CREDIT: blogto, Liora Ipsum)


West Queen West is one of Toronto’s most fascinating neighbourhoods – even Vogue, thinks so, recently naming this stretch between Trinity Bellwoods and Dufferin the second coolest neighbourhood in the world.

Populated by indie cafes, patisseries, galleries, home-grown fashion labels and restaurants, it’s easy to see the attraction. The neighbourhood is a hub for dining and nightlife and while other neighbourhoods might call it a night early, West Queen West is often still bustling and raring to go if you muster the stamina.

Here’s how to spend a day on West Queen West from morning to late night.


This neighbourhood is full of heavy-hitting coffee bars, but I still like the smaller indie outfits like White Squirreland R Squared. For a quick breakfast on the run I like to visit Sud Forno where the display cases are stocked with fresh-baked cornettos, sandwiches and biscotti.


If a leisurely brunch is in order, it’s hard to beat the big English breakfasts served by The Bristol, but I also likeSwan where the weekend brunch menu features fresh-shucked oysters and solid plates of huevos rancheros.


Trinity Bellwoods is easily one of the neighbourhood’s best attractions and in the warmer months you’ll get all walks of life flocking here to picnic, tan or just to be seen. The park is also well equipped for active folk, there are tennis courts, an ice rink and off leash dog bowl, but best of all there’s a swimming pool inside the Trinity Community Recreation Centre where drop-in lane swim is offered mornings year-round.




Once I’ve worked up up an appetite at the park I’ll head over to RaviSoups or Bolt Fresh Bar for hearty, vegetable-rich liquid lunches that are easy to grab and go. If I’m intent on lingering over my midday meal I’ll stop in at Fonda Lola weekdays between 11am and 2pm for classic Mexican dishes with a twist.


This stretch of Queen St. is densely populated with indie fashion labels and design stores. Among my favourites are Bicyclette for ladies’ fashions and accessories, and vintage boutiques Chosen and Cabaret.Type Books and the The Paper Place are places for the design-minded to nerd out.


The area is also flush with galleries, and hopping from one to another is a great way to check out the local talent. I plan to spend as much time at MOCCA as I possibly can before it’s demolished to make room for a new condo development. I also like to check out the workshops and the latest exhibits at Graven Feather.


When my sweet tooth calls, I typically find myself at Nadege for a couple of their salted caramel macarons. Other favourite spots of mine include the back counter at Appletree where I go for the $4 green smoothies andClafouti for one of the best croissants in the city.




There are so many dining options in this area it’s easy to be overwhelmed. I love going to Oyster Boy for lobster rolls or rich bowls of saffron-scented bouillabaisse. The County General is notable for some seriously tasty fried chicken, while I like Carmen for a date night because there’s just something lovely about sharing in a spread of Spanish tapas.


You’ll find a hub of activity happening at both The Gladstone and The Drake Hotel most nights of the week, thanks to concerts and events that draw big crowds. Despite being compact and often cramped, The Beaver is the one place I’ve frequented the most – you’ll find it a relaxed place for drinks in the early evening that often transitions into raucous, queer-friendly dance parties as the night wears on.


For a more laid back atmosphere, I like The Done Right Inn, a low-key watering-hole with a a great patio shaded by trees, fully stocked bar and a pinball machine.


The take-out counter at Barton Snacks has got me covered for late night eating until 4am on weekends with a fun menu featuring hot dogs and tacos, the kind of stuff that sits just right after a few too many drinks. Just down the street, Poutini’s is also a solid option as they ladle out the gravy up until 3:30am on weekends.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions for how to spend a day on West Queen West to the comments.

Photos by Jesse Milns, Andrew Williamson and Morris Lum.

Lifes a beach

Life’s a beach: Super-rich invest in island life


The growth in numbers of the super-wealthy has driven demand for life on a tropical island, a new study shows.

Bermuda topped the list of the world’s top 20 islands for real estate investment, with the region now containing the highest concentration of island property holdings owned by ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNW), or those as having wealth in excess of $30 million outside the U.S..artcl_022_life_s_a_beach_blogsize_width.0001

John Lund | Photographer’s Choice | Getty Images

The luxury list is also dominated by Caribbean islands with the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands and Antigua all featuring in the top five based on their proximity to the huge wealth-generating market of the U.S. according to the report compiled by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, real estate firm Savills and luxury property developer Candy & Candy.

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With the price of a typical four-bedroom prime property in Bermuda now exceeding $4 million, house prices on the island far outstrip a similar size house in the Bahamas, which are estimated at around $1.7 million.

European tax haven the Channel Islands was the third most popular island destination, where property prices have remained resilient during the global economic downturn.

“Of the $56 trillion pool of wealth held by the world’s super rich families, 25 percent of their investment portfolio is dedicated to real estate – much or which is return-generating for family offices and HNWIs,” the report found.

Islands with city links are amongst the most sought after, with premier city-linked island real estate costing up to four times that on the mainland. Investors looking at property based in islands off the coast of Florida could pay as much as a 90 percent premium on the price of property in its nearest neighboring mainland city.

Read MoreHow much do the ultra-rich give to charity?

Entire private islands are a very small part of the real estate market, which operate quite independently of the wider property world according to the study.

“A private island is the ultimate trophy asset. But financial return is not the primary motivation. These buyers are seeking the ultimate hideaway and a chance to shape their own world. For them, the qualities remote and private are priceless,” said Nicholas Candy, CEO, Candy & Candy in the report.

The global UHNW population reached an all-time high of nearly 200,000 in 2013, and is forecast grow by 22 percent by 2018. The growth in wealth will fuel demand for alternative real estate, with a particular boost from Asia, the region where it is set to grow fastest, said Yolande Barnes director of World Research at Savills in the report.

“Second or third generation wealthy individuals, accustomed to money and becoming more interested in its lasting impact, will pay an important role in island markets. We anticipate that a proportion of these philanthropic UNWIs will seek their own “eco domains”, islands where they can restore or maintain whole ecosystems and do their bit for the planet,” she said.

– By CNBC’s Jenny Cosgrave

10 quirky things to know about North York

10 quirky things to know about North York

(FULL CREDIT: Blogto:  Chris Bateman )


Like Scarborough and Etobicoke to the east and west, North York’s originated as a collection of independent communities north of the Old City of Toronto. Post amalgamation and the former borough and city is a mostly suburban mix of conspicuous wealth, manifest poverty, and everything in between.

Over 200 years of settlement has produced a variety of delightful quirks. For example, did you know the city’s “traffic brain” used to be in a bunker at Yonge and Sheppard, or that Don Mills used to have a curling rink shaped like a UFO? How about the incomplete platform at Sheppard-Yonge station?

Here are 10 quirky things to know about North York.


The city’s traffic computer used to be located in a bunker at Yonge and Sheppard
When Toronto’s $3.2 million behemoth of a traffic computer was delivered in 1963, this city became the first in the world to entrust the timing and control of traffic lights to a machine. The computer took up an entire room at Old City Hall and had to be specially air conditioned to keep it from overheating. In later life, the UNIVAC 1107 was stored at the city’s police headquarters on Jarvis and finally an underground room at Yonge and Sheppard in 1979, before being retired.

North York Centre station was retrofitted into the Yonge line
When the Yonge line was extended to its current terminus at Finch in 1974, there was no North York Centre Station. The stop was added in 1987 by excavating around the subway tunnel. Evidence of the station’s past as a nondescript section of track is evident in the thick support columns separating the north and southbound platforms. Unlike other stations, the supports are an essential component of the structure.


Yorkdale was once the largest indoor shopping mall in the world
There was nothing in Canada quite like Yorkdale when it opened in 1964. Built at the intersection of the 401 and Allen Road, the quintessentially suburban mall with its 6,500 parking spaces included branches of Reitman’s, Laura Secord, Toy World, and Eddie Black’s Camera Store, but more importantly it was the first retail development to unite the country’s two leading department stores, Eaton’s and Simpson’s, under one (massive) roof. Novel features of the mall included an underground receiving tunnel and a conveyor belt linking the checkout of the Dominion supermarket with the parking lot.

Sheppard-Yonge station features a never-used platform
In the late 1990s, in anticipation of a future spike in traffic at Sheppard-Yonge, the TTC installed a centre platform between the two eastbound Sheppard line tracks. If the line is ever extended west to Downsview (as originally planned,) the roughed-in platform could be used to provide additional capacity. Right now it’s dark and only partly-finished. Bloor-Yonge could use a similar innovation.


Don Mills used to have a spaceship shaped curling rink
It’s hard to miss the Don Mills Curling Rink in aerial photos of the 1960s. The bright white dome at the corner of Don Mills Rd. and the Donway was the work of architect Douglas M. Hall. It served originally as a curling facility, but was later converted for use as a bingo hall. It closed for good in 1984 and was unceremoniously demolished in ’86. Hall described his wood-framed masterpiece as “a flower at the end of the long stem of buildings.”

North York Central Library is designed to match the Toronto Reference Library
Architect Raymond Moriyama’s design for the Toronto Reference Library features a massive central atrium lined with dangling vines and hanging plants, tumbling out of planters. The North York Central Library was completed 10 years later to a similar design, minus some of the foliage. The central atrium with its staggered balconies is the most obvious visual connection. Moriyama is also responsible for designing the Scarborough Civic Centre, the Bata Shoe Museum, Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, to name a few.

Willowdale is getting a park named for members of Rush
Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson founded the legendary Canadian rock band with original drummer John Rutsey while students at Fisherville Junior High School near G. Ross Lord Park. The band wrote songs and played early shows in Willowdale and were honoured in the name of “Lee Lifeson Art Park,” which was given the green light in August. The park is set to open in 2015.

Cummer Ave. is named after German settlers
Tee-hee. Cummer Ave. and by extension Old Cummer GO station is named for the Kummer family, early German settlers driven north out of Pennsylvania by the American Revolution. Jacob Kummer owned a large swath of undeveloped land between Sheppard and Finch and built a sawmill on the Don River. Later, according to Toronto Street Names by Leonard Wise and Allan Gould, the family opened a woollen mill and operated the Willowdale post office, unaware their name would cause guffaws centuries later.

Parts of the Avro Arrow were hidden at CFB Downsview
The fate of the Avro supersonic fighter program has become the source of countless conspiracy theories. The Arrow, the pride of Canada’s burgeoning aviation industry, was built by engineering firm Avro at Malton Airport (now Pearson) starting in 1955. The jet was capable of astonishing speeds (up to 2,400 km/h, almost twice the speed of sound,) but the project was controversially cancelled in 1959 and the five completed planes destroyed. The nosecone and two wing panels from an incomplete sixth Arrow were spirited away to CFB Downsview and kept hidden. The parts are now on display in Ottawa.

Tim Horton is buried at York Cemetery
Tim Horton would be surprised, but pleased, to know that the coffee and donut chain he co-founded in the 1960s became a nationwide concern, but he would probably wonder why his image has all but vanished from the business. Horton, a popular Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman, tried unsuccessfully to launch a fast food empire in Scarborough, but later found traction with a different business partner in Hamilton, Ont. Before the business really took off, Horton was killed in a crash on the QEW in 1974.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.