Cutting through the bullshit.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

How the other 0.001% live

‘For many U.S. buyers, stricter lending standards resulting from record defaults among subprime borrowers have made it tougher to purchase real estate’, reports Kathleen M. Howley of Bloomberg News. But

For most Hamptons buyers, it has had no effect, said Judi Desiderio, president of Town & Country Real Estate in East Hampton.

That is because three-quarters of Hamptons buyers do not use mortgages, said Desiderio. "If you're buying a house over $5 million in the Hamptons, you don't even know what the 'M' word means... They're strictly all-cash deals."

… The market in the Hamptons - former potato farms where seagull cries now mix with the sounds of well-tuned Ferraris - is fueled by salaries on Wall Street, 40 minutes away by helicopter, said Diane Saatchi, a broker at Corcoran Group in East Hampton. “… spending millions on a summer home to be near their friends isn't a big deal."

George Simpson, president of Suffolk Research Service, pointed out

"The housing market all over the United States is down, but not here because this is where all the rich people want to be seen in the summertime," Simpson said.

Meanwhile, the US has the most unequal distribution of wealth in the ‘developed’ world, with a Gini Coefficient of 0.45, worse than Pakistan and many other countries. The Land of the Free also boasts the highest poverty rate among industrialised countries, with fully 12% of the population living below the US’s own poverty line.

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