Buy a Home During Mercury Retrograde? Not in This Universe. | Kanebridge News
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Buy a Home During Mercury Retrograde? Not in This Universe.

These two buyers found the perfect home, but the stars hadn’t yet realigned

By AMY GAMERMAN
Wed, Sep 21, 2022 8:37amGrey Clock 3 min
Has astrology ever affected a sale?

Joanne Greene, associate broker, Brown Harris Stevens in New York City

I ran into the wife of an old client of mine. They were deciding, “Should we renovate or should we move?”

So we go out, we start looking at things. It was really about seeing what was out there, as opposed to doing a renovation. We found something that was way out of their price range, $12.5 million, on the Upper East Side. But I knew these people, and it was a perfect apartment for them.

The wife was going on a hiking trip in Northern California, but at the very last minute the trip was canceled because of the mudslides there. So we decided to go back and look at this apartment again. They said, “You know what, we love it, we really want to do it. We’ll have to sell our apartment.” Then they said, “But Mercury is entering into retrograde, so everything has to be done beforehand.”

They explained to me that they don’t make decisions during the time Mercury is in retrograde. It affected when they got engaged, when they got married, all their purchasing decisions. It had gotten to the point where now they don’t travel when Mercury is in retrograde. They’ve converted their travel agent over to the stars.

Usually people aren’t in such a rush. But as a broker, I was like, “Great! Let’s do it sooner rather than later!” It all took like a week. We put in an offer. We did share with the sellers that the buyers wouldn’t sign any documents while Mercury was in retrograde so we’d have to get the contract signed quickly. We also had to sign an exclusive on their apartment to list it.

By the way, I’d never heard about any of this before, but if that’s what they wanted, I’m completely onboard.

It was all good karma for everyone. Every transaction worked out so well and so smoothly. It’s very rare to have that happen when you’re handling both the purchasing and the selling; there are a lot of moving parts.

I’m not superstitious, but I’ve had clients who don’t want 4s in a contract, or who want 8s. I say, “If you want all 8s in it, that’s fine!” I had a rabbi who wanted everything to add up to 18, because that’s good luck. That’s fine, too.

Wendy Arriz, associate broker, Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City

I was representing a seller of a home downtown—an off-market listing priced north of $10 million. The buyer was a past client of mine. When I described the property, this buyer got super-interested. They came and saw it and made an offer. But it was made clear that this person wasn’t going to be in a position to sign a contract right then because, as a rule of thumb, this person never made any serious decisions or did contract signings while Mercury is in retrograde. They said, “No, no, no, things can really go awry; it’s just not done.”

At first, I couldn’t believe it. I thought, “Really?” But you know, I also want to be respectful. So that was a term of the deal—a verbal understanding, there was nothing in writing. I passed it along to the seller. There was a bit of a giggle, but it wasn’t an issue. This was a downtown seller. Someone on the Upper East Side might not have processed it as well.

There was a lot of Google searching to figure out the dates. I did the deal sheet and organized the specifics. The attorneys were doing the due diligence; a home inspection was involved. It was all going like a normal transaction would, with the understanding that nothing was going to get signed till Mercury was no longer in retrograde.

Then the stars were clear. The contract could be signed. I contacted my buyer about whether they wanted to move forward now that the coast was clear—and they didn’t. The buyer was having an issue.

I hadn’t had any deals fall apart in the 14 years I’ve been selling real estate. I try to just steer the course and do the right thing and if things are meant to be, they’re meant to be. This deal fell apart, but it wasn’t because Mercury was in retrograde.

Or was it?

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Luxury Rents Across 30 Global Cities Outpace Prime Sales Prices

Average prime rental values jumped by 5.9%, with some cities seeing jumps of more than 50%

By V.L. HENDRICKSON
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The growth of luxury rental prices outpaced the sales market in top global cities last year, according to a report Monday from Savills.

Average prime rental values jumped by 5.9% in 2022 across the 30 world cities analyzed in the report, the data showed. Limited inventory and increased demand pushed rents higher, while capital values saw an average of 3.2% rise during the year.

“Rental growth came as people continued to return to cities after the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, and as rapidly rising interest rates in the latter half of 2022 meant that more people chose to rent,” Lucy Palk, an analyst at Savills World Research, said in a statement. “The rebound in international travel was a factor too, by the end of 2022 international arrivals had recovered to between 75% to 80% of 2019 levels.”

Meanwhile, average rents were up 10% or more in cities such as Singapore, New York, Dubai and Lisbon, Portugal, the report said.

For example, in New York, the median rent for properties in luxury, doorman buildings spiked 53% to almost $5,000 at the end of last year compared to $3,270 in December 2020, the figures showed.

And in Singapore, prime rents shot up by 26.2% annually as the country opened its borders and students, expats and high-net-worth individuals flooded the city. “Delayed completions of new prime stock further contributed to the significant rental rise seen in 2022,” the report said.

Climate, quality of life and strong business environments have been big draws for Lisbon and Dubai last year, where luxury rents were up 25.4% and 22.9%, respectively, according to the report.

The two strongest performing cities in the Asia Pacific region last year were Seoul, with 4.9% rental price growth, and Tokyo, 4.1%, the data showed.

On the flip side, Hong Kong had the lowest rental growth for luxury properties. The country is still subject to Covid-19-related restrictions, and has yet to see the full return of international tenants. In addition, rising interest rates have undermined consumer confidence.

“This suppressed transaction volumes causing pricing declines across all price brackets except the ultra-prime residences,” the report said. “Average prime prices fell by 8.5% in 2022.”

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