Market Overview

Lifestyles Of The Rich & The Famous


"Lifestyles of the rich and famous, They're always complainin', Always complainin'"

-Good Charlotte

Sure having more money means more problems, but it does help make life a little easier if you have some money.

In an article from Bloomberg, where the rich and famous live, the Hamptons, is holding up pretty well. In fact, home prices in the Hamptons rose 4.2% in the second quarter from last year, as the privileged were buying more expensive homes.

According to New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the median price of a Hamptons home went from $900,000 in 2010 to $937,500 in the second quarter of 2011. 39% of all the homes that were sold went for $1 million or more.

“I'd look at the market as stabilized but punctuated with very visible trophy property sales,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in a telephone interview to Bloomberg. “This is a phenomenon we saw in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Westchester. Across the region, the top end of the market outperformed the overall market.”

As Wall Street has recovered, bonuses have risen, and the top players on Wall Street are spending their bonus money on resort homes. There were 24 homes that sold for more than $5 million this quarter, up from 22 last year. Notable hedge fund managers such as David Tepper have homes in the area. So do Hollywood big shots Steven Spielberg, Donald Trump, and a host of others.

24 homes in the area sold for more than $5 million, up from 22 in the same quarter last year. The most expensive home sold in the quarter was a 10- bedroom, 12-bathroom house at 1710 Meadow Lane. The house went for $32.5 million. (I can assure you it was not me that bought it.)

“They get their bonus and they think, ‘hard asset -- let's go buy some East End dirt,'” said Judi Desiderio, president of Town & Country Real Estate in the Hamptons. “They're finally spending the money.”

“I don't think its booming, I think it's healthy,” Dottie Herman, president of Prudential Douglas Elliman, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “It's a slow recovery,” when asked about the health of the real estate market in the Hamptons.

As Wall Street and the equity markets have recovered, luxury items, such as homes, jewelery, planes, cars have recovered faster than the rest of the economy. You are more likely to see someone from Wall Street drop $10,000 in Tiffany's (NYSE: TIF) than you are to see a secretary from General Motors (NYSE: GM) buy a new car. The disparity has never been greater, and this is another example of the difference in lifestyles.

Now for the proverbial theme song of the rich & the famous.

Oh to have such problems.


Traders who believe that the 10% of the country that holds 90% of the wealth will continue to do better than the rest of us might want to consider the following trades:

  • Go long all things luxury. Names like Tiffany's (NYSE: TIF), Daimler (NYSE: DAI) should do well, as Wall Street hotshots continue to spend their bonuses.
  • Consider looking at corporate jets, but don't tell President Obama, or you will be unmercifully scrutinized.

Traders who believe that the middle and lower class will uprise and take over may consider alternate positions:

  • Long pitch forks, flaming torches and angry mobs. As the income disparity between the wealthy and the middle and lower class has never been greater, the masses are slowly but surely starting to rise up.

Neither Benzinga nor its staff recommend that you buy, sell, or hold any security. We do not offer investment advice, personalized or otherwise. Benzinga recommends that you conduct your own due diligence and consult a certified financial professional for personalized advice about your financial situation.

Posted-In: David TepperLong Ideas Short Ideas Hedge Funds Movers & Shakers Forex Economics Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga


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