by • 10 June, 2008 • REAL ESTATEComments Off on Celebrity Gossip: A Sign of the [Real Estate] Times1143

Celebrity Gossip: A Sign of the [Real Estate] Times

Gossip rags like the Enquirer sometimes marvel the notion that celebrities are ‘just like us,’ even when Jack Nicholson struts around St. Tropez with girls 40 years his junior, and Victoria Beckham grocery shops in stilettos. Maybe they’re nothing like us, but celebrity mishaps – particularly with their ‘cribs’ – seems indicative of changing economic forces at play in the US and abroad.

The summercamp rehab experiences of Brittany, and Paris’ jail time has been replaced by a new embarrassing fad. Its the new f-word: foreclosure, and its impacting the most unlikely celebrities.

Ed McMahon, famous in the US as a celebrity host bestowing $1M in Publishers Clearing House prize money on unsuspecting homeowners – is soon to loose his home. Evander Holyfield, infamous boxer bitten by Mike Tyson faces forclosure on his Atlanta home, on which he owes no less than $10M. His sound-bite, “I’m not broke, I’m just not liquid,” rings true for homeowners across the US, and UK as well.

Until now, the highs and lows of even B-rate celebrities seem beyond the scope of the average life. Like thousands, McMahon and Holyfield have fallen victim to naivity, buying homes they couldn’t really afford.

As the US economy seeps deeper into recession, development abounds in the Persian Gulf and shows no signs of slowing. On the international property marketing front, here are a few celebs cashing-in on their name value by endorsing or “designing” developments in the Gulf:

  • Brad Pitt (designing with a little help from GRAFT)
  • Christian LaCroix
  • Michael Shumacher
  • Boris Becker
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Greg Norman
  • Tiger Woods
  • Donatella Versace

With roughly $2.4 trillion in development underway, they could probably get the Pope. (You heard it here first: Vatican Island, luxury private cathedrals set in an island paradise just off Bahrain)…Really, celebrities offer excellent marketing and instant PR, although developers run the risk of turning off just as many buyers and investors as they will attract, as is the case even when licensing reliable hotel operator, or established luxury brands.

But for the famous and the average joe alike, it is the best of times and the worst of times for real estate development – and location makes all the difference.

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