According to MDA Dataquick sales of million dollar plus homes in California in 2008 was less than half number of 2007 (55% less) and 30% less than in 2004. My guess is that the year 2009 will see even fewer Macmansion sales.
If California leads the country in millionaires then the rest of the nation will see the same shift.
From: LuxuryBrokers Listed at $19.5 Million (not for the faint of heart)
This leads us to a obvious question: if there are many fewer folks buying (or able to buy) these Macmansions, what happens to them when the banks own them through foreclosures.
A few suggestions:
- The bank owning them should present them as bonuses to executives. The banks can then recover any loss by listing them at the foreclosed amount (not the market amount) to the recipient
- Turn them into lavish branch banks to serve the currently wealthy in the neighborhood. No problem knowing who still has wealth, check to see if the taxes are paid to date.
- Convert them into company housing. This was common practice in the 19th and early 20th centuries. No reason to reinvent the wheel. Offer company script again instead of wages and let tellers and clerks rent the space. (Add vending machines and charge for other amenity use like the pool or sauna.
- Convert them to private hospitals for those with cash or select health insurance carriers. This will cut down on commuting time for Dr's. if the macmansion has a golf course just page her in.
- Ask ACORN to convert select mansions to brothels. Pay off the local law enforcers with sweet deals on other homes in the new "hood".
- Turn them into luxury hotels, resorts, retreats. This is already being done. A colleague stayed at a WAMU (former bank) macmansion that was used for bank executives and is now open to other private companies for rentals.
- Deconstruct them and use the salvaged materials to build entire villages in developing countries. This will create construction jobs (sort of) in the US and abroad. If we get ahead of the curve on this new industry, we can send contractors to Russia and China to do the same, but the salvaged materials will stay in those countries for low income development.
- Downsized shopping malls for those left with purchasing power. With less buying, retailers will need less floor space, a 50,000 SF macmansion/mall, with pool and valet parking might be more economical than a 2 million SF mall in the suburbs.
- With NO apologies to Mark Sanford, let politicians use them as free-trade zones for importing their Argentine mistresses without fear of the paparazzi. They are in gated communities usually, aren't they?. This way our tax dollars stay in the U.S.
- Convert select gated communities to public parks. Eventually the lack of taxpayer concern will cause the macmansions to become derelict eyesores and crack houses. Then burn them down and let the grounds return to forest (reducing green house gasses and slowing climate change). This is the current method if deaquiring parks buildings in California.
- MY FAVORITE: More reality shows. "Survivor Island-The Hamptons" where contestants have tribal council around the indoor fireplace and contests take place in the "game room". Maybe now is the time for the ''New Beverly Hillbillies". This was potential reality show that was deemed to be in too poor taste a few years back. Let's take another look at it after "Tool Academy" has been aired.
- Suggestions Please?