Watch: Inside the ultra-luxury market’s “parallel universe”

Breaking down a series of extraordinary resi deals across the globe

Like superstar athletes, the very top of the luxury market is playing a different game from everyone else.

Other segments of the market are subject to pesky things like interest rates, economic concerns and the like. But at the highest end of residential, in global hotspots such as Manhattan, Palm Beach and Dubai, there are no rules.

“It exists elsewhere, floating, happily detached from reality, nearly immune to macroeconomic forces and the trials and tribulations of the regular ol’ luxury market,” The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani says in the latest episode of Paydirt, which explores what he calls a “parallel universe” of ultra-luxury. “It is truly global, completely independent of comps and will thrive as long as billionaires want new toys.”

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Samtani discusses a flurry of record-breaking transactions across the globe, from Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s buying spree in Dubai to Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai dropping $188 million for a pad at 220 Central Park South on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row.

Rather than thinking of such deals in terms of comparable sales, Samtani points to three key factors: capital flight, supply and demand, and billionaires’ wanting what they want.

Watch the above video in which he breaks it down with numbers, stories and insights on the global ultra-luxury market, which has undergone what appraiser Jonathan Miller termed a “repricing.” And check out more from Paydirt here.