News

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The Agency's listing at 12 Bay Island is featured today as the AOL Real Estate "House of the Day." The daily spotlight piece showcases exceptional homes listed for sale, and 12 Bay Island, with its unrivaled location and exquisite Balinese-inspired design, is the epitome of exceptional. Indeed, the stunning "Point Property" situated on magical Bay Island in the Newport Harbor is heralded by many as one of the most beautiful homes in Southern California.

From the AOL article:

"A refreshing respite from the typical California McMansion, this Balinese-style home boasts tropical greenery throughout, Eastern-style wooden ceiling fans affixed to thatched ceilings, rich color themes, and stunning, waterfront outdoor decks with fire pits. Plus, the

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The Agency is proud to have recently joined Prestige MLS, a business association exclusively dedicated to serving the luxury real estate market in Europe and throughout the world. The partnership instantly gives The Agency's listings increased international exposure, ensuring that its clients are well-represented in every corner of the world.

"Our clients are expanding their real estate and vacation appetite beyond their primary residence," said The Agency's CEO/co-founder Mauricio Umansky. "Though we can’t be experts in every corner of the world, through Prestige MLS, we can affiliate ourselves with an expert in each corner and rely on our international partners to ably assist our clientele."

Prestige MLS Members are strictly selected for their

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The Agency's CEO and co-founder Mauricio Umansky is the cover feature in the February issue of Top Agent Magazine. The article highlights how The Agency, under the guidance of Mauricio and co-founder/president Billy Rose, is attracting a number of top agents to its roster while changing the way real estate is done with its collaborative partnership approach, comprehensive concierge program and focus on the international market.

"We're trying to change real estate from selling properties to selling a lifestyle," Umansky told Top Agent.

"In our business we have had the privilege to meet leaders from every industry," said Mauricio, who was recently recognized by The Wall Street Journal as the #7 top producing agent in the country. "From these connections

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Mark Fleming, chief economist at Core Logic, reports that "the time is right in 2012 for prices to begin growing again." In an article published in CoreLogic's MarketPulse newsletter, Fleming points out that the U.S. economy has shown an "encouraging level of stability" and was able to stave off stagnation last year despite a number of negative forces, including fiscal policy indecision here in the U.S. and the economic crisis over in Europe. Fleming believes that the U.S. economy will continue to show stability while moving towards positive growth in 2012.

In making his assessment, Fleming considered indicators such as an improvement in consumer sentiment and the fact that households are now paying off their debts while also having greater access to

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Mauricio Umansky

Speaking on the luxury real estate market this past Thursday at Real Estate Connect New York, The Agency's Mauricio Umansky stressed to the audience that "global" is the new local.

"I have a lot of different global ... relationships," Umansky said, as recapped by Inman News. "I'm finding global to be extremely important." Those global relationships Mauricio was referring to include investors, real estate professionals and executives in Europe, Mexico and China. Most recently, Mauricio traveled extensively in China, including to Shanghai and Beijing, where he met with a number of mainland Chinese investors looking to buy internationally, and in particular, in the U.S.

While home sales continue to slow in China, mainly as a result of government

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The Agency's Mauricio Umansky was a featured speaker this morning at Inman News' Real Estate Connect New York, a must-attend conference that brings together leaders in the real estate and tech industries. The topic: "Selling Luxury Real Estate," a subject Mauricio knows a little something about. The Agency CEO was recently recognized by The Wall Street Journal as the #7 top-producing real estate agent in the U.S. and #1 in Southern California.

Those of us at The Agency who were not lucky enough to be there live were busy following along on Twitter via the very active #ICNY hashtag. And based on the response we saw, conference attendees walked away with some excellent insight from Mauricio.

We compiled a few of the Tweets from those in the audience

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Mauricio Umansky

Mauricio Umansky is getting a good dose of the Big Apple in the new year. The Agency's CEO just returned from a trip to New York in support of his wife, Kyle Richards, who was making the talk show rounds to promote her new book, Life Is Not A Reality Show. Next week, Mauricio heads back to New York to appear as one of the featured speakers at Real Estate Connect New York, a must-attend conference that brings together leaders in the real estate and tech industries.

The conference, held at the Marriott Marquis Time Square, starts January 11 and runs through January 13. The session Mauricio will participate in is titled "Lessons from the High End: Selling Luxury Real Estate" and will take place on Thursday, January 12, from 10:05 a.m. to 10:35 a.m.

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As 2011 draws to a close, the newspapers and websites that cover the real estate industry have been busy compiling their year-end "Most" and "Top" lists. The topics run the gamut, covering everything from top celebrity homes to the most massive estates to the craziest happenings in residential real estate. Check out some of the ones that caught our attention below.

» The Most Expensive House of 2011 - [Wall Street Journal] » Most Viewed Home Galleries of 2011 - [L.A. Times] » Most Popular Posts of 2011 - [Zillow Blog] » Top 10 Most Popular Curbed Posts of 2011 - [Curbed.com] » The 10 Most Expensive U.S. Homes Sold This Year - [Business Insider] » LA's Top Celebrity Real Estate Of 2011: Big, Bigger And Biggest - [Huffington Post] » All the…
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The L.A. Times today took note of The Agency and other independent real estate agencies who are opening offices now despite the overall downturn in the housing market and decreasing number of agents nationwide.

"The high-end market is less sensitive to a downturn in the economy," industry expert Stefan Swanepoel told the L.A. Times.

In the article, The Agency's Billy Rose notes that they are in discussions to add offices around the world, with possible locations including Canada, Mexico, Asia and Europe.

As Mauricio Umansky noted when The Agency launched, “The world is now one integrated marketplace, so we are creating a network of the most capable, respected and informed agents in each region of the globe. Our clients will be expertly represented on

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The Agency’s Billy Rose shared his thoughts recently on the current state of the U.S. luxury real estate market with entertainment-trade magazine Variety. In the article article, titled “No Boom, No Bust,” Rose specifically addresses home sales in Los Angeles, and in particular, Beverly Hills, noting that the demand for luxury homes remains high in the world’s entertainment capital.

"We're seeing a lot of second, third, fourth and fifth home buyers," Rose told Variety, citing several examples of recent home sales over $10 Million to buyers who won't be living in the properties full time.

"Generally speaking, the world is thinking that the United States is on sale right now," shares Rose. Nonetheless, he adds, "Most everyone wants to invest in North

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