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Welcome to the Fractional Trade blog.

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Welcome to the Fractional Trade blog

Date: 2010-04-22 20:28:28

George Sell Fractional TradeHi everyone, and welcome to the first installment of the Fractional Trade blog.

We've created this site to provide a really useful hub for fractional property professionals to exchange information, make new business contacts and keep up to date with the latest news in this fascinating and fast-evolving sector. To get the most from the site, you need to register and upload your profile, so please do that as soon as you can, and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same. The more people who join, the more value the site will have to its members.

It's been a busy few weeks for us here, getting Fractional Trade ready for launch and ensuring that our sister site Fractional Life is at the cutting edge of the industry. There is also a lot of work to be done organising our events (Fractional Summit USA and Fractional Expo in London) and attending other conferences around the world.

Recently Fractional Life founder Piers Brown and I attended the Ragatz conference in San Francisco. Despite a well-run event with lots of the industry's big hitters in attendence, the prevailing mood was, to be frank, pretty downbeat, with lots of harking back to "the glory years" amid revelations that the North American fractional market was worth $860 million in 2009, compared with a whopping $2.3 billion in 2007.

A personal observation was that much of the focus of the conference and attendees was on the upper end of the market, rather than the mid-market and ultra-high end sectors which I believe have the most potential for growth. Here in Europe there is a real surge in developments selling for €30,000 to €80,000 per fraction, and there is a big rise in interest at this pricepoint among buyers who a coupe of years ago would have been in the market for a whole ownership apartment or villa, perhaps in Spain, France or Portugal, but have been put off by the financial climate. There are a lot of these people out there, with money in the bank, and they are starting to see the sense in only paying for what they use, without the associated hassles of whole ownership.

San Francisco was a revelation. A beautiful city blessed with a winning combination of sea and mountain views, interesting and varied architecture, a cosmopolitan population and a terrific variety of great food (we dined particularly well in Chinatown and at Farallon restaurant on Post Street).

The day before the conference we hooked up with Peter Kempf and Randy Burgess of PKI and Scott Ritter of Dahlgren Duck for a fascinating tour of Alcatraz Island and its eerie prison. The guides recalled various escape attempts from down the years, and the memories of various Hollywood movies came flooding back.

In keeping with the filmic theme, by a strange coincidence the flight across to San Francisco was showing Bullitt, the Steve McQueen movie with its iconic car chase up and down the city's famously steep streets. It was strange to be walking passed landmarks such as Grace Cathedral and the Mark Hopkins Hotel a few hours after seing them on screen.

I took some time out from the conference to visit a couple of San Francisco's private residence clubs. The Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Square is an imaginative conversion of a chocolate factory and warehouse near Fisherman's Wharf, complete with views across the bay to Alcatraz and beyond. And the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club on Market Street is located in the city's first ever skyscraper, an earthquake survivor which was formerly the offices of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Later this week I'm visiting 47 Park Street in London's Mayfair, in preparation for a forthcoming article comparing the San Francisco and London properties which will be live on Fractional Life and Fractional Trade shortly.

Bye for now,

George

Fractional Trade editor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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