Where? (Location)
Monday, March 15th, 2010

Rhode Island on the up

While Britain and other countries still feel the pinch of the economic crisis the US economy is showing itself to be pretty robust. In fact, growth towards the end of 2009 reached an annualised rate of six per cent, quite a reversal on a year ago. However, this is certainly not to say that the US is out of the woods just yet, and in a country as vast as America regional prospects can range from poor to excellent.

Rhode Island is currently among those states that seem to have a spring in their step. While this traditional playground of America’s elite did suffer the initial impact of the financial crisis of 2008, it appears to have been reborn in the aftermath of it. Always popular with the wealthy set from New York and New England, Rhode Island lost some of its legendary lustre in recent years, as new summer playgrounds came to the fore.

Now, however, it is leading the slow but certain real estate revival in the US. A little strange, you might think, for such a tiny state, but what Rhode Island lacks in area it makes up for with the sheer quality of its properties. In a state synonymous in America with style and class you can speak of property royalty, and with many of the country’s most historically important mansions and grand estates it is one area that holds its own with French chateaux and English country homes.

But Rhode Island’s appeal stretches beyond the fact that it is home to lavish mansions. In this, the greatest concentration of such properties in the US, the charm lays also in the rich history and pedigree of an area that attracts not only the American but also an international elite. With its golf, equestrian tradition and unsurpassed yachting facilities, Rhode Island is one of the spots where important people come together in a convivial setting.

Famous names that own or have owned properties here include the likes of Anthony Quinn, Nicolas Cage, Ann Archer, James Woods, Oracle boss Larry Ellison and international entrepreneur Peter de Savary. In earlier times the Astors, the Vanderbilts, Edith Wharton, Jackie Onassis, Doris Duke and Claus and Sunny Von Bulow are just a few of the many names to call Newport home. Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower both made Newport the sites of their ‘Summer White Houses’ during their years in office. Now it seems they will be joined by many more illustrious personages as wealthy buyers are snapping up stately homes and estates for millions below the prices they were commanding a few years ago.

Such low prices could be seen as evidence of the recession, but in Rhode Island they have actually had a rejuvenating effect, attracting new buyers and injecting new life into the unique real estate market of Newport and surroundings. The town is stirring again, with one grand home after another being snatched up. This newfound confidence is reflected in the state’s ambitious drive to host both the America’s Cup and the Ryder Cup – two of sport’s most prestigious events – in coming years.

For those who want in on Newport’s feel-good ambience and have the means to acquire a frightfully good investment on the way, hurry because ‘stocks’ are limited!

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