Even though “mistakes were made,” repeatedly, sometimes the lesson just doesn’t take:
“Luxury resort community to be built at Walt Disney World in Florida”: As the economic calamity from the housing crisis grows, The Walt Disney Co. offers hope in the form of … a ritzy, 989-acre, gated community located within the company’s famous Orlando resort.
About 30 properties, with prices of $1 million to $8 million, will be available this year. The company plans to “ultimately build 450 homes, each between a quarter acre and three-quarters of an acre in size,” the Associated Press reported. (Likely they meant lot size, but you never know.)
AP notes the project comes at a “difficult” time: Florida’s real estate market had the nation’s third-highest foreclosure rate in May. And Orlando’s property values keep falling — the median sale price of a single-family home fell 15 percent in the first quarter and property values also sank 15 percent.
Between 2007 and 2009, the average Orlando home price fell more than 43 percent to $147,400.
And one more: Sales of new homes fell 33 percent in May, to the lowest level on record.
Other than that, it sounds like Disney has a great idea.
Has the law of supply and demand been completely abandoned?
While there is no accounting for taste, does Disney have any evidence that 30 people (never mind 450) who can afford a $1 million to $8 million home, would ever choose to purchase one inside a theme park? No matter how gated?
Perhaps Disney is counting on monied foreigners — billionaires taken with the idea of having their own Magic Kingdom McSpread within sunny Walt Disney World. Maybe a wacky sheik or two.
But people who have that kind of money have that kind of money for a reason. They are careful with it. Often people with that kind of money prize privacy. Despite the fence and the big lots, living anywhere inside Walt Disney World doesn’t murmur “privacy.”
People with that kind of money hire their own architects to build their homes, as opposed to buying one off the rack in a “development.”
Have any of the Disney people been to Las Vegas lately? Or any empty, or half-built, or burned-down luxury housing development anywhere in the country?
With the super-duper rich in such demand, maybe Disney can partner with Donald Trump to offer a 2-for-1 deal.
Jet-setters can get a Disney place, and one of the 1,450 “exclusive” villas being built in north Aberdeen as Trump goes forward with building the “world’s greatest golf course” in Scotland. (Conveniently located in Epcot Center.)