Who Pays $1 Million (Plus) for a Home?

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jun. 22, 2009 12:00 am  

This Little Rock home on Sologne Circle sold for $1 million in 2008. The number of seven-figure-plus homes sold in Pulaski County has been falling every year since 2004.

Simpson, who is the executive vice president of Stephens Capital Management, a division of Stephens Inc. of Little Rock, declined to comment on his home.

This year marked a noticeable shift in homeowners being willing - or, rather, not - to discuss their homes and their features.

The wealthy may be sensitive to others who are struggling financially, said Milton Pedraza, the CEO of the Luxury Institute LLC of New York, which conducts research on the luxury goods and services industry. 

"They want to be very low key because they don't want to be seen as ... ostentatious or greedy people enjoying life at a time when other people are feeling pain," he said.

Wealthy people were once proud of what they owned, said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing of Stevens, Pa., which conducts market research for retailers that sell luxury items.

"But today, people don't feel the need to show it off anymore," she said, "because it's divisive."

While there may be some anecdotal evidence that wealthy people are feeling embarrassed about what they have, that's not the only explanation for their reticence, said Ron Kurtz, a principal of the American Affluence Research Center of Alpharetta, Ga., which conducts research targeted at the wealthiest 10 percent of the population.

"It could be as much about security," he said. "I feel [luxury shame] is being overplayed by the media in general."

Still, for those readers who have wondered who owns these high-dollar homes, Arkansas Business has attempted to provide a brief description of each of the homes listed and the owners, using interviews and public records.

Here's what we found:

● The largest of the seven-figure homes came in at 10,000 SF and is located in west Little Rock's Hickory Hills neighborhood. In May, Pine Bluff National Bank recovered the home from David Hamilton after the property was foreclosed on in 2006. The home changed hands in a $1.68 million transaction.

Hamilton, through his Hamco Realty LLC, bought the property for $2.3 million in 2005 from the DFT Revocable Trust, led by Donald Thompson. The property was tied to a January 2005 mortgage of $1.95 million held by Pine Bluff National Bank and a March 2006 mortgage of $100,000 held by Centennial Bank of Little Rock.



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