Philiippe Starck Firm Joins Cyrela for Brazil Prize Homes

Cyrela Brazil Realty SA hired Yoo, Ltd., Philippe Starck’s real estate design firm, to build landmark apartment buildings and capitalize on a residential real estate boom in Latin America’s biggest economy.

Brazil’s largest homebuilder is betting on Yoo’s exclusive designs by celebrities from Starck to Jade Jagger to sell high-end apartments, said Cyrela co-Chief Executive Officer Efraim Horn. Cyrela is also teaming up with Ferrari design firm Pininfarina for a sleek residential building in the Vila Olimpia neighborhood of Sao Paulo.

Cyrela, based in Sao Paulo, wants to tap a market that’s seen prices soar over the past three years, to boost revenue that’s forecast to be just slightly higher this year than it was in 2012. The first Yoo-designed project should come to market in 18 months in Sao Paulo.

“We want to provide clients with what they really need,” Horn said in an interview in Sao Paulo. He said the contract is for “many years.”

Cyrela rose as much as 1.5 percent following the report that the company is partnering with Yoo, and had gained 1.1 percent to 12.92 reais at 12:56 p.m. in Sao Paulo.

Home prices in Sao Paulo rose 53 percent over the past three years and 12 percent over the past year, according to an index compiled by economics research institute FIPE and real-estate website Zap Imoveis. The average price per square meter in Vila Olimpia was 10,831 reais ($4,824) in June 2014 compared with 8,286 reais in June 2012, according to the index.

Brazil’s cities are seeing a change as people opt to live closer to work, boosting residential real estate prices in areas like Itaim Bibi, the financial center of Sao Paulo, Horn said.

“In undeveloped real estate markets, the commercial is more expensive, but since two years we already see the change in that pricification,” Horn said. “In developed real estate markets, the residential price is much more expensive than the commercial price.”

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