Helping to spur an improved housing market in Los Angeles in 2012 was a dramatic rise in sales of homes at the top of the market. According to the Los Angeles Times, the number of homes that sold for more than $5 million last year in L.A. reached a level that has not been seen since 2007.
Records from DataQuicks show that in the first 11 months of 2012, there were 296 homes that sold for more than $5 million in Los Angeles. Topping those purchases was the $36.944 million paid by Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison for a home in Malibu that was previously owned by Yahoo Inc. head Terry Semel. The number of high-end homes sold last year was exactly double that of 2009 when the housing market collapsed, and nearly 100 more than in 2011.
The Times noted that several “A-list” celebrities landed luxury homes in Los Angeles last year, including Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Anniston among others. In fact, Seacrest paid the second highest-amount for a home in Los Angeles last year when going to $36.5 million for a Beverly Hills compound that was previously owned by DeGeneres. In turn, DeGeneres spent $17.4 million on an 8,500-square-foot home in Beverly Hills.
There was one other Los Angeles home that sold for more than $30 million in 2012. According to the Times, a 36,000 square-foot French Palladian-style mansion in Beverly Hills was bought for $34.5 million by C. Frederick Wehba, a founder of real estate investment firm Bentley Forbes.
As you would guess by the big jump in high-end home sales, plenty of others in the L.A. celebrity set are getting in on the real estate action in 2012. Among those are Leonardo DiCaprio, who is asking $23 million for his three-home compound in Malibu; and Jennifer Anniston, who paid $20.97 million for an 8,500 square-foot home that sits on three acres in Bel Air.