What Mega-Rich Homebuyers Get for their Money (in Hong Kong, less space)

The wealthiest billionaires in China, the US, the Middle East and elsewhere are splashing out on one-of-a-kind homes, with US$100 million the new base price for developers catering to this tiny global elite.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 12:32pm

When the world’s ultra-rich go shopping for new homes these days, they’re no longer looking for the traditional “palaces”. While decades ago, the ultimate in luxury might have been studies in ornate excess – Trump-esque golden toilets, an aesthetic straight from Versailles – today’s buyer is more likely to go bespoke.

“Very often these properties are expected to be … ultra customised and one-of-a-kind, complete with furnishings, art and vehicles,” says Marc Carver, principal of the Carver Property Group, a luxury real estate company with offices in New York and Atlanta. “As the number of global high-net-worth individuals continues to grow, so will their appetite for more and more exclusive products, particularly real estate.”

That means properties such as the US$125 million Rancho San Carlos in Montecito, Santa Barbara County, Calfornia – one for those with a refined sensibility: there is a linen and sewing room, a children’s wing and, of course, a Scotch whisky pub. Or the La Dune estate in the Hamptons, priced at US$100 million, with sunken all-weather tennis courts and 122-metre stretch of beachfront. Or a sprawling 38,000 sq ft spread in Bel Air, California, with 150 art installations, 12 luxury cars in the garage, a cinema with seats layered with Hermes throws and pillows – and a price tag of US$250 million; it’s a home that the man who developed it, former Hong Kong handbag magnate Bruce Makowsky, says only about 3,000 people in the world could afford.

That, no doubt, includes Shenzhen real estate tycoon Chen Hongtian, who last year reportedly paid about HK$2.1 billion (US$270 million) for a home on The Peak, setting a new record for Hong Kong.

The entrance to the most expensive house in the US, listed at US$250 million, in Bel Air, California. Photo: Berlyn Photography

These 3,000 people are the same ones being courted for other uber-pricey properties, such as The Manor in Holmby Hills, in Los Angeles, on the market for US$200 million, and the US$195 million Gemini house in Manalapan, Florida. A few years ago, the idea of a US$100 million single family house in the US was incomprehensible. Today, it’s the starting point for a thriving category of homes specifically for billionaires.

“The sky is the limit,” says Rick Hilton, chairman of Beverly Hills luxury residential brokerage firm Hilton & Hyland. “Once we hit the US$100 million mark, we broke the glass ceiling – and we’re seeing people comfortable with spending more than that.”

Hilton and other operators in that super-prestige realm are buoyed by the growing ranks of the billionaire set; according to Forbes, 2016 welcomed in another 198 people worth in excess of US$1 billion. These are the people, Makowsky said recently, “who spend US$200 million on a boat and US$100 million on a plane, and yet they’re still living in US$40 million homes. Why wouldn’t your house be as valuable as your plane?”

The former Playboy mansion in Los Angeles recently sold for US$100 million. Photo: Hilton & Hyland

Makowsky and other developers are seeking to redress that imbalance with a new crop of homes that indulge every conceivable fantasy and aesthetic. The Manor has its own nightclub and spa; Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, recently sold for US$100 million, includes a swimming grotto and a room with a built-in pipe organ; a US$100 million house in Holmby Hills comes with a bar/lounge and hiking trails. And there’s the aforementioned Rancho San Carlos and the Hamptons estate.

Even though there are 3,000 people in the world who could buy [one of these homes], there’s a much smaller list who would buy one.

Gary Gold

Makowsky has made his US$250 million home not just move-in ready, but set up so a buyer can arrive and throw a house-warming bash on the same night: a staff of seven comes with the house for two years from the move-in date, the wine cellar is stocked with 2,500 bottles, and there are three kitchens – one of which has a revamped vintage meat grinder worth six figures.

The bowling alley is equipped with enough shoes for your entire party, and guests can treat themselves to a massage overlooking the pool, browse artworks (such as a US$1 million piece from Chinese sculptor Liao Yibai) or borrow one of the US$30 million worth of cars and motorcycles that are house accessories and bear marques including Bugatti and Lamborghini.

The 38,000 sq ft Bel-Air property includes a classic car collection. Photo: Bruce Makowsky/BAM Luxury Development

Makowsky says he didn’t initially set out to build the most expensive house in America. A few years ago he sold a home he’d built for US$70 million to Markus Persson, who was flush with cash from the sale of his company (which makes the Minecraft game) to Microsoft for US$2.5 billion.

At the time, US$70 million was the most ever paid for a home in Beverly Hills. In the past two years, prices for “trophy” homes in places such as Los Angeles, Miami and the Hamptons have slid up past the US$100 million mark, landing at the historic quarter of a billion dollars that Makowsky is seeking for the Bel Air property, which he built on spec to await a buyer.

Brokers working in the highest echelons of the market are aware of the inherent challenges of selling those properties: even if someone has a couple of hundred million dollars lying around to invest in a new pad, they may not want to. Warren Buffett, worth a reported US$74 billion, has famously lived in the same house since 1958.

The view from beside the swimming pool at the house Makowsky is selling for US$250 million. Photo: Bruce Makowsky/BAM Luxury Development

“Even though there are 3,000 people in the world who could buy [one of these homes], there’s a much smaller list who would buy one,” says Gary Gold, the Beverly Hills realtor who sold the Playboy Mansion last August. The house first went on the market in early 2016 for US$200 million, but sold eight months later for half that price. The global publicity the listing received was helpful, but ultimately, Gold says, he needed to reach out to only a “handful of likely candidates”.

“This was a very specific targeted effort, tweaking the messaging to people so they would understand what we were selling,” he says. The estate was ultimately sold to the head of a private-equity company who happened to already live in the neighbourhood.

Given the pretty finite number of potential buyers, houses in this price range are rarely snapped up in an instant, says Makowsky, adding that developers and sellers have to be patient and that negotiation is part of the deal.

Rancho San Carlos in Montecito, California has its own pub. Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty

Hilton says the Los Angeles market remains undervalued when compared with cities such as London, New York and Shanghai; ultimately, he says, on a per-square-foot basis, there is more value for money in US west coast properties than in other places. He says he’s seeing traction from the Middle East and China, and that the people looking at these US$100 million-plus properties tend to skew younger – typically in their 30s – and want to spend some of their newly acquired wealth.

Makowsky agrees, saying that on a per-square-foot basis, Los Angeles offers far greater value for money than other parts of the world.

“In Hong Kong, this house would cost considerably more than this,” he says. (Indeed, the HK$2.1 billion house on The Peak is just over 9,000 sq ft, less than a quarter of the size of Makowsky’s Bel Air home.)

Still, as far as straightforward investments go, there are probably smarter places to park your money, says Paul Habibi, a professor at the UCLA Ziman Centre for Real Estate. “At that end of the spectrum, when you’re dealing with the uber-wealthy, I don’t know if they’re making decisions with their best economic interests in mind,” he says. “There is such a thing as overconsumption, which this falls into.”

Habibi also says the typical buyers for these homes are new-money rather than old, and fall into two categories: those seeking a repository for funds, and others for whom such a purchase is a “look-at-me” move.

“There are people who have never had this kind of money before, and who are looking to experience it fully for the first time, whether it’s ridiculous or not. When you’re paying a few million just in property taxes every year on a single home, that is not a smart investment,” he says.

Gold says even at that level, pricing is everything. “Sellers are under the impression that whoever the hot buyers are at the moment – the Russians, Middle Easterners, Chinese – are just going to throw their money around and not care about it,” he says. “But nothing could be further from the truth. These are the places in the world where negotiating is a sport. If you price a home too high, you’re not going to get offers.”

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/2070363/what-mega-rich-homebuyers-get-their-money-hong-kong-less-space

Luxury Add-Ons of Cars, Yachts or Helicopters Don’t Always Make the Sale

Russians turn attention to South Florida real estate, Canadian foreign buyers’ tax gets a caveat, and more news from around the world

BY ANNE MACHALINSKI ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 03, 2017 | MANSION GLOBAL |

 

The buyer of this 12,385-square-foot mansion will receive a Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph.

DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE

Buy a condo, get a sports car.

While this sort of two-for-one arrangement has become common in markets where there are a lot of luxury property listings, add-ons like this aren’t always what makes the sale—and in some cases, can actually harm a negotiation, experts say.

In some cases, luxury extras— like six-figure classic cars, yachts, helicopters and fine art—can add value, especially when they’re relevant to the lifestyle of the would-be buyer. Other times, they don’t impact the end deal, but are a way to attract attention and get media coverage. And then there are the cases in which including luxury extras with a listing are seen as a sign of desperation, and a cue for brokers to negotiate hard on price.   

MORE: Click to View a Chelsea Townhouse Comes with a Bentley for the Buyer

“When it comes to these houses that come with a boat or a Porsche, in general, it’s a gimmick,” said Gary Gold, executive vice president of Los Angeles agency Hilton & Hyland. “But if we’re talking about a $25 million house on Kauai that’s fully furnished and comes with cars, or a property on a golf course that includes a bonus golf cart, that makes sense. Those aren’t coming out of left field.”

When Mr. Gold considers where this practice of throwing in an extra car came from, he sees a direct link to how resort homes are generally sold fully furnished with everything you need already there.

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When Los Angeles developers saw how many buyers of homes in the  $10 million to $30 million range were using properties as the equivalent of a vacation home, and only staying there for two or three weeks of the year, they adapted that practice to this market.

It was about five years ago that Mr. Gold noticed that many luxury spec homes in neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Bel Air were coming fully furnished. Today, he estimates that more than 50% of these properties priced above $20 million come with high-end, modern furniture.

In Manhattan, the developer of a new West Chelsea townhouse, listed for $36.8 million, is applying the same logic, and including a 2016 Bentley, valued at $368,000, as well as modern furnishings, which the client can purchase with the property.   

MORE: U.S.’s Most Expensive Home Hits Market at $250M

“We wanted this mansion to be the complete, turnkey package,” said Compass broker Alyssa Soto Brody in an email. “The home is already breathtaking, but we wanted this home’s buyer to be able to just walk in and start enjoying.” 

A much more extreme example of this same practice is Bruce Makowsky’s 924 Bel Air Road. Listed for $250 million, this 38,000-square foot spec mansion comes with 100 curated art installations, millions of dollars’ worth of classic cars and motorcycles, a deactivated helicopter and a $1 million outdoor TV.

“He did something in an extraordinary way,” Mr. Gold said, “and he’s shooting for a certain type of person that’s going to be completely enamored with the whole thing. I think it’s cool.”

If these are cases where the luxury add-ons make sense from a utility or lifestyle perspective, there are also times when extras are included in an organic way, leading to increased exposure and a sale.

Brad Robson, a listing agent for Place in Brisbane, sold a property that fits that criteria in late-November. The Chelmer house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and came with a 1993 Porsche Carrera 911, valued at $100,000. It sold a week before it was meant to go to auction for $2.31 million—an amount that Mr. Robson said the seller was “thrilled” with.

MORE: Buy This Home, Get the Helicopter and Rolls-Royce for Free

“I don’t believe the car was the reason that we sold it for a premium price,” said Mr. Robson, noting that the seller was looking to unload the car at the same time as the house, so they decided to make it a package deal. “What it did was generate a huge amount of interest over and above what we would have gotten without it.”

Because it’s incredibly uncommon to include an extra like this with a sale in Brisbane, Mr. Robson said the curiosity from would-be buyers was genuine. “If everybody was doing things like this, I certainly wouldn’t,” he said.

In the end, the buyer “loves the car, but isn’t sure what he’ll do with it just yet.”

But when the extras are thrown in as an afterthought—neither part of a lifestyle package or included in an organic way—there’s a chance the whole thing will backfire, said Dolly Lenz, the founder of Manhattan-based Dolly Lenz Real Estate.

“As a buyer’s representative, if I see a developer or seller offering a car, trips or other incentives, I see that as a major sign of weakness, and a cue to negotiate hard on behalf of our buyers for those units,” she said. “It’s just so silly. Anyone buying these properties could afford those things on their own.”

Mr. Gold agreed, noting that he recently told a client selling a $3 million West Hollywood house to forget about throwing in a $60,000 car, as he was inclined to do.

MORE: When The House is Just a Starting Point: 3 listings where the perks are plentiful

“That would have been a mistake on so many levels,” Mr. Gold said. “It makes it look like you’re desperate, adds an unnecessary cost, and now, you need to find someone that loves your home and also loves Porsches.”

Not to mention that this type of maneuver can be frustrating when it comes to paperwork tied to the sale. “In general, people don’t want to pay property tax on an extra like a car or artwork,” Mr. Gold said, so they separate the home from the add-on. “You’re basically adding an unnecessary cost that could impact how people look at your house.”    

http://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/52959-luxury-add-ons-of-cars-yachts-or-helicopters-don-t-always-make-the-sale

The Playboy effect: asking prices soar in LA

Wall Street titans and foreign billionaires are vying for famous properties

January 16, 2017 08:30AM 
By Laurie L. Dove 

The Playboy Mansion was listed at $200 million and sold for a record-breaking $100 million. Hugh Hefner, inset, has the right to remain for life.

From the January issue: Blockbuster deals are inspiring some homeowners to go for the gold. After the Playboy Mansion broke the nine-figure barrier in August 2016, homes that sold for mere millions in recent memory hit the market with asking prices in the tens of millions.

Market pros contend that price discovery is an even more delicate art these days, with seemingly more global billionaires than ever freely roaming the market, leading to mega-dollar signs in the eyes of sellers.

“The property starts at a price the seller wants, that’s not supported by real world conditions, and there doesn’t seem to be concern or shame that it’s significantly overpriced,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate appraiser Miller Samuel.

To further complicate matters, when a Los Angeles home has the whiff of Hollywood lore, the question of the right price gets dicier. Sellers and their brokers often find it tough to settle on an asking price for an incomparable home. The Playboy Mansion, for example, originally listed at $200 million in January 2016, before selling for a more than respectable $100 million.

“We had zero comps. I mean, it was the Playboy Mansion. It’s one of a kind on multiple levels,” said Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, the co-listing agent on the property with Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency. “But when you have a seller with an asset and a buyer with money, and they go through the catharsis of coming together, more times than not they arrive at what the property really is worth.”

Many aspects of the deal were unusual, not least among them, Hugh Hefner. The founder of Playboy Enterprises will be allowed to continue living out his days on the property that his company purchased for $1.05 million in 1971.

Daren Metropoulos, who lived next door, bought the 1927 Arthur Rolland Kelly-designed Holmby Hills mansion, located on five acres at 10236 Charing Cross Road. A principal at the private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co., which owns Twinkie-maker Hostess Brands, he eventually plans to join the two estates, according to a statement on his website.

Hefner may be the poster boy for testing the limits of aspirational pricing on an incomparable home, but he is far from the only seller with the moxie to do so — and to have something to show for it.

Shortly after the Playboy Mansion deal closed, two more Holmby Hills trophy properties sold at or near the $100 million mark.

One of them, a spec house built on Barbra Streisand’s former estate at 301 North Carolwood Drive, listed in April 2016 for $150 million. It closed at$100 million in October, tying for first place with the Playboy Mansion in The Real Deal’s ranking of top residential sales. Along with the usual perks one expects at $2,631 per square foot, the listing mentioned a nail salon, massage rooms and an indoor water wall. The neighborhood is steeped in Hollywood history. The 38,000-square-foot mansion is situated directly across from Frank Sinatra’s former property and down the street from Walt Disney’s former home, the Carolwood Estate.

The property’s new owner, Tom Gores, is the chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity, a private equity firm that oversees more than two dozen companies with $6 billion in assets. He also owns the Detroit Pistons NBA team, among other interests, and currently ranks 194 on the Forbes 400 list. His niece Tiffany Martin of the Agency represented him in the part-cash, part land-trade deal.

A house built on spec on the site of Barbra Streisand’s former Carolwood Drive abode sold for $100 million after being listed for $150 million.

Meanwhile, the legendary Owlwood estate, a 22-room mansion located at 141 South Carolwood Drive, flirted with the record books when it sold for $90 million in September  — $60 million under the original asking price of $150 million, which seems to be the new normal for one-of-a-kind homes. At various times, the properties that were combined to create the 10-acre estate were home to such Hollywood legends as Jayne Mansfield, Tony Curtis and Esther Williams.

“Very wealthy international buyers from China, Singapore, India and Dubai were coming in, looking for a trophy property,” said listing agent Ann Dashiell of Douglas Elliman.

The Owlwood estate’s most famous former occupant — Cher — even stopped by for a tour. She and former husband Sonny Bono purchased the estate for $750,000 in 1974. Cher gained ownership of the house when the couple divorced and sold it to carpet business owner Ralph Mishkin for $950,000 in 1976. He named Owlwood after the birds on the property, and sold it for $4.2 million two years later to a businessman from Monaco, who later expanded the compound by 8.5 acres and sold it for $35 million in 2003.  

Now Dawn Arnall, who purchased the property in 2003 with her late husband, the founder of the AmeriQuest Mortgage Company, has sold it to Bob Shapiro, the CEO of Woodbridge Luxury Homes. Real estate professionals believe that Shapiro plans to divide the estate into housing lots and sell them off one by one.

American fashion designer Tom Ford is yet another bold-faced name to purchase one of the year’s priciest homes. Brokers have known for some time that Ford, the director of “Nocturnal Animals,” was hunting for a new luxury property.

As TRD reported in September 2016, Ford made a $53 million off-market bid on a Beverly Hills estate owned by hotel developer Brad Korzen and interior designer Kelly Wearstler. The 3.2-acre, seven-bedroom house at 809 Hillcrest Road had been purchased by Korzen and Wearstler in 2005. The couple unsuccessfully listed the property in 2010 for $46 million, and again in 2012, by which time the asking price had dropped to $39 million.

(Click to enlarge)

Yet when Ford closed on a home a short while later, it was at a different deluxe address. He picked up the home once owned by Bloomingdale’s department store heiress and socialite Betsy Bloomingdale at 131 Delfern Drive in an off-market deal with her children, who had inherited the estate.

The 10,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom house was being shopped around at $55 million, but according to TheMLS, Ford picked it up for just shy of $39 million, putting it at number five in TRD’s ranking. It includes a distinctive red-walled library and a number of outdoor perks, including a pool house, swimming pool, outdoor living area and a tennis court. The house was built in the 1920s in the Spanish Colonial style, then remodeled in the 1950s by silent film actor and designer Billy Haines. Josh Flagg of Rodeo Realty Beverly Hills was the listing broker.

Another global business titan, Elon Musk, has been on a buying spree. In September, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO snapped up a $24 million off-market property in Bel Air that was in an unfinished state of remodeling. The 14,290-square-foot property, which is located at 954 Somera Road, is the fifth house Musk now owns overlooking the Bel Air Country Club, and his sixth in L.A. In December 2012, he began a string of purchases with a $17 million deal for a 20,000-square-foot house on Chalon Road in Bel Air, which has become his main residence.

Brokers say that even more properties are being shopped around at eye-popping prices. Take the Spelling mansion, for example. The property at 594 South Mapleton Drive — now owned by British heiress Petra Ecclestone Stunt — is currently listed at $200 million, which is $115 million more than its purchase price in July 2011. However, unlike many mansion listings in which pricing seems plucked out of thin air, the house, which was originally built by the late American film and TV producer Aaron Spelling in 1988, has at least undergone a substantial renovation.

Another residence raising eyebrows with its current asking price is 455 Lorraine Boulevard in L.A.’s Windsor Square neighborhood. The home was built in 1913 and afforded historic status not only for its Beaux-Arts style, but also for the slate of presidents — Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon among them — who were guests of longtime owners Norman and Dorothy Chandler.

The 9,329-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom house was sold by the Chandlers in July 1997 for about $2 million. Nigerian furniture magnate Robert Oshodin bought it for $9.5 million in June 2014. Pros doubt his improvements justify the current $50 million asking price.

“A lot of these asking prices are made-up numbers rather than being based on any comps,” Miller said. “It’s probably more common than we realize, because everybody is fixated on the top line number and not how the sausage is made.”

The Playboy effect: asking prices soar in LA

Top real estate sales of 2016: L.A.’s record year included two $100-million sales

 

Jim Bartsch

The Playboy Mansion, which sold last year for $100 million, was among the $19.8 billion in L.A.-area properties sold between November 2015 and November 2016.

 

Neal J. Leitereg Contact Reporter

Jan. 6, 2017 6:00 AM

Storied estates and speculative development in Los Angeles County’s toniest neighborhoods pushed the high-end market to new heights in 2016.

Of the dozen single-family home sales of $30 million or more, two changed hands at $100 million — a record-setting mark once thought of as unattainable.

Here’s a larger look at the most expensive homes sold this year in Greater L.A.

$100 million — Holmby Hills

Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos and principal at the investment firm Metropoulos & Co., made real estate history in August with the purchase of the Playboy Mansion.

The $100-million deal for Hugh Hefner’s longtime home and workspace was the biggest sale of a single-family residence ever recorded in Los Angeles County, eclipsing the previous county record set two years ago when the Westside manor known as Fleur de Lys sold for $88.3 million.

The Gothic Tudor-style home was designed by Arthur R. Kelly for department store scion Arthur Letts Jr. in 1927. The 29-room house includes chefs and catering kitchens, a game room and a screening room with a built-in pipe organ. Twelve bedrooms are within 20,000 square feet of living space; the master suite spans two floors.

As part of the sale, Hefner will remain at the estate for the remainder of his life. Metropoulos, who owns a property adjacent to the Playboy Mansion, plans to eventually connect the two estates.

Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency held the listing for the mansion. Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage represented Metropoulos.

$100 million — Holmby Hills

In October, Platinum Equity founder and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores matched the record set by the Playboy Mansion with the purchase of a mega-mansion built on speculation.

The complex deal saw Gores trade a number of his own holdings as opposed to financing or making an all-cash purchase. He will retain a stake in the other properties in the event that they are developed or sold.

Developed by Gala Asher and Ed Berman, the more than 30,000-square-foot house is on a site where an estate once owned by Barbra Streisand once stood. Including several guesthouses, the property has 10 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms including a master suite of more than 5,000 square feet.

Ginger Glass of Coldwell Banker Previews International was the listing agent. Tiffany Martin and Christine Martin of the Agency represented Gores.

$90 million — Holmby Hills

Owlwood, the Carolwood Drive estate once home to actor Tony Curtis and later singing duo Sonny and Cher, sold to a development group headed by Woodridge Luxury Homes chief Robert ShapiroDawn Arnall, the widow of late billionaire and Ameriquest Capital Corp. founder Roland Arnall, was the seller.

Sitting on 10 acres of grounds, the residence includes a 12,200-square-foot Italian Revival-style mansion, two guesthouses, a swimming pool and a tennis court. The development group intends to retain the main house and subdivide the property to build four additional homes, according to sources not authorized to comment on the deal.

The Arnalls bought the home in 2002 along with two adjacent properties — the former homes of actress Jayne Mansfield and actress-swimmer Esther Williams — that were combined into one estate. Both residences were later razed, though the pool house and 70-foot-long swimming pool from Williams’ former home were retained.

Ann H. Dashiell of Douglas Elliman held the listing. Adam Rosenfeld and Kyle Giese of Mercer Vine represented the buyer.

$40 million — Beverly Hills

Tom Gores, as part of his $100-million purchase, sold a mansion on Beverly Park Lane to a California limited liability company.

Although details are scant, tax records show that the sprawling Mediterranean has 20,013 square feet of living space with seven bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. A large motor court, a swimming pool and spa, lawns and formal landscaping fill more than two acres of grounds.

Gores, through a limited liability company, bought the property six years ago for slightly more than $21 million, records show.

 

$39 million — Bel-Air

Developers Jonathan Adler and Joe Englanoff, through a Nevada-based LLC, sold a contemporary-style mansion built on speculation for $9 million less than the original list price of $48 million.

Designed by Paul McClean, the 14,230-square-foot home includes such amenities as a media room, a billiards room and a gym with a steam room. A wine cellar is accessed by way of a thumbprint security system.

Motorized glass doors open to an outdoor lounge and expansive decking. A 90-foot infinity-edge swimming pool also lies within the grounds.

Brandon and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland Ben Bacal of Rodeo Realty, Mauricio Umansky of the Agency and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker were the co-listing agents. Fred Bernstein of Westside Estate Agency repped the buyer.

$38.75 million — Beverly Crest

Designer and filmmaker Tom Ford finally found his trophy estate in December, buying the home of late socialite Betsy Bloomingdale for about two-thirds of the rumored asking price of $55 million.

The Roland Coate-designed home, built in 1929, sits on more than three acres in the 100 block of Delfern Drive and has a formal rose garden, a tennis court, a swimming pool and a pool house.

Architectural firm Marmol Radziner has been commissioned to update the home, which includes a wood-paneled library, a billiards room, formal and informal dining rooms and a pair of kitchens. There are a total of nine bedrooms and seven bedrooms in 9,680 square feet of living space.

Josh Flagg of Rodeo Realty was the listing agent. Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency represented Ford.

 

Link to article:  http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-hp-top-sales-20170107-story.html

 

Playboy Mansion Sold for $100 Million, but Hugh Hefner Is Staying

 

The new tenant, owner of Hostess Brands, will acquire the zoo, the grotto, and a silk-pajama-wearing resident

 

TEXT BY COLLEEN EGAN AND MELISSA MINTON

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM BARTSCH

 

Posted August 16, 2016

The Playboy Mansion has a new owner. The storied property sold for $100 million—just half of the $200 million listing price, which made it the most expensive estate in Los Angeles at the time. The new owner is Daren Metropoulos of the private equity firm Metropoulos & Co., which owns dessertmaker Hostess Brands. Metropoulos also owns the house next door, having bought the adjacent property for $18 million in 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. One of the world’s most famous (or infamous) properties, the Playboy Mansion occupies five acres in L.A.’s prestigious Holmby Hills enclave bordering the Los Angeles Country Club. It’s also the home of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who will have a life estate according to the terms of the sale, meaning that he can stay there until he dies. (Considering he’s the man who made the mansion and its parties the stuff of legend after Playboy Enterprises purchased the home for $1.05 million in 1971, that doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable.)

“Aside from it being the Playboy Mansion, it’s also one of the finest estate properties in the country,” says Gary Gold, executive vice president of real-estate firm Hilton & Hyland, who is one of the listing agents, along with Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency. “It’s literally the best of the best of the best. Properties like this don’t come up for sale.”

Construction of the Tudor Revival mansion began in 1927, and the main house has six bedrooms, six baths, and two powder rooms. The estate also includes a four-bedroom guesthouse and a two-bedroom games house.

“To me, quite honestly, the biggest highlight is the architecture itself—the house is absolutely stunning,” says Umansky, CEO of the Agency. “We don’t have a lot of 1920s architecture here in L.A.” He adds that the interior will need some refurbishing, “but you’re starting off with a piece of art.” And the new owner agrees. Metropoulos said in a statement that he is less interested in the home’s wild past and more interested in preserving its architectural significance.

The grotto might be the most talked-about feature of the grounds, but other highlights include the zoo (the home is one of the few private residences in L.A. with such a license), the lagoon-style pool, the tennis court, and the rolling lawns.

“The grounds are absolutely breathtaking,” Gold says. There’s also a koi pond, a small citrus orchard, and two well-established forests of tree ferns and redwoods. After Hefner’s reign comes to an end, Metropoulos plans to combine his two properties into one that will span 7.3 acres.

 

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/playboy-mansion-for-sale-200-million-hugh-hefner-staying

 

Westside Real Estate Derby has Santa Monica Making a Run

KentuckyDerbyRaceThis headline is inspired by the upcoming Kentucky Derby as the year in luxury real estate is rounding the first quarter turn.  As a new report shows the favorite Beverly Hills in the lead with an long shot making big gains.

Santa Monica saw a drastic upswing in luxury home sales in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year, a market report released  last month.

While Beverly Hills remains the local leader in the sale of homes for more than $3 million, Santa Monica has joined Pacific Palisades, which saw a reduction in total sales, in a two-way tie for second place, according to Sotheby’s International Realty’s Greater Los Angeles Market Report, released April 13.

The report, which analyzed Q1 2016 against Q1 2015, found that 27 homes were sold in Beverly Hills, a 23 percent increase over the 22 homes sold last year. Santa Monica sold 24 luxury homes, an 85 percent increase over the 13 sold last year. Pacific Palisades, which also sold 24 homes, experienced a 20 percent reduction over the same period last year when it led the region with 30 luxury home sales.

The Santa Monica luxury housing market is booming as more and more buyers are attracted to beachfront locations near the iconic Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place. It has now joined Beverly Hills and the Pacific Palisades as a top destination for luxury buyers.

Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Bidding Wars

los angeles luxury real estate marketFew real estate markets are as exciting or as interesting as the Los Angeles. Not only are many homes filled with rich histories or owned by celebrities, but the luxury homes here can often have some of the most fabulous amenities in the country. And to add to that ‘interesting’ factor, a new trend has shown up – bidding wars and all-cash offers.

In our latest luxury real estate market upswing we’ve already seen firsthand just how much people are willing to fight for the home that they want. The big factor driving things forward is simple – inventory levels for the high end of  the Los Angeles real estate market are lower than ever, and that’s especially true in the case of the luxury home market. This sudden shortage of homes being listed means that people are now ready to pay higher prices for the home that they want.

Recent data suggest that another housing bubble burst isn’t likely to occur any time soon. This is because today’s current price appreciation is not driven by speculation or high-risk loans. Instead, it’s just a simple economic formula of supply and demand. Values have already increased dramatically and it’s expected that they’ll rise by as much as 35% over the next 4 years.

That means two things. The first is that buying a home is trickier than ever, with bidding wars occurring on an almost regular basis and cash offers trying to help persuade sellers to accept an offer quickly.

The second is that this could be a great time to invest in the luxury home market and properties in the area. New developments from the Palladium Residences to Millennium Hollywood are offering chances to purchase homes in the area which could turn into valuable properties later. It’s an exciting time in the LA real estate market, and one that’s well worth taking a look at more closely.

First look: Playboy Mansion Marketing Images

Hugh Hefner’s multimillion dollar listing is on the market — it’s being sold by Gary Gold

Published on Jan 12, 2016

BY AMBER TAUFEN  STAFF WRITER

 

Marketing is everything when it comes to sales. The listing agents behind the Playboy Mansion — Gary Gold and Mauricio Umansky — have the benefit of a very well-known brand and name behind the property, which recently went up for sale with a $200 million asking price.

But recent press about the condition of the mansion has been less-than-glowing. A 2013 Vice article describing the property as “kinda depressing” has been on the front page of Google results for the “Playboy Mansion” search term for months, and with Playboy’s announcement that it would no longer be publishing nude women in magazines, the question of whether the company is still relevant in the digital age is being widely debated in the publishing community.

Add that to a contingency that the mansion’s current owner, the illustrious Hugh Hefner, be allowed to continue to occupy the property until his death, and the sale could get even tougher. Hef might be in his late 80s, but it’s also safe to assume he’s received top-notch medical care for most of his life. He could be kicking around for another five to ten years, or possibly even longer than that.

Well, the infamous “they” say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s the case, then these press-ready photos that Gold and Umansky shared with Inman should be getting Hef a lot closer to that coveted $200 million price tag. The mansion looks just as stately as it did when it was first built in 1927.

The last remodel on this seven-bedroom, 14,000-plus-square-foot dwelling was completed in 1947, according to public records.

The most likely buyer? My guess is either a history buff, especially someone interested in the history of publishing — or a startup tech wizard who’s got fond memories of the magazine.

 

http://www.inman.com/2016/01/12/first-look-playboy-mansion-marketing-images/

Hugh Hefner’s Iconic Playboy Mansion is Going on Sale for $200 million

Chris Michaud, Reuters

  • Jan. 11, 2016, 5:36 AM
  • 14,021

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy

The cocktail hour during an advance screening of “Entourage” at the Playboy Mansion on May 20 in Los Angeles. 

The iconic Los Angeles mansion of Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire, is being put up for sale for $200 million, Playboy Enterprises said, one of the highest asking prices for a private residence in the United States.

The Gothic Tudor-style mansion, which has an area of nearly 20,000 square feet (1,858 square meters) and boasts 29 rooms, sits amid 5 acres in Holmby Hills west of the city.

In addition to amenities such as a tennis court and a free-form swimming pool, the estate is home to the infamous Playboy grotto, which over the years served as the setting for some of Hefner’s most lavish, hedonistic parties.

The mansion, in which Hefner still lives, also has a zoo license, the company said in a statement announcing the sale.

“The Playboy Mansion has been a creative center for Hef as his residence and workplace for the past 40 years, as it will continue to be if the property is sold,” the statement added.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/hugh-hefner-playboy-mansion-on-sale-for-200-million-2016-1