Even in the pre-crash era, when real estate costs were surging, nine-figure bargains for properties seemed outlandish. Then beginning in 2015, with ultra-luxury marketings on the deterioration( watch: international market volatility and more scrutiny of cash buys) and homes in the 7 and eight figures languishing on the market for twice as long as the year before, as well as undergoing price cuts, their existence seemed futile.
Yet, today there are 23 homes on the market priced over $100 million.
It used to be that nothing was in this $100 million price range, and now we have more than a dozen properties across the country, says Suzanne Perkins, a Santa Barbara County, California-based real estate agent who is handling several properties above the $100 million mark.
There are at least nine more propertiesincluding massive undeveloped residential lots and private islandsasking $100 million or more on the market than last years 19, according to Christies, which scoured public listings and media reports, and probed insider contacts to develop an internal list, which it shared with Bloomberg.
But dont call it a glut. Call it the price of doing $100 million dollar business.
According to Dan Conn, CEO of Christies International Real Estate, homes in this price scope tend to stay on the market for three to five years. Over the last handful of years, including 2015, he says, the peak number sold was five; three have sold this year. This feels like a reasonably healthy year, he says.
The long life of such listings comes in part from the size of the buyer( and marketer) pond, or rather, absence of size.
Its a really restriction universe of buyers and sellers and properties, says Conn. Of the worlds richest 200 people, many already have several spectacular, high-priced homes. Not every year will a top hedge fund manager buy a $100 million home. They can stay on the market for a really long time because you dont have a dealer that has to sell, and you dont have a buyer that has to buy.
Buyers are more likely looking for a place to park their cash than make an investment that they hope will balloon in worth, so theyll wait until the right home presents itself. In other words, the ultra-rich may not actually want a sprawling beachfront mansion in Florida for $195 million or a $300 million chateau outside Paris. And since vendors arent usually in a big hurryfire sales are uncommon in this world, since vendors usually spread their assets aroundthey arent always willing to accommodate negotiations.
If they get their number theyre happy to go, says Aaron Kirman, chairperson of Aaroe Estates, whose clienteles includes many Middle Eastern royal households. If they dont, they love their home, theyre happy to stay.
It needs to be irreplaceable and very hard to find, says Kirman of what lets homes command such high prices. It starts with site: the position, the grounds, personal privacy, and usually its a combo of all of the above. At that price phase, it better have everything. Architectural or historical significance also drive up the price.
This years offerings include a seven-bed, 10 -bath duplex on Fifth Avenue in New York; the magnificent Bubble Palace once belonging to Pierre Cardin, on the Cote dAzur in France; and , not to be forgotten, Michael Jacksons former Neverland Ranch. Of the 26 on our list, nine were in or near Los Angeles, four were in the New York area, and three were in France. The rest ranged from Panama to Barbados to Switzerland.
Kirman says he has two listings about to sell near the $100 million mark, and Perkins says a ranch in Montecito is under contract for $125 million, and shes expecting a backup offer.
And these are only the ones we know about. Many vendors of $100 million-plus properties involve discretion, and dont want the world to know theyre unloading an asset.
Were well informed other properties that never make the market publically, says Conn of what are known as pocket listings or whisper listings. Some people are shy about letting people know that theyre selling an asset. You have a lot of people at this end of the market that dont love having advertising around what theyre doing. Conn doesnt know for sure, but he estimates there are a dozen around the world now.
Some of these dealers are so publicity-shy that they wouldnt allow us to reprint the photographs of their homes, despite the listings being available on the web.( But here you gotheres this luxury tower in Monaco, allegedly for $300 million; a castle in Geneva on the market for $106 million; and the Palais Vnetian in Cannes, which Christies has priced at $105 million .)
Others have proven impossible to corroborate. Like the $500 million property in L.A. that topped Christie’s list, which we reported on in May 2015, but the actual listing is nowhere to be found. Of the 23 discovered by Christies, we corroborated 21, but only the below 14 would let us use images.
The offerings are robust, but opportunities are slim that therell be bidding wars. That Hong Kong home that sold this year for $107 million was apparently 25 percent less than analysts predicted. And word has it that the Playboy mansion sold nearly 50 percent of the original ask.
Although, as Conn says, Fifty percent off $200 million is still $100 million.
Price : $455 million Location : Theoule Sur Mer, Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur, France The Deets : 10 bedroom suites( decorated by contemporary artists ), 12,916 square feet. Why Is It So Expensive ? Designed by the architect Antti LOVAG, Pierre Cardins former lair has a 500 -seat auditorium and a sofa with panoramic views of the bay of Cannesand an out-of-this-world style. Think high design versions of Luke Skywalkers home on Tatooine or a Bond villains lair.
Price : $195 million Location : Manalapan, Florida The Deets : 33 bedrooms, 34 full and 13 half bathrooms, 84,988 square feet of living space Why Is It So Expensive ? Land. To be specific, 15.65 acres if it, in a walled compound, and 1,200 feet of beachfront on this barrier island near Palm Beach. It stretches from the ocean to the Intracoastal. The home was originally designed in the 1940 s by architect Marion Sims Wyeth, a favorite son of Palm Beach. Also: it is huge .
Price : $159 million Location : Hillsboro Beach, Florida The Deets : 17 beds, 20 full and 11 partial baths, 70,774 square feet Why Is It So Expensive ? This is not to be confused with Versailles, the 90,000 -square-foot home featured in the Queen of Versailles documentary, but its still got plenty to boast about( and, hey, it didnt get stalled like that one ). This one is on over four acres of beachfront, with the first IMAX home theater( which can run$ 1 million itself ), a Go-Kart track, and ice skating rink, and a$ 2 million grand staircase.