The upper reaches of L.A.’s luxury home market are definitely on track for a record-setting year. Mammoth residential transactions at massive prices are blowing our minds.
The Playboy Enterprises sale last month of Hugh Hefner’s storied mansion set the new local price point to beat at $100 million. And asking prices approaching $200 million, such as the recent listing of the onetime William Randolph Hearst-owned Beverly House at $195 million, are fueling speculation: Just where is the upper limit in this hot housing market?
– Neal J. Leitereg and Lauren Beale
Stellar sales price
A Westside estate that has been home to such notables as actor Tony Curtis and singing duo Sonny Bono and Cher has sold for $90 million.
The property, in Holmby Hills, had been shopped outside the Multiple Listing Service in recent years for $150 million.
The 10-acre estate known as Owlwood was created by combining several home sites and closing off a portion of Carolwood Drive. At the heart is a meticulously landscaped, 12,000-square-foot Italian Revival-style mansion.
Owlwood, a Westside residence once home to Curtis and later Sonny and Cher, sold for $90 million. (Mercer Vine)
At $10.95 million, this oceanfront home has far from the highest asking price in Malibu. But among notable homeowners, it’s hard to find a bigger name.
Leading man Leonardo DiCaprio has put a house on Carbon Beach on the market for nearly seven times what he paid for the property two decades ago.
Entered through a gated courtyard, the clean-lined house includes a living room with a fireplace, a dining area, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Gray herringbone tile and matching cabinetry update the galley-style kitchen.
The remodeled 1950s bungalow had been listed for lease last year at $23,000 a month or $50,000 a month as a summer rental.
DiCaprio put his Carbon Beach home of nearly two decades on the market for $10.95 million. (Realtor.com | Inset: Getty Images)
His inner space
You never know what you are going to find inside Los Angeles-area homes.
This week’s little gem comes from Malibu where drummer Jack Irons, a founding member of the alt-rock group Red Hot Chili Peppers, sold a house for $1.625 million.
Sitting on five acres with ocean and mountain views, the country farmhouse features light blue siding, a brick chimney and a wrap-around porch.
But the 3,000 square feet of interiors are anything but pedestrian. The money shot is on the second floor where Irons created a bohemian-inspired sound/recording studio decorated with colorful draperies.
Irons sold his home in Malibu for $1.625 million. (Sherri J Photography | Getty Images)
We often notice chains of homeownership with recurring themes. Sports stars sell to athletes, A-listers buy from other big-screen stars, that sort of thing.
In this case, the Beachwood Canyon home that comedian-actor Chris D’Elia has listed at $2.1 million has a history of one-liners.
D’Elia, known for his roles on the sitcoms “Whitney” and “Undateable,” bought the Spanish-style place three years ago from comedian and television host Craig Ferguson.
The 1930s home sits behind walls and privacy hedges on nearly a quarter of an acre. There’s a swimming pool, a white picket fence and 2,600 square feet of living space.
Now all it needs is its next punchline.
D'Elia bought the Beachwood Canyon residence in 2013 from Ferguson. (Val Riolo | Getty Images)
He plays through
Another timely example of our like-attracts-like observation comes from Florida.
In the private golf club community of Windermere, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson has sold his lakefront home for $4.2 million.
The two-story house, once owned by fellow PGA player Tiger Woods, underwent a complete remodel during Watson’s three years of ownership.
Some 8,000 square feet of living space includes a foyer entry, a two-story living room, a formal dining room, an office and a family room.
Watson sold an Orlando-area home once owned by Tiger Woods for $4.2 million. (Realtor.com | Getty Images)
Off the campaign trail
We can’t seem to get away from politics this year.
Onetime Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has sold her gated desert estate in Scottsdale, Ariz., for $2.275 million.
Built in 2001, the 8,000-square-foot house came to market in December for $2.499 million. Decks and extensive patio space expand the living space outdoors — at least during the parts of the year one can be outside comfortably in Scottsdale.
A swimming pool and spa are among the amenities on the five-acre property.
Palin bought the place in 2011 for $1.695 million.
Palin sold her home in Scottsdale, Ariz., for $2.275 million. (Premier Lister | Associated Press)
From the archives
Ten years ago, “Days of Our Lives” soap star Deidre Hall and writer-producer Steve Sohmer sold a Gerard Colcord-designed English country-style house in Bel-Air for an undisclosed price. The MLS would later show the 6,800-square-foot home went for $6.6 million. In 2009, after a complete restoration, the onetime home of comedian Bob Newhart would sell again — this time at $10.5 million.
Twenty years ago, Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton sold a house in Los Feliz for about $950,000 and bought a Beverly Hills residence for close to $2.5 million. The three-bedroom home she sold was designed by Lloyd Wright, the son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and built in 1928. Keaton had put nearly $1 million into refurbishing the house, which she bought for about $1.2 million. Yes, the actress got caught in the housing slump.
Thirty years ago, media magnate Rupert Murdoch bought a Wallace Neff-designed house in the Beverly Hills area that had been listed at $10 million. Among his more recent real estate deals was the 2013 purchase of the Moraga Vineyards estate in the $20-million range.
What we’re reading
— Home flippers are seeing hefty returns on houses in the largely working-class neighborhoods west of USC. Part of what’s driving the activity — as well as the prices — are the Expo Line light rail and the anticipated completion of the upcoming Crenshaw Line. But longtime residences, particularly renters, now wonder how long they can continue to afford to live in the area.
— Actor Tim Allen of “Last Man Standing” and “Home Improvement” recently shared his favorite room with readers of the Los Angeles Times Hot Property section. His pick: the main office of the 50,000-square-foot North Hollywood compound where he keeps and works on his collection of about 30 cars.
— In the house envy category, a Washington Post story about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s former home in St. Paul, Minn., caught our eye. The brownstone, a registered national landmark, dates to 1889 and is listed at $625,000. A young Fitzgerald penned “This Side of Paradise” in the third-floor bedroom.
— People, people, please. News that Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are divorcing sent the tabloids into overdrive about all things Brangelina, including what will become of their $60-million French winery and vineyard estate, Château Miraval. To quote Fortune’s take: “Details about the splitting of assets like the vineyard will likely come later.” Enough said.
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