Hot Property newsletter: The changing of the guard

room with fireplace and furniture and ocean view
The living room of our Santa Barbara Home of the Week opens to outdoor living space and extended views of the ocean.
(Juwan Li Photography)

We’re passing the baton this week, welcoming staff writers Andrew Khouri and Roger Vincent on board with expanded housing and commercial real estate coverage and saying goodbye to longtime newsletter scribe Lauren Beale.

Read all about the transition in the Editor’s Note below. This newsletter will continue under a new name — Real Estate — with plenty of real estate transactions involving the rich and famous.

This week’s collection includes housing news from film and basketball giants, as well as a look at home prices that the rest of us are paying.


Our Home of the Week is a Midcentury Modern compound in Santa Barbara. Priced at $5.995 million, the more than one-acre property includes a post-and-beam main house, a guesthouse, a swimming pool and a putting green. The nearly 5,000 square feet of glass-walled living space has views that take in the ocean.

Once you’re done reading about these deals, visit and like our Facebook page, where you can find real estate stories and updates throughout the week. And if there’s something you would like to see in the evolving newsletter, please let us know.

— Jack Flemming, Andrew Khouri, Roger Vincent and Lauren Beale

$110-million home is a knockout

Sylvester Stallone, the Oscar-nominated star of the “Rocky” and “Rambo” franchises, has set the price for his 3.5-acre Beverly Park estate at $110 million.

The Beverly Park mansion covers 21,000 square feet with eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. During his stay, Stallone added a Richard Landry-designed guesthouse. There’s a movie theater, a gym and a cigar room with an air-filtration system. A life-size Rocky Balboa statue anchors the memorabilia room. The eight-car garage includes an art studio.

A massive patio with an infinity pool and spa features another Rocky statue.

Stallone and his wife, Jennifer Flavin, paid $35.38 million for a sprawling compound in Florida’s Palm Beach a few months ago.

Hilltop house surrounded by grass with pool
Sylvester Stallone is taking a jab at $110 million for his 21,000-square-foot Beverly Park home.
(Simon Berlyn)

Grammy winner changes her tune

Singer Kelly Clarkson is returning to the Encino housing market, re-listing her modern farmhouse for $9 million. The “American Idol” winner was originally asking $10 million last summer.

The main home and guesthouse combine for eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in more than 10,000 square feet. Amenities include a movie theater, a gym, a billiards room and a wine cellar.

The L-shaped residence frames a swimming pool and spa. The half-acre estate also holds an outdoor entertaining area with a lounging area, fire pit and pizza oven.

Clarkson, 38, rose to stardom in 2002 when she won the inaugural season of the singing competition series “American Idol.” Since then, she has released eight studio albums including the Grammy-winning records “Breakaway” and “Stronger.” She hosts the Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

Bedroom with fireplace
Kelly Clarkson’s half-acre property in Encino includes a main house, a guesthouse and a swimming pool.
(Laura D’Anna / MediaCarrot Photography)

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Shaq as his own, best pitchman

Basketball great Shaquille O’Neal sold his custom home in Ventura County’s Bell Canyon for $1.85 million after posting the listing on his Instagram with the caption, “I’M SELLING MY HOME IN BELL CANYON CA.”

Spanning 5,200 square feet, the two-story home is filled with custom art including a Shaq mural in the office and portraits of rappers in the living spaces. It’s far from his most ostentatious estate; that distinction belongs to his 31,000-square-foot mega-mansion in Florida complete with a 6,000-square-foot basketball court, 17-car showroom and 95-foot-long swimming pool dubbed “Shaq-apulco.”

The Bell Canyon house includes a two-story foyer with tile inlay, a living room with beamed ceilings, a media room and five bedrooms. The resort-style backyard contains a swimming pool surrounded by lush landscaping.

Shaq, 48, played for six teams during his storied career, winning three NBA championships with the Lakers and one with the Miami Heat. He is an analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and a Basketball Hall of Famer.

Aerial view of large house
Shaq turned on his pitchman charm to sell his 1990s Traditional-style house in Bell Canyon.
(Neue Focus)

Our supercharged sellers’ market

Southern California home prices and sales rose sharply in December from a year earlier, continuing a pandemic housing boom experts say is in large part driven by rock-bottom mortgage rates and people seeking more space.

The six-county region’s median sale price jumped 10.1% from December 2019 to $600,000 at the end of 2020, according to data from real estate firm DQNews. Sales rose 29% from a year earlier.

Real estate agents and other housing experts say the pandemic has supercharged the market. People with higher incomes who are most likely to buy a home in the first place have been relatively unscathed by the economic downturn. And some buyers are looking for more space as some workplaces remain closed.

A change-up at Sony Pictures

The Sony Pictures Animation campus in Culver City has been acquired for about $160 million by Hackman Capital Partners, which has emerged as one of the region’s largest studio landlords.

The Art Deco-style facility dates from the 1990s and is leased to Sony Pictures Entertainment’s animation team as an extension of Sony’s neighboring studio lot in downtown Culver City. Its three buildings house 182,000 square feet of offices.

White building
The Sony Pictures Animation Campus in Culver City has sold for about $160 million.
(Hackman Capital Partners)

A note to our readers

Hot Property is changing, but the commitment of the Los Angeles Times newsroom to real estate coverage will not.

After Feb. 6, The Times newsroom will no longer produce Hot Property.

Hot Property will relaunch in print and online as a brand publishing product sold by the advertising department. All paid content will carry clear disclaimers indicating that they are sponsored.

Newsroom coverage of the luxury housing market will run in the Business section online and in print, alongside our reporting on the broader residential and commercial real estate markets. Such reporting can also be found in this newsletter, which will be renamed Real Estate. This transition will free up journalists in the Business department to tackle more ambitious enterprise, investigative and service journalism, helping readers navigate the housing market.

Hot Property coverage began in 1984 when the late Ruth Ryon had a hunch that readers would be interested in the intersection of two Los Angeles obsessions: celebrity and real estate. We remain committed to those stories, and Times Business reporters will continue breaking news on eye-catching sales, surprising price-cuts and unique properties across the Southland.

From the archives

Twenty years ago, singer Britney Spears was due to close escrow on a house in L.A. home for $3 million. The Mediterranean-style home had five bedrooms in more than 6,000 square feet.

Ten years ago, the family home of Jack Haley, the Tin Man in the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz,” sold in Beverly Hills for $2.88 million. Haley raised his two children in the Spanish-style house, which was the center of family life and social gatherings. He bought the 4,889-square-foot house in 1941 for $26,000 cash.


What we’re reading

Sandra Bullock’s home on Georgia’s Tybee Island home sold for $4.175 million, Architectural Digest reported. The nearly three-acre property included a 3,360-square-foot main house and an adjacent 2,848-square-foot guest house.

A little Hot Property history

A note from Lauren Beale: I’d be remiss to say goodbye to my Hot Property newsletter gig without passing on some institutional knowledge. Hot Property has been a staple of the Los Angeles Times’ editorial pages in sections including Real Estate, View, Home and Business for more than 36 years, eventually having a Saturday tabloid named after it. Not many editorial products can claim such longevity. I’ve been fortunate enough to be its editor, writer and newsletter curator at various points over the years. It’s been a fun ride, and we’ve proudly nabbed three national awards for the newsletter version you have so faithfully read. I’m indebted to column originator Ruth Ryon and all my fellow torch carriers since: Ann Brenoff, Neal Leitereg and Jack Flemming. Thank you to the readers, sources and colleagues who have made our endeavors worthwhile.