Real Estate newsletter: A $75-million hot-pink mega-mansion
Welcome back to the Real Estate newsletter. Someday, I’ll kick this off with good news (for buyers, anyway) and declare that home prices are plummeting and California is finally affordable. Today is not that day.
This week, two new data sets brought harsh reminders of how expensive it is to live in L.A. The first came by way of PropertyShark, which did a 10-month study of national median home prices and found that California holds 70% of the country’s priciest ZIP Codes. L.A. County led the list with 21 entries, including two in the top 10: Beverly Hills’ 90210, where the median price was $4.125 million, and Santa Monica’s 90402, where the median was $4.058 million.
The second data set analyzed Southern California’s October housing market and found that the median price in the six-county region rose to a record $690,000, a 14% leap from a year earlier. Sales slowed by 6.6%, however, marking the first drop since last June.
Whatever the market may be, the rich and famous continue buying and selling homes at a blistering pace. The week’s biggest listing came in Brentwood, where a hot-pink Mexican modernist mansion surfaced for sale at $75 million. The ambitious seller is Joel Silver, the blockbuster movie producer behind the “Die Hard” and “Matrix” franchises.
Brentwood also saw a high-profile sale when Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton unloaded his leafy retreat for $3.6 million. The deal came a few months after the “Sling Blade” star moved to Agoura Hills, shelling out $3.11 million for a small compound complete with a 2,000-square-foot recording studio.
We also checked in on the luxury rental market, where apartment complexes keep one-upping each other in hopes of providing the most “I-didn’t-even-know-I-needed-that” amenities imaginable. Forget grocery shopping; in one building, you don’t even have to put your food in the fridge.
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California holds 70% of the priciest ZIP Codes
Home prices across the country soared during the pandemic, but at the top of the market, California kept its crown as the priciest state in the nation — by far.
A new study from PropertyShark found that California holds 89 of the 127 most expensive ZIP Codes in the country, or roughly 70%. That’s three percentage points more than the lion’s share it held last year.
The report, which measured 2021 residential transactions that closed from Jan. 1 to Oct. 22, also named Los Angeles County as the highest-priced county in the country, with 21 ZIP Codes on the list. The Bay Area’s Santa Clara County ranked second with 15, and San Mateo County ranked third with 10.
Home prices continue historic rise
Southern California’s cutthroat housing market has cooled in recent months, with some home shoppers — tired of losing bidding wars — putting their search on hold. Price drops became more common, writes Andrew Khouri.
But the slowdown is minor. For potential buyers, the message from the market, and Realtors, is not entirely reassuring: Expect slightly less pain.
“You are not seeing 20 offers on a property, you are maybe seeing four,” said Meegan Bevere, a Los Angeles-area agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “It’s still not easy.”
In October, home prices in the six-county Southern California region rose 14% from a year earlier to a record-high median of $690,000, according to data from real estate firm DQNews. Sales declined 6.6%, the first drop since June 2020.
Mexican modernist mansion up for grabs
One of Brentwood’s most striking estates is back up for grabs after Joel Silver, the producer behind blockbusters such as “Die Hard” and “The Matrix,” relisted the home for $75 million.
That’s $2.5 million less than he was asking last year, but Silver is still chasing an all-time high. If he gets his price, or anything close, it will trump the current Brentwood record held by Tom Brady, who sold his French-chateau-style home to Dr. Dre for $40 million in 2014.
Silver is no stranger to blockbuster sales. In 2018, he sold his Malibu beach house to Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison for $38 million.
At 25,000 square feet, his Brentwood home is significantly bigger — and brighter. Billed as a Mexican modernist mansion, the pink-colored abode was built by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, who handled a few projects in Southern California, including the $14.5-million redesign of downtown L.A.’s Pershing Square.
Oscar-winner sells in Brentwood
A few months after moving to Agoura Hills, Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton has unloaded his Brentwood home for the full asking price of $3.6 million.
Thornton, star of films such as “Sling Blade” and “A Simple Plan,” had owned the property for eight years, paying $2.7 million for it in 2013.
He bought his Agoura Hills home in April for $3.11 million. In addition to having more than double the space on over an acre, it came with a 2,000-square-foot professional recording studio — a key amenity for Thornton, who moonlights as a musician and has released four solo albums while also singing in the Bellflower-based rock band the Boxmasters.
Amenities galore in luxury apartments
As part of your rent at the new $300-million apartment building called Kurve on Wilshire, you can get a weekly visit from a housekeeper who will make your bed to hotel standards, load your dishwasher, tidy the place up and take out the trash, writes Roger Vincent.
Housekeeping will also deliver your mail to your unit, and box up and return items you bought online that you decide not to keep. That’s just for starters, all available for a fee through a phone app.
Assistants will do your grocery shopping and put food away in your fridge at a cost of 5% of the total bill. The same goes for dry cleaning and laundry, which will be hung in your closet. Additional services available through the tenants’ app include pharmacy pickups, basic tailoring and a tech “concierge” to help with your computer problems.
The pampering is not unique to Kurve, located near Koreatown, which is attempting to compete in a crowded upper-tier market. Floridly luxurious apartment buildings have a long history in Los Angeles, and the appetite for deluxe living quarters has been unabated by the pandemic as rents continue to rise.
What we’re reading
Eyeing a remodel but don’t know where to start? The Washington Post published a guide for renovation projects on a budget of $20,000 with ideas such as a kitchen overhaul and a stellar deck.
Baseball’s rising stars got good news this week as the MLB announced a new program that will provide housing for more than 90% of minor league players. The effort is part of an ongoing revamp of the minor league system that has also brought pay increases and reduced in-season travel. USA Today has the story.
The view from Sacramento
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