Hot Property Newsletter: What the (luxury) market will bear


Although it may be easy to find comparable sales and nail down the going price per foot in cookie-cutter suburbs, the Los Angeles luxury market is full of vagaries when it comes to setting an asking price. Nowhere is that more apparent than in top-tier mansions.

Sometimes prices are designed to grab headlines, and others hinge on an owner’s ego in one-upping the field. This week’s collection leads off with one storied estate still seeking that price sweet spot.

Our Home of the Week is a glass-walled contemporary residence set above the Sunset Strip. Its 7,300 square feet of interior space is complemented by multiple outdoor living areas including a rooftop terrace with a full bar. The asking price is $11,599,999.


Once you’re done reading about these deals, visit and like our Facebook page, where you can find Hot Property stories and updates throughout the week.

– Neal Leitereg, Jack Flemming and Lauren Beale

Who will be next?

Owlwood, a Westside estate owned in the 1960s by actor Tony Curtis and later sold to singers Cher and Sonny Bono, is back on the market at $115 million. It has also seen such owners as 20th Century Fox Chairman Joseph Schenck, oil tycoon William Keck and Hotel Bel-Air founder Joseph Drown.

The 10-acre compound, created by combining three parcels, centers on an Italian Revival-style mansion of more than 12,200 square feet. Priced as high as $180 million two years ago, the property previously sold in 2016 for $90 million.

Ornate molding and wood panels adorn the living room and formal dining room. A chandelier tops an oval-shaped sun room. There are a total of nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

Expanses of fairway-like lawns and towering trees lead to a tennis court and a swimming pool with a pool house.


The price was right

Actor Breckin Meyer of “Garfield: The Movie” and “Franklin & Bash” has unloaded his 1960s Midcentury home in Hollywood Hills for $1.725 million.

A price cut seemed to seal the deal. After floating the property for $1.995 million earlier this year, he trimmed the tag by $100,000 and found a buyer one month later.

Within the 2,146 square feet of living space are three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The master suite opens directly to a flagstone patio with a pool and spa.

Meyer, 45, starred in the ’90s films “Clueless,” “The Craft” and “Escape From L.A.” before more recent roles in “SuperMansion” and “Designated Survivor.”

Dressed to sell

Los Angeles-based fashion designer Dina Bar-El, who has created gowns for notables including Victoria Beckham and Nancy O’Dell, has put her home in Beverly Hills on the market at $7.995 million.


Set behind hedges and palms, the stylish contemporary home has high ceilings and an open floor plan. The 5,207 square feet of living space include five bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

The home, which dates to 1947, is on a lot of more than half an acre with a swimming pool and a pool house.

Bar-El has also designed dresses for “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Dancing With the Stars.”

Dinah Shore’s safe harbor

The onetime home of singer-actress Dinah Shore and her then husband, western actor George Montgomery, has sold in Palm Springs’ Movie Colony neighborhood for $1.585 million.

The California ranch house was built for the couple in 1952 and recently renovated and updated. Terrazzo floors, vaulted ceilings with exposed beams and walls of windows are among the details.


The 2,594-square-foot floor plan contains four bedrooms and three bathrooms. A swimming pool, patios and an outdoor shower also sit on the more than a third-acre of grounds.

Shore, who died in 1994 at 76, amassed nine gold records and 10 Emmy Awards during her career. The Big Band era singer was still belting out the hits and had her own television variety show about the time the Palm Springs house was built.

It’s a wrap for producer

Film and television director and producer Jonathan Heap sold his Hollywood Hills West home of more than two decades for $2.05 million.

The Midcentury-vibe two-story, built in 1959, sits on a half-acre with a backyard swimming pool.

Entered through a two-story foyer featuring a spiral staircase, the contemporary centers on a living/family room area that can double as a screening room. There’s also a formal dining room, a galley-style kitchen with stainless-steel work surfaces, two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms within the 2,124 square feet of living space.

Heap directed the Academy Award-nominated short film “12:01 PM” (1990) and produced the subsequent full-length feature, “12:01.” Among his other credits are the movies “Benefit of the Doubt” (1993) and “The Unwilling” (1996).


His favorite room

The living room of actor Jonathan Tucker’s 1927 Hancock Park home echoes Africa, India and old New England, marrying the past he and his wife, Tara Tucker, share through art and family connections. Myriad African pieces are displayed throughout the high-ceilinged living room of the 1,900-square-foot house. Old paintings of colonial India honor Tara Tucker’s mother, who is from Delhi, while the room’s architectural details and original tile fireplace recall the Boston childhood row house of Jonathan Tucker, known for his work on HBO’s “Westworld” and DirecTV’s “Kingdom.”

Actor Jonathan Tucker in his Hancock Park living room.
Actor Jonathan Tucker in his Hancock Park living room.
(Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

From the archives

Ten years ago, actress and Playboy model Bridget Marquardt became a first-time home buyer with the purchase of a contemporary Mediterranean in Sherman Oaks for $1.725 million. Among personalized touches she planned to make to the two-story, 6,000-square-foot home was the installation of a swing trapeze in the soaring main entry hall. “Trapeze is a great workout,” she said. “It got me in the best shape in my life.”

Twenty years ago, singer-songwriter Lionel Richie sold a Hollywood Hills home for $6.5 million and bought a Beverly Hills house owned by fragrance mogul Bijan for close to the same amount. His new 12,600-square-foot, Italian palazzo-style home sat on an acre overlooking a golf course.

Thirty years ago, entertainer Joan Rivers was in escrow to sell her Bel-Air mansion to producer Ted Field. Field, an heir of Chicago department-store magnate Marshall Field, was set to pay a little more than $5 million for Rivers’ place.


What we’re reading

A $180-million lottery winner is selling his massive mountain estate in Oak Glen, Calif., at what appears to be a hefty price cut. First listed at $26 million, the property is now up for auction with a minimum price of $6.9 million, reports The earlier price, however, included commercial property that is no longer part of the sale. The 845 acres up for auction has a 16,000-square-foot house and a ranch with about 45 buffalo.

A New York Times article on doomsday housing got us thinking about moving down, as in some 200 feet under the ground. The Survival Condo, a former nuclear missile vault in Kansas, has been converted into high-end residences. The 12 apartments begin at $1.3 million.