May 24, 2007
The Luxury Homes Topping the Market
America’s priciest real estate is just getting more and more expensive. Why? A good mega-mansion is hard to find.
"God's not making any more land. [Trophy properties] are a true microeconomy with much less supply than demand," says Mauricio Umansky, an associate at Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Many of the deals are done in cash — and as in lesser markets, some of the properties sell quickly and some don’t.
"Think of it this way," Umansky says, "I could put three mega-yachts in a line — one contemporary, one traditional, and one Mediterranean. I don't know which one is going to sell because I don't know which one Larry Ellison or Bill Gates is going to pick."
Here are the top 10 priciest properties for sale in the U.S.
1. Hala Ranch Aspen, Colo., $135 million: Owned by Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, this 95-acre estate boasts a 56,000-square-foot, 15-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion.
2. Fleur de Lys, Beverly Hills, Calif., $125 million: Suzanne Saperstein's 45,000-square-foot home is modeled after Louis XIV's palace at Versailles.
3. Maison de L'Amitie, Palm Beach, Fla., $125 million: In 2004 Donald Trump bought this property at a bankruptcy auction for $41.25 million. The refurbished version comes complete with a ballroom, conservatory, 100-foot-long ballroom, and 475 feet of ocean-front.
4. Tranquility, Lake Tahoe, Nev., $100 million: On the tax-free Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, this 210-acre property is owned by Joel Horowitz, co-founder of Tommy Hilfiger. The 20,000-square-foot main house is modeled after a northern European mountain home and has a 3,500-bottle wine cellar.
5. Three Ponds, Bridgehampton, N.Y., $75 million: This home on 60 acres features its own USGA-rated Rees Jones golf course. Surrounding the main house are 14 gardens, a 75-foot-long swimming pool, golf pro shop, grass tennis court, and a guest house.
6. The Portabello Estate, Corona del Mar, Calif., $75 million: Built in 2002, this home has eight bedrooms and 10 full baths in nearly 30,000 square feet of ultra-modern space on a triple ocean-front lot along the Pacific Ocean.
7. Malibu, Calif., $75 million: A beach home located on a flat seven-acre lot with two riding stables, a riding ring, swimming pool, tennis court, and private access to the beach.
8. The Pierre Penthouse, New York City, $70 million: This penthouse occupies the top three floors of one of the most posh hotels in New York, located on the edge of Central Park. The balconies and windows have 360-degree views of Manhattan, Central Park, the East River, and the Hudson River.
9. Belvedere, Calif., $65 million: This six-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot home offers breathtaking views of San Francisco, Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the bay.
10. San Francisco, $65 million: This limestone mansion’s neighbors on billionaires’ row are the Getty family.
Source: Forbes.com, Matt Woolsey (05/23/07)