Like just about everyone else, as COVID-19 began to sweep the globe, the real estate industry held its collective breath, fearing the coronavirus might wipe out their livelihoods. It wasn’t long, however, before it became crystal clear that the industry would not only not be plunged into crisis by the pandemic but that it would be be a blockbuster year.
Working from home protocols across the country meant people no longer needed to live in commutable proximity to their jobs and, hence, many packed up and headed to locales where they and their households would have more room to swing their arms and comfortably be outside without fear of illness and/or transmission.
Nowhere did the market shoot up in such a remarkable way than at the tippy top, in the rarefied world of billionaires and the trophy homes they acquire. While mere financial mortals may have sought a simple refuge with a bit of backyard and some extra space to set up a home office, those with the deepest of pockets aimed themselves at sprawling homes and vast estates that would allow them to quarantine in a self-contained cocoon of hyper-luxury.
It was not so long ago when most people, even most rich people, clutched their pearls and fainted with disbelief, not to mention scoffed with incredulousness and sometimes scorn, when a big ol’ mansion in Beverly Hills or an apartment in New York sold for ten or twelve million bucks.
Those days are long gone, kiddos. Nowadays, a $10 or $12 million home is the rock bottom of the top end of the ultra-high-end market, as evidenced by the fact that the least expensive house on this list of top 20 sales across the United States cost a staggering $66 million. That’s right, in 2021 more than 20 people shoveled out more than $66 million to buy themselves a house, often their third, fourth, fifth, or more. Some of the deals went down in cash, while a few took out planet-sized loans that would bury an ordinary millionaire.
Eighty percent of the 20 transactions on DIRT’s list occurred in just three states. Sunny Florida, with its billionaire friendly taxes, had the most, with six deals, mostly in and around Palm Beach, while New York and California each saw five super-sized transfers this year. Even so, two of the three top deals of the year didn’t happen in any of those states but, rather, in Montana.
Having trouble breathing? Well, strap on an oxygen mask, because the real estate air is about to get even thinner up in here. Just as some of the world’s richest men launched themselves into space this year, property prices for folks with unlimited financial firepower went stratospheric in 2021.