Second Quarter 2016 Market Update: We’re back in top gear

Well, kiddies, the ultra-high-end market sure has fought back hard from first quarter, right? If you’ll recall, just three months ago we wailed on about the unusually sluggish sales climate. There was only one (just one!) sale in the $20,000,000+ price range all first quarter.

Now, with half the year under our Burberry belts, there’s been at least 10 big closings recorded, with another hefty handful still in escrow (including one that is easily expected to best the all-time price record for LA). Let’s break it all down, shall we?

1. $38,270,000 — Williams Lane, Beverly Hills (Trousdale Estates)

The year’s biggest sale — so far — came when spec-mansion builder extraordinaire Nile Niami sold billionaire financier Brian Sheth a 14,000-square-foot contemporary confection on a .55-acre cul-de-sac flag lot.

2. $38,000,000 — Calle Vista Drive, Beverly Hills

Famous actor and arguably more famous Scientologist Tom Cruise unloaded his 10,000+ square foot 1930s stone flag lot mansion in a great part of Bev Hills to multi-billionaire financier Leon Black.

3. $34,928,500 — Bellagio Road, Los Angeles (Bel Air)

Arkansas native, major philanthropist, and real estate baller Bren Simon — widow of billionaire shopping mall magnate Melvin Simon — finally unloaded her 20,000 square foot, 1.5 acre Bel Air Country Club-fronting compound to a buyer whose identity Yolanda knows. But we’re not ready to reveal who it is just yet. All we’ll say is that his moving vans won’t have far to travel. (Stay tuned!)

4. $28,000,000 — Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles (Bel Air)

Singer/dancer/actress/big-booty-mogul Jennifer Lopez dropped the big bucks on actress Sela Ward’s rather stunning 8-acre estate in the Bel Air hills.

5. $27,000,000 — Oriole Drive, Los Angeles (Bird Streets)

In what was first quarter 2016’s only $20 million+ sale, entrepreneur Lynda Weinman (she recently sold her Lynda.com website to LinkedIn for $1.5 billion) paid a guy named Sean Sassounian a lot of money for his never-lived-in 12,000-square foot mansion.

6. $23,000,000 — Summit Drive, Beverly Hills

The Akhtarzad family of Beverly Hills bought this gold-leaf and marble-filled pleasure palace from the estate of healthcare entrepreneur Leonardo Berezevsky

7. $22,375,000 — San Remo Drive, Los Angeles (Pacific Palisades)

Financier Jason Subotky and his wife, prominent violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, acquired this newly-built mansion in a prime area of the Palisades Riviera. It’s the only $20 million+ sale west of the 405 in 2016. So far.

8. $21,565,000 — Sarbonne Road, Los Angeles (Bel Air)

Legally-embattled Nigerian oil magnate Kola Aluko quietly dumped his Nile Niami-built Bel Air mansion to a mysterious buyer who may or may not be his former business partner Thomas Flohr.

9. $20,900,000 — Alta Drive, Beverly Hills

Hungarian porn king Gyorgy Gattyan paid up for this 18,000 square foot spec-built Georgian-style mansion. Believe it or not, but this is one of three $20 million+ estates Gattyan owns in the Beverly Hills area.

10. $20,800,000 — Hillcrest Road, Beverly Hills (Trousdale Estates)

GUESS co-founder Maurice Marciano has a new Trousdale spec-mansion to call his own. Last year, billionaire Steve Wynn bought his longtime Beverly Hills estate for nearly $50 million.

In addition to these ten that have already closed, there are several more properties currently in escrow, including the Playboy Mansion for more than $100 million (a record-breaker for sure), a spec-mega-mansion in Holmby Hills that Jay-Z & Beyonce just might be buying for an insane $93 million (oh puh-leeze!), Kelly Wearstler’s pile on Hillcrest for $53 million to Tom Ford (though we’ve heard he may not actually close the deal until 2017), and a big contemporary mansion on Laurel Way that’s apparently nearly sold with an asking price of $38 million.

At this point, with the high-end market steamin’ hot again in this time of stock market volatility, election uncertainties and Brexit, we’re wondering if there’s anything that’s ever truly going to derail this happy gravy train? This is what, the FIFTH year in a row for record highs in the rarified air of seven-figure real estate commissions, right?

So will those Bentley-driving real estate agents ever have to downgrade down to 5-series Beeeemers? Or will those billionaire clients love LA always forever? Sing it, Donna baby…


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