According to the LA Times, the number of homes bought for $2 million or more in recent months is the highest on record – luxury real estate sales are climbing.
“It’s pretty mind-blowing, to be honest,” said Cindy Ambuhel, an agent at a Brentwood firm. ”The luxury market has been completely on fire.”
The upward trend is accompanied by even bigger, better, and more customized homes. Since World War II, the average size of newly-built American homes has been steadily growing larger. The Census Bureau reported that in 2013, the average home size hit a record of 2,598 feet, about 56.5% greater than the typical home built in 1973.
In late 2014, billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene completed his 53,000-square-foot dream home, ‘Palazzo di Amore,’ and put it on the market with a hefty price tag: $195 million. There are many other mega-mansions on the market right now, the majority of which are being offered for considerably less.
Agents at Trulia.com, a San Francisco based real estate listing site, found the 15 biggest single-family homes currently publicly listed on the market. Each one features at least 24,000 square feet of living space and boasts over-the-top amenities and specialty rooms that most private residences would never include.
Commercial developer Donald Abbey spent 18 years and more than $200 million building two massive residential masterpieces. One of them is the Bradbury Estate in Bradbury, California, now priced at $48.8 million in the Multiple Listing Service—a $30 million price drop from its original $78.8 million ask price. Its 47,182 square feet of livable space include a 30,000-square-foot main home with 40-foot vaulted ceilings, six large fireplaces, and a leather-paneled poker room with built-in humidor. A 5,700-square-foot pool house, 6,700-square-foot guesthouse, and 10-car garage make this one of America’s very largest homes for sale.
During the last decade, it also seems as if luxury real estate buyers have become interested in buying ultra-high-end apartment residences. In the next decade, the number of billionaires is expected to rise 38%. High end builders are responding with lofty plans for new trophy apartments.
The Woolworth skyscraper in Manhattan was once the tallest building in the world; nearly a century later, it is being renovated and reincarnated as 34 magnificent, multi-million dollar condos.
Properties like the ones being built in the Woolworth tower offer unbelievable penthouses that have been described as “castles in the sky.” There has never been anything like it in the history of real estate. The prices are steep, currently reaching up into $60 million; yet builders are saying that as they introduce their “pinnacle,” there will be no ceiling.
California, in particular, is a hot spot for these luxury living spaces. The Los Angeles region scores points with buyers for its weather, its glamour and a population diverse enough that nearly any transplant can feel at home. And despite its reputation as one of the nation’s least-affordable housing markets, Los Angeles can look like a steal compared with other high-end havens.
“We talk to private wealth managers around the world who think California is a very good market right now,” Miller said. “Compared to New York or London, LA real estate is a bargain.”