Zillow Blog recently had a post covering “Some of 2010’s Top Real Estate Sales.” Yet not one of them was in the Bay Area, let alone the Real Bay Area. The ten featured home sales were mostly in Southern California, with one at Pebble Beach, one in Manhattan, and three in Florida.
Something has got to be wrong with those statistics. The most expensive home in the article was a Bel Air beast, and another Bel Air battlement checked in at #5. There were also two from Malibu, the aforementioned Pebble Beach, plus Santa Barbara. Florida had disasters in Delray Beach, Naples, and Highland Beach. (No wonder Florida real estate is hurting even more than California, at least we know how to spell del Rey over here.)
I was able to find several properties that sold in 2010 over $10 million in the Real Bay Area, and we’ll talk about those places another time. Instead, there’s something more of interest about this Zillow piece: How bad were the haircuts on each of these houses? When the seller thought they could get $20 million, how much did they actually get? Are we talking five percent? Ten? Fifteen? Zillow didn’t feel this information was all that important, but we at Burbed know that watching the sellers chase the market down is the biggest part of the fun.
#1. Le Belvedere – Bel Air, CA
Original Price: $85 Million (February 2009)
Reduced Price: $72 Million (November 2009)
Sale Price: $50 Million (June 2010)
This house leads to all kind of speculation since nobody is sure exactly who owns it. It has since been sold to 2 limited liability corporations. The 11 BR/14 BA 48,000 sf home (yes, 48,000 square feet) requires a staff of 15 and is on a 2.2 acre lot. You can pick up this Bel Air listing for $53 million (9 BR/21 BA) if looking at this picture is making you think, “You know what? I really want an insanely large and expensive home in Southern California.”
Redfin had this listing for a 7 BA/15 BA 35,000 sf house on 2+ acres, which Zillow says is the same one, but key details differ. A 10/15 did sell for $18 million last January, but it was less than half the size of La Belvedere.
#2. Carbon Beach Gem – Malibu, CA
Original Price: $57 Million (March 2010)
Reduced Price: $47 Million (June 2010)
Sale Price: $36,969,000 (October 2010)
This 8 BR/12 BA is 12,785 sf and has a mere 3/4 acre lot. However, that lot includes 180 feet of Malibu beachfront. Plenty of instant equity, this place has a Zestimate of $39,733,000! While the first house write-up above freely speculated over who the owner is, not a peep as to who bought or sold a home on “Billionaire’s Beach,” where “you could run into celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and David Geffen.” Or in this case, older ladies who go to lots of fundraisers. Property Shark didn’t indicate who the new owner was.
#3. Malibu Colony Beach House – Malibu, CA
Original Price: $23,950,000 (April 2010)
Sale Price: $21,475,000 (September 2010)
Zillow points out that this house is only 5,000 sf, so we’re talking $4,295 a foot. A half acre lot but only 60 feet of beachfront, and that’s 60 more feet than any house in Silicon Valley will have until the Pacific and the Bay rise a couple dozen feet. The property has not one but two guest suites and a gym, separate from the main building. Given that exterior has all the charm of a Santa Cruz 8-plex motel, that’s an improvement. Plus, you might run into Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, and other celebrities even older than I am.
Property Shark doesn’t have the most recent sale record, but the seller lived in Tiburon.
#4. Pebble Beach Jewel – Pebble Beach, CA
Original Price: $25 Million (March 2010)
Sale Price: $18.75 Million (May 2010)
Almost twice as large as the last beach house, this 6 BR/4.5 bath on 1.3 acres has all the charm of a Presidential library, minus the historical documents or the gravitas. Unlike Malibu Beach, here you have “Out one set of windows is the surf crashing along Pebble Beach’s craggy coast where harbor seals come to visit.” Evidently out the back windows is some golf club or something. Guess any celebrities worth running into would be out there clubbing the seals.
Seriously, does Zillow think nothing in the RBA has sold for more than $10 million last year? Or just that they weren’t trying very hard? I found this place in San Francisco that went for $15.5 million, and this one in Woodside. Someday we’ll talk about those…
#5. Bel Air Mediterranean – Bel Air, CA
Original Price: $24,500,000 (February 2009)
Reduced Price: $19,750,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (February 2010)
Sale Price: $16,250,000 (May 2010)
Want it? It’s for sale again, showing that flipping houses hasn’t gone out of style in some places. Listed for $19.5M this October, only 5 months after it sold for $16.25M, the price was cut a whopping 3.8% to $18.75M a month later. This is a 13,000 sf 7 BR/11 BA behemoth on 0.85 acre, plus the listing agent is married to a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills. I swear I am not making this up.
Given that the listing doesn’t mention a speck of improvement that the new owner put in, anyone want to predict their exit price point?
Bonus feature: The property was foreclosed on during bubblicious 2004 for $700,000, before the current structure was put in.
#6. Dramatic Delray – Delray Beach, FL
Original Price: $24,900,000 (July 2008)
Reduced Prices: $21,900,000 (November 2008), $18,950,000 (June 2009), $21,500,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (September 2009), $18,975,000 (February 2010)
Sale Price: $12,650,000 (April 2010)
Nothing says dramatic real estate crash like Florida real estate, and here’s a spectacular example. Best of all, it’s up for sale again at $19.5M with the exact same agent, showing some people are very slow learners. At least they have over 14,500 sf of house to learn slowly in, with 6 bedrooms and a WTF 7.3 bathrooms on 2.13 acres. Florida real estate is definitely different than anywhere in the US. Where else would a 16 foot elevation be described as “commanding”? Features 160 feet of “frontage” but onto what isn’t clear. Perhaps the 16 foot towering precipice above the Atlantic.
#7. Upper East Side – New York, NY
Original Price: $17,000,000 (September 2009)
Reduced Price: $15,900,000 (January 2010)
Sale Price: $13,150,000 (September 2010)
Gordon Gekko might have said that “Greed is good,” but in New York City, stock market traders have another slogan about making money: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.” And this “grand 20-foot wide mansion” sold for $10.5M in March, 2008. Yes, you too can pay eight digits for a five story house that literally has the breadth of a double garage, and it doesn’t even come with one! Boasting 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 8000 square feet and a lot size of (get ready) 2000 sf (0.05 acres), and around the corner from an actual Park Avenue address.
The current owner is now a floplord, looking for a tenant for 109 E 69th St. The rent? $48,000 a month. Hope they don’t expect three months’ security up front.
In case you’re interested, that makes this property have a rent ratio of 22.8. Typical rent ratio for Manhattan is well over 30, which suggests some pig is about to get slaughtered again.
#8. Santa Barbara Villa – Santa Barbara, CA
Original Price: $19.5 million (August 2008)
Reduced Price: $16 million (March 2009)
Sale Price: $13 million (September 2010)
Whew! That was too long outside of California. Between the old people of Florida and the New York cabbies who enjoy speeding up to love-tap pedestrians in crosswalks, that was a definite dollop of cognitive dissonance. Face it, high prices should stay in California where they belong. Why would anyone pay lots of money to live in a city where 16 inches of snow shuts the whole place down?
No doubt the Zillow blogger who put this piece together was so relieved to cover a California property that s/he neglected to notice the original (and much higher) list price for this house. Maybe this one item was farmed out to Tech Gal, the Peninsula real estate agent notorious for her sales to listing price ratios based on reduced asking prices.
Speaking of the house… This 8592 sf home thinks of itself as a Tuscan villa, but it’s got a modern tax bill to greet you. A 5 BR/6.5 BA main house plus a 1 BR/1 BA guest home on the 3.4 acre grounds guarantee you’ll keep a gardening staff busy all year.
#9 Gulf Coast Grace – Naples, FL
Original Price: $16.5 million (May 2009)
Reduced Price: $15.9 million (July 2009)
Sale Price: $13 million (January 2010)
This over 9000 sf house on Naples Bay is situated on 3/4 of an acre but is still in the sinkhole of Florida real estate. Even Zillow looks at last year�
��s sales figure and comes up with a Zestimate of $11,013,000, suggesting that this palatial estate lost another 15% of its value merely by spending all of 2010 in Florida. Once more, the Zillow blogger missed the original price, misunderestimating the amount a Florida property can plummet.
#10. Living the High Life – Highland Beach, FL
Original Price: $18,900,000 (May 2009)
Reduced Price: $15,950,000 (July 2009)
Sale Price: $12,650,000 (January 2010)
If a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience, then buying a 12,000 sf house on 0.95 acres of Florida real estate for 67% of the original asking price is the knifecatcher’s exhilaration. This brain-damaged fool has put the place back on the market for $14,950,000, just six months after taking delivery. Given that Zillow has depreciated the previous property by 15%, I would calculate that this Adventure in Real Estate is going to lead to another 28% trip down Equity Burn Esplanade.