Is the high-end overheated?

Is the high-end overheated?

May 8, 2020

In case you were worried about them, the ultra-rich are still buying homes. In March and April combined, L.A. County recorded 82 home sales of $5,000,000 or more, including 14 transactions north of $10M.  In the same period of 2019, 85 residential sales of $5M or more closed escrow.  

With interest rates hitting historic lows, high-end buyers with plenty of cash on hand are still hunting for deals. In April, Kylie Jenner made everybody feel feverish when she dropped $36,500,000 on a modern compound in Holmby Hills. The reality star got a decent discount, too, the 15,000-square-foot stunner first hit the market last year for $55M. 

The luxury market received another shot in the arm in April as a Bel-Air estate once owned by former L.A. Rams owner Georgia Frontiere traded hands for a whopping $43,300,000; one of the priciest sales L.A. County has seen so far this year. 

The next few months could be a unique opportunity to land a trophy home that wouldn’t otherwise be available. There are certain homes in L.A. that you’ll never see on the market unless someone dies, but recessions bring motivated sellers out of the woodwork. 

During the recession in 2008, a bevy of impressive estates surfaced for sale, including Cher’s Malibu villa at $45,000,000, Nicolas Cage’s Bel-Air Tudor at $30M and Kelsey Grammar’s English Country-style home at $19.9M. In Beverly Hills, a prized property once owned by newspaper czar William Randolph Hearst hit the market for $165M. 

Although inventory is down from 2019, buyers trying to take advantage of the market to snatch a prized property have options. 45 properties are listed for $30,000,000 or more in L.A. County, according to the MLS. 12 of those 45 properties have hit the market since the beginning of March, when concerns over the pandemic began to swell. 

Another way the MLS is trying to push inventory across all price bands into the marketplace is their move to halt—or remove—days-on-market data, which can sometimes be leveraged by buyers into lower offers. If buyers see a property has been on the market for more than 100 days, they’re likely to seek a bargain than if something was just listed last week. Now, it’s “0” for new listings, until further notice.

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