Recently I had the chance to talk to someone who sells homes — pricey vacation homes –to uber high net worth individuals. I mentioned that there were more rich people today than ever.
No, he told me, actually there are fewer rich people today, but they just have more money now. Indeed, he said, the recession helped the very rich become very, very rich because they were in the position to acquire the cast-offs of the formerly rich as they jumped from having to lose vacation homes or primary homes or auction off assets they could no longer afford.
There are a record 27 properties with nine-figure prices for sale, this according to Christie’s International Real Estate.
Last year, there were a mere 19 homes with those giant price tags, and only a dozen in 2014. So we’ve more than doubled the number of nine figure priced homes in two years.
And according to the New York Times, if you added “whisper listings,” the actual number of nine-figure listings worldwide could top 50:
“When you have a record number of homes for sale at a price point of $100 million or more, that tells you these homes aren’t selling,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc., told the Times. “It’s not as deep a market as some might hope.”
According to Christie’s, only two homes sold for over $100 million last year: a 9,455-square-foot house in Hong Kong purchased for $193 million by Jack Ma, the chief of Alibaba, and a $132 million townhouse in London. Two other nine-figure listings sold last year (a $700 million Texas ranch and a $100 million home in Dallas), but the actual sale prices were not disclosed.
Love me some Jonathan Miller. We don’t know the sales price of the Waggoner Ranch yet (the “$700 million” sale) but we do know the Hicks estate, Walnut Place, went for about $65 million all off the MLS. Seems even the rich can dicker on price.
So is there a bubble for the uber rich that we need to worry about? Might they break a few fingernails downsizing from $100 million estates to a mere $25 million cottage?
No, say experts.
“I don’t think it’s a sign of a bubble,” Dan Conn, chief executive of Christie’s International Real Estate, told the Times. “It’s a sign of growing wealth in the world and the quality of some of the new construction.”
Growing wealth, just what I said. More concentrated wealth, say my friends. Real Deal swears the market for luxury homes even below $100 million is on the decrease. Luxury sales volume in NYC is down a whopping 25% the first 20 weeks of 2016. Reason: stock market, over-supply, over-pricing.
I was thinking about this at Ellen Terry’s party Thursday night. She sold the Heath estate on Park Lane, $22 million, in 2002, the top sale in Dallas history. The next came in 2009 when Ralph Randall sold the 9 acre Lacerte estate, also on Park Lane, for about $28ish million. We were flabbergasted. 5313 Park Lane was originally listed in 2008 for $45 million, then lowered to just under $40 million as the nation’s real estate bubble went bust. But that was almost 30 million!
Flash forward: here comes the Hicks-now-Beal estate for $135 million with Doug Newby. Allie Beth Allman snags the listing in 2015, lowers it to $100,000,000. Then it not only sells, but Beal buys two.
By the way, I hear Beal wants to sell Walnut Place; it may be on the market again. So Dallas may again have a nine digit home on the market.
So here is what we’ve got in Dallas in the way of eight-digit homes priced over $22,000,000 — Ellen’s huge sale of 14 years ago:
Seems like the behemoths do take a bit longer to sell. You know what doesn’t? Land. Agents tell me that when it comes to the uber rich, (which is now the uber uber rich), they’d rather buy and build their very own statement, be it first, second or fifth home.