More Homes Listed Over $100 Million & They Are Not Selling

Hicks Walnut Place

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.

Now The Real Deal tells us there are more properties with $100 million plus price tags than ever before on the world market. And it’s a big problem because they are not moving.

There are a record 27 properties with nine-figure prices for sale, this according to Christie’s International Real Estate.


A $250 million NYC condo? Rendering of 220 Central Park South (credit: Vornado via Curbed), Steve Roth and floor plan of $250 million condo (credit: E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal)

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:

5950 DeLoache $28,500,000 (reduced from $37,500,000) Days on market: 754
5501 West Hamilton in Fort Wayne, Indiana — what? — $30,000,000 Days on market: 77
10210 Strait Lane $27,500,000 Days on market: 615
10711 Strait $32, 347,000 Days on market: 20

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.

 Then they can afford to just sit back and wait for one of them to sell.

3 Comment

  • I just read an article about the $9 million price reduction on Donald trumps former Home in Greenwich, Connecticut. The house is spectacular and sits on 20 acres of waterfront property. When asked why it was not selling a realtor said that higher the price point the more modern people expected home to be. You’re dealing with the younger generation who is not interested in old world architecture and craftsmanship. Plus, at that price point people are wanting to customize every minute detail.

  • Who wants to buy a significant home only to have to endure Hugh Hefner wandering around in his bathrobe?

    His demand of a life estate with the Playboy Mansion is a deterrent.