When I was called by Bloomberg News about a new Bel Air (LA) listing that was asking $500m and another one down the block by the same architect but different developer at around $400 million, my initial reaction was laughter. I wasn’t doubting that there could be a buyer somewhere out there somewhere…but rather at the absurdity of it. It also seems like a strike against it to have a nearby home done by the same architect, no?
As I told a bank executive/client this morning that it’s clearly a strange world when someone builds spec housing for a handful of buyers worldwide and no houses in the local market have ever sold close to half the proposed asking price (including Jeff Greene’s $195 million listing that has been on the market since December.)
At a combined $100k square feet (main house + 3 smaller houses), it will be bigger than “Versailles” a 90k square foot house outside of Orlando, Florida that was the subject of the documentary “Queen of Versailles.”
According to NAR, the U.S. median home sales price is currently $219,400.
If the Bel Air home is sold, it is doubtful this would end up as someone’s primary residence. Perhaps we should label this type of asset as something else besides a “home?”
How about a Palace?
That’s what the architect suggested:
“It’s very similar to a palace,” he said. “The house is about public functions rather than domestic living.”