Although it feels like it was just yesterday that we were counting down 2016’s biggest hits, another year has slipped by us all, and Yolanda is that much closer to the grave. And although several of our other property gossip website compadres have already initiated their own year-end lists, Yolanda can’t resist tossing her two cents into the ring.
Heck, for all we know this could be out last year on Mother Earth! Before we begin, a few observations.
Just like last year, the number of foreign buyers remained represented on the list of biggest purchases remained low. Only five of the twenty homes appear to have been bought by folks from outside the US — something that can possibly be attributed to the strength of the dollar (among other things, we expect).
Certain neighborhoods dominate the list year after year. Malibu had six transactions on the list. Bel Air was represented five times. Yet surprises also remained — only one sale in Beverly Hills was big enough to be included, as opposed to three from the arguably less prestigious Beverly Hills Post Office neighborhood. Then there was a single transaction in Holmby Hills, two in the Hollywood Hills, and two from the Westside city of Santa Monica (that last one is perhaps most surprising of all, at least to us).
Anyway, here’s the 20 biggest residential transactions in LA County, at least as far as Yolanda can tell. If we overlooked anything, do let us know and we sincerely apologize in advance.
1) $88,000,000 — 454 Cuesta Way, Los Angeles (Bel Air)
Seller: Dean McKillen
Buyer: Beyoncé & Jay-Z
Despite it being an off-market sale, this was perhaps the most widely-publicized residential real estate transaction of 2017 (and for good reason!) After many years of high-priced LA rentals, music’s biggest power couple sealed the deal for a monster spec-mansion in prime Bel Air.
Built by contemporary mega-mansion specialist Paul McClean, the property has some 30,000-square-feet of living space, a miserly four outdoor swimmin’ pools, and just enough room for two oversized egos.
2) $85,000,000 — 22108 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Seller: David Geffen
Buyer: Mark Walter
Although this purchase caused controversy and much unwanted publicity for Mr. Walter — a billionaire private equity pasha — he apparently has no regrets about paying $85 million (in cash) for David Geffen’s longtime Carbon Beach compound.
3) $69,900,000 — 3620 Sweetwater Mesa Road, Malibu
Seller: Mauricio Oberfeld
Buyer: Ki Yan Karen Lo
Hyper-rich Mexican investor Mauricio Oberfeld convinced Hong Kong heiress Karen Lo (and her husband Eugene Chuang) to pay $69,900,000 for what is perhaps Malibu’s most epic and most visible compound, located on a 16-acre lot in the guard-gated Serra Retreat community.
4) $65,000,000 — 1187 North Hillcrest Road, Beverly Hills (Trousdale Estates)
Seller: Gilbert Chagoury
Buyer: Evan Metropoulos
The former estate of Danny Thomas — and perhaps the largest home in the trendy Trousdale Estates neighborhood — was sold by Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury to billionaire heir Evan Metropoulos. As a teardown!
5) $50,000,000 — 24108 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Buyer: Scott Gillen
Fresh off slapping a blistering $75 million pricetag on his latest creation, prolific Malibu developer Scott Gillen closed on his most ambitious project to date: a 24-acre vacant parcel, upon which he plans to build six spec-mega-mansions.
6) $48,000,000 — 22466 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Seller: Lisette Ackerberg
Buyer: Larry Ellison
It’s lucky number 13 for Mr. Ellison. That’s how many homes on Carbon Beach he now owns after making his biggest purchase yet: the $48 million off-market splash for the longtime home of wealthy widow Lisette Ackerberg.
7) $41,082,000 — 859 Woodacres Road, Santa Monica
Seller: Krista Levitan
Buyer: Kevin Washington
2017’s most shocking sale award goes to this transaction, Yolanda believes. Not only is it the biggest sale ever in Santa Monica, it stands as the biggest ever on the Westside of LA, or at least west of the 405. Billionaire heir Kevin Washington got himself a 10,000-square-foot “Modern Farmhouse” overlooking the Riviera Country Club and sold by Krista Levitan, the ex-wife of Modern Family creator Steven Levitan.
8) $41,000,000 — 900 Stradella Road, Los Angeles (Bel Air)
Seller: Zach Vella
Buyer: Jay Paul
Ho hum, another contemporary spec-mansion in Bel Air. This one went to SF-based billionaire Jay Paul.
9) $40,800,000 — 300 Delfern Drive, Los Angeles (Holmby Hills)
Seller: Gary Wilson
Buyer: Nicolas Berggruen
The so-called “homeless billionaire” isn’t so homeless anymore — in fact, he now owns real estate all over LA. This, however, is his trophy spread: prime Holmby Hills and built back in the day by architect Gordon Kaufmann.
10) $38,500,000 — 1520 Gilcrest Drive, Los Angeles (Beverly Hills Post Office)
Seller: John Saca
Buyer: Sir Tom Hunter
Scottish billionaire Sir Tom Hunter paid the biggest price ever seen in the “Crest Streets” area of the 90210. In return, he got the keys to this contemporary confection with its dramatic “boomerang” pool. Since the purchase, the house has popped up on the rental market.
11) $38,500,000 — 27808 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Seller: Andrew Lessman
Buyer: Richard & Laurie Stark
Pill pusher Andrew Lessman sold his Paradise Cove compound in an off-market deal to Chrome Hearts founders (and major real estate ballers) Richard and Laurie Lynn Stark.
12) $38,000,000 — 78 Beverly Park Lane, Los Angeles (Beverly Park)
Seller: Ed Berman & Gala Asher
Buyer: Tom Gores
Tom Gores somewhat strangely bought his old Beverly Park mansion back only a year after selling it to the same developers who constructed his new $100 million pad in Holmby Hills.
13) $36,000,000 — 800 Stradella Road, Los Angeles (Bel Air)
Seller: Peter Morton
Buyer: Woodbridge Luxury Homes AKA Robert Shapiro
Hard Rock Hotel chain founder Peter Morton sold a vacant Bel Air lot to Woodbridge for a sky-high $36 million. As y’all should know, Woodbridge and its owner, Robert Shapiro, are currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the SEC, who has accused the firm of being little more than a massive ponzi scheme.
14) $36,000,000 — 23324 Malibu Colony Road, Malibu
Seller: Wallis Annenberg
Buyer: Stanley Druckenmiller
Major philanthropist/heiress Wallis Annenberg finally sold her oceanfront stunner to billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller and his wife Fiona.
15) $35,700,000 — 1 Electra Court, Los Angeles (Hollywood Hills)
Seller: Megan Ellison
Buyer: Woodbridge Luxury Homes AKA Robert Shapiro
Megan Ellison offloaded her idiosyncratic Mount Olympus home to Woodbridge just weeks before the firm was officially put on lockdown by the SEC. Good for Miss Ellison, Yolanda supposes, although the fate of her former house remains murky.
16) $35,450,000 — 671 Siena Way, Los Angeles (Bel Air)
Seller: Ed Berman & Gala Asher
Buyer: Unknown (La Croix LLC)
An anonymous buyer from Silicon Valley (probably a billionaire) paid a fortune for a couple acres of dirt in prime Bel Air.
17) $33,900,000 — 256 Copa de Oro Road, Los Angeles (Bel Air)
Seller: Ross Perot Jr.
Buyer: George Lucas
We hope George Lucas was repeating “To infinity and beyond” and referring to the real estate market when he paid about $34 million for this house in Bel Air, almost double what the property sold for five years ago.
18) $33,000,000 — 1255 Angelo Road, Los Angeles (Beverly Hills Post Office)
Seller: Bruce Makowsky
Buyer: Unknown (but rumored to be Bernard Arnault)
Bruce Makowsky paid $18.4 million for this 3.64-acre development site in 2014, only to flabbergast us all when he flipped the vacant land three years later for $33 million. The buyer is carefully shielded behind an LLC, but is believed to be Europe’s richest man — LVMH showrunner Bernard Arnault.
19) $32,500,000 — 9199 Thrasher Avenue, Los Angeles (Bird Streets)
Seller: Joseph Englanoff
Buyer: Unknown (Keystone International LLC)
In the last days of 2017, an anonymous buyer from China paid $5.5 million less than the asking price for this Bird Streets spec-build by architect Paul McClean.
20) $31,000,500 — 1525 San Vicente Boulevard, Santa Monica
Seller: Tom Barrack
Buyer: Kirk Lazarus
The other big sale in Santa Monica came courtesy of billionaire Trump supporter Tom Barrack, who sold his almost-new mega-mansion (it’s got a basketball court in the basement!) to South African entrepreneur Kirk Lazarus.
There you have it, kiddies. Not that we don’t like dwelling on the past, but let’s get back to current year stuff…