In 2022, Southern California’s real estate market once again lived up to its reputation as one of the country’s weirdest, wildest, and most dramatic markets.
While the bottom end of the market cooled as interest rates forced buyers and sellers to reconsider their strategies, the luxury market continued to rage with significantly more blockbuster sales than last year.
Celebrities, tech moguls and CEOs spent fortunes on their dream homes. Battles were fought over the profits of mega-mansions. Here are the top sales of the year.
Sylvester Stallone kicked off the sale of his 21,000-square-foot mega mansion in Beverly Park for $58 million — a blockbuster deal, but not entirely mind-blowing for the “Rocky” star, who originally pledged $110 million for the trophy home wanted to.
The high-profile sale included a high-profile buyer: pop star Adele. She joins a bevy of stars in the affluent enclave, including Denzel Washington, Magic Johnson and Mark Wahlberg.
70 million dollars
Michael Rubin, the CEO of sports e-commerce company Fanatics, set a record in the Hollywood Hills when he spent $70 million on a property once owned by Ronald Reagan.
The sale redefined what a home could bring in Hollywood Hills, where past sales have been in the $30 million range. The amazing price was due to the rare size and scope of the property. It has been newly remodeled and sits on three quarters of an acre site above the Sunset Strip with uninterrupted views of the city.
Records show that the seller was Francesco Aquilini, a Canadian businessman best known as the chairman of the Vancouver Canucks ice hockey team. A regular in real estate headlines, he set the neighborhood’s previous price record when he sold a mansion for $42.5 million in 2020.
Kim Kardashian also took part and bought another house in Southern California. The reality TV star has owned properties in Hidden Hills and Calabasas but this time bought it in Malibu and spent $70.4 million on a cliff-top mansion once owned by Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber.
Set on over 3 acres overlooking the ocean, the waterfront estate centers on a 7,450 square foot villa surrounded by a swimming pool, tennis court and meditation deck.
It was sold by hedge fund manager Adam Weiss and “Yellowstone” actress Barret Swatek, who originally asked for $99.5 million for the house.
For months, rumors circulated about where Drake – possibly the biggest hip-hop star on earth – would buy a house. The rapper toured Southern California’s finest estates, but eventually decided on something out of the ordinary, quietly paying $75 million for a Beverly Crest mansion owned by fellow musician Robbie Williams.
Drake’s new place is comically large, covering more than 20,000 square feet in more than 20 acres – a rarity for the area. Within these 20,000 square feet it manages to fit 10 bedrooms and a staggering 22 bathrooms, as well as an elevator, wine cellar, gym, game room and an 11 car garage.
Malibu’s massive year continued thanks to video game designer Jon Burton, who sold his 6.6-acre tract of Paradise Cove for $91 million — a nice improvement over the $36.5 million he paid for it in 2012. but slightly less than the $125 million he was originally looking for.
The price jump is largely thanks to a facelift Burton gave the place during its decade-long tenure. Photos show he remodeled the living spaces with rich woods and large windows, as well as amenities like a movie theater, tennis court, swimming pool, and mini-golf course.
The biggest highlight comes back, where the 17,000-square-foot villa drops down to 340 feet of beachfront.
100 million dollars
Just three sales surpassed the $100 million mark this year, and one of those belonged to Tamara Gustavson, daughter of the late Public Storage founder B. Wayne Hughes. She wanted $127.5 million for her expansive Malibu bluff compound and sold it for $100 million.
According to records, the buyer is Byron Allen, the billionaire media mogul who founded Entertainment Studios.
The stunning layout has the usual laundry list of amenities, but adds a few individual spaces, like a wood-and-glass guest house equipped with a gym and yoga studio.
The gains are a drop in the ocean for Gustavson, who has a net worth of $7.59 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel finally closed his deal in Holmby Hills, spending $120 million on a property across from the Playboy Mansion. The sales process started last year, but it couldn’t be completed until the summer because the house wasn’t ready yet.
With the move, Spiegel joins one of the most distinguished bags in the country. The Playboy Mansion is the neighborhood’s most famous property, but the area is also home to iconic homes like Owlwood and The Manor, which set LA County’s price record at the time it sold for $119.75 million in 2019 .
What else can be said about “The One”? When the country’s largest modern home was auctioned off to Fashion Nova’s founder for $141 million, it ended a years-long saga of ambition and greed, a struggle well-documented but hard to believe.
Once touted as a $500 million home, then listed as a $295 million home, and then sold at a foreclosure sale as a $141 million home, the still-unfinished mega-mansion is both a crowning glory and one complete disappointment. It ranks as the top sale of the year and one of the most expensive home sales of all time in California, but it fell short of its original price, leaving the buyer millions more to complete the home.
In many ways, The One is the perfect embodiment of the Southern California luxury market, where developers are chasing bigger and bigger price tags for bigger and bigger homes, until often everything explodes in a dramatic display for all to see.