The Real Deal New York

Lots of “blue sky” in Neverland Ranch’s $100M ask

The owners of Michael Jackson’s whimsical estate may need lots of patience

March 27, 2016 12:00PM

Neverland Ranch

Neverland Ranch

Last May, Michael Jackson’s notorious Neverland Ranch hit the market asking $100 million. But nearly a year later, the home has failed to draw interest from potential buyers, yet the price hasn’t been reduced. It turns out there is a very good reason for that.

The reason that the home hasn’t found a buyer isn’t because the 12,598-square-foot French Normandy-style home is lacking in anything. Quite the opposite: the home comes with 2,698 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley, six-bedrooms, a four-acre lake with waterfall, a pool house, three guest houses, a tennis court, and a 5,500-square-foot movie theater and stage.

And it isn’t because of a stubborn seller. According to Bloomberg News, the nation’s top homes are all taking longer to sell and the key is simply patience.

“The uber-luxury high-end market is not anywhere near where it was three, four, five years ago,” Brendon DeSimone, real estate expert with listings site Zillow.com, told Bloomberg. “That market has just really slowed down, and there are only so many billionaires who can afford to buy these homes.”

And while places like New York remain a favorite place for the international elite to story their billions, investments off the beaten path – like say, Neverland Ranch – are riskier investments. Moreover, there are no comps for a place as whimsical and talked about as Jackson’s former home.

“There’s never been a $100 million sale in the Santa Ynez Valley,” Wayne Natale, a real estate broker for nearby Village Properties, told Bloomberg. “If it was in Aspen, it would be a $100 million property, or maybe if it was in upstate New York or the Hamptons. But here, that asking price has a lot of blue sky in it.”[Bloomberg]Christopher Cameron

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