Famous faces trading places

A soft luxury market kept most celebrities from turning big profits on their high-end holdings

Feb.February 19, 2019 11:00 AM

Even celebrities were not spared from the frustrating effects of a stagnant market when they tried to buy and sell homes in the tri-state area this year. There have been plenty of boldface names cutting deals, but from sports greats like Pelé to A-list actors such as Scarlett Johansson, most of the celebrity sellers ended up closing for below asking price.

And that’s in keeping with the overall trend in the luxury markets outside of New York City.

In Westchester County, Houlihan Lawrence found 318 luxury sales higher than $2 million in 2018, an 11 percent drop from 2017. Greenwich, the high-end enclave in Fairfield County, saw a 3 percent drop in sales above $3 million, with 155 in 2018 versus 160 the year before. Nearby, Darien had a 30 percent reduction, with 56 sales above $2 million in 2018, down from 80 in 2017.

Even the East End of Long Island, where the rich and famous have been snapping up beach houses for decades, saw a decline in closed deals. Douglas Elliman found 2,547 sales in the Hamptons and North Fork in 2018, which was down 12 percent from 2017.

Northern New Jersey’s market fared somewhat better. The number of sales was down only about 1 percent in well-to-do Bergen County, according to a report from Rand Realty. 

Here’s a look at which stars bought and sold in 2018 and who is looking to make a deal this year.

65 Captains Neck Lane, Southampton, NY
SOLD: $16 million

Any golfer would love to trim nine strokes from their score, but nobody wants to see $9 million cut from their real estate offering. That’s what happened to World Golf Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd’s Southampton compound. The Masters winner listed the 3-plus-acre estate for a hair less than $25 million in August 2017, but price cuts the following January brought the asking price to $17.5 million. Floyd eventually settled for a $16 million final sale price last September. The house, with 12 bedrooms and 12 full bathrooms, overlooks a pool, tennis court and lushly landscaped gardens. Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty had the listing.

156 Waterhole Road, East Hampton, NY
SOLD: $2.85 million

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé sold the Hamptons hideaway he’s owned since the glory days of the New York Cosmos in the 1970s. The six-bedroom waterfront home in the East Hampton hamlet of Springs scored $2.85 million for Pelé. Given that he paid $156,000 for the property in 1979, the three-time World Cup winner probably isn’t too worried that the East End home didn’t fetch its full $3.25 million asking price. Deirdre Jowers and Claudia Saez-Fromm of Corcoran had the listing.

292 Compo Road South, Westport, CT
SOLD: $2.7 million

Oscar winner Anne Hathaway and husband Jonathan Shulman sold their Westport, Connecticut, mansion in November. The 1920s Colonial known as CompoBello fetched $2.7 million in an off-market sale, meaning the couple took a $90,000 loss from the 2016 purchase price. The five-bedroom home sits on nearly an acre and is a stone’s throw from the Westport shoreline. The “Ocean’s 8” star won’t be forced into a life of crime, though; she and Shulman also own properties in New York and Los Angeles.

21 Quarry Mountain Lane, Montville, NJ
SOLD: $2.25 million

Pop star-turned-real estate developer Kevin Jonas sold his own Montville, New Jersey, mansion for $2.25 million in July after listing it for $2,488,000 in 2017. Jonas and his wife, Danielle Deleasa, had been raising their daughter in the custom-built 7,000-square-foot Colonial manor in exclusive Valhalla Estates. It boasts five bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms, a wine cellar and a saltwater pool. Joshua Baris of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury was the listing agent.

280 Salem Road, Pound Ridge, NY
SOLD: $1.1 million

After purchasing it for $1.24 million in March, Richard Melville Hall — known to Generation X as Moby — sold his midcentury modern bungalow in Pound Ridge, New York, for $1.1 million in December. Why the quick flip? The recording artist told his Instagram fans that despite loving the property he was not able to spend much time there, so he was selling the two-bedroom, three-bathroom home to raise money to “support progressive political candidates, support my animal rights foundation, produce documentaries and fund scholarships.” Muffin Dowdle of Ginnel Real Estate had the listing.

320 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY
PURCHASED: $20 million

Fashion mogul Ralph Lauren bought himself a nice holiday gift in 2018 as he closed on the Montauk estate of the late Edward Albee. The final price of the nearly 3-acre beachfront home is unknown, but it had been listed for $20 million by the Edward F. Albee Foundation, which had owned it since the playwright’s death in 2016. The property boasts a four-bedroom main house, guest house and pool house, as well as 200 feet of ocean frontage. Lauren already owns the houses on either side of Albee’s, so this latest purchase completes a Hamptons real estate trifecta. Paul Brennan of Douglas Elliman had the listing.

40 Washington Spring Road, Palisades, NY
PURCHASED: $4 million

The Black Widow found a new lair this fall. Scarlett Johansson bought the Ivy House in Palisades, New York, for $4 million. Built in 1953 and designed by architect Eric Gugler, who was tapped by FDR to redesign the West Wing of the White House, the home was on the market at nearly $4.3 million for 72 days before the sale. The property overlooks the Hudson River from the Snedens Landing neighborhood, which has been home to a long list of celebrities, including Bill Murray and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Richard Ellis of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty was the listing agent.

340 Croton Lake Road, Bedford Corners, NY
ASKING: $13 million

Ignoring the lessons from “Die Hard,” Bruce Willis announced just after the holiday season that he is leaving New York for California. The action star and his wife, Emma Heming, listed their 23-acre estate in Bedford Corners for $12.95 million. In 2014, they paid $12 million for the property, and they sound like they’ll miss their Westchester retreat. “Our youngest daughter, Mabel, said last week that she wishes we could put lots of balloons on our house, like they did in the movie ‘Up’, and send it to the West Coast. I agree, that would be perfect,” Willis said in a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal. Stacey Oestreich, Nancy Strong and Ann Cutbill Lenane of Douglas Elliman had the listing as of press time.

115 East Allendale Road, Saddle River, NJ
ASKING: $5.9 million

Rosie O’Donnell continues to sell off parts of her extensive real estate portfolio. In late 2018, the actor, activist and talk show host relisted her Saddle River, New Jersey, mansion for nearly $6 million. The 5.7-acre English Country estate features a six-bedroom, seven-bathroom house in addition to an in-ground pool and “grotto waterfall.” It had been on the market for nearly $7 million in 2015 and $6.5 million in 2016. Last year also saw O’Donnell unload the main house at her Nyack, New York, compound for $5.1 million and a home in West Palm Beach, Florida, for $5 million. Vicki Gaily with Special Properties is handling the Saddle River listing.

30 Lawrence Court, Water Mill, NY
ASKING: $9.75 million

Anthony Scaramucci is looking to unload the larger of his two Hamptons properties. The Mooch is asking $9.75 million for his eight-bedroom mansion in Water Mill. Scaramucci and his wife, Deidre Ball, bought the newly built home in 2017 for $8.2 million after the builder added a pool house and home movie theater. Only nine months after closing on the 0.92 acre property, the short-tenured White House communications director briefly offered it for sale before pulling down the listing. Jane Babcook and Mark Baron of Brown Harris Stevens have the listing for Scaramucci’s home, which includes all of its furnishings.


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