La La Land would be nothing if it wasn’t for its notorious traffic jams, ubiquitous palm trees and, of course, ridiculously expensive estates.
This year’s list of top residential sales lacked the $100 million double-whammy that led the way in 2016, but they nonetheless packed a punch during an otherwise slower year. Overall, the top 10 sales in Southern California combined amounted to roughly $549.7 million, down from $585 million last year. (It’s worth noting that the No. 10 slot last year was a tie between two properties that both sold for $32.5 million.) To no one’s surprise, sprawling estates in coastal Malibu and Beverly Hills dominated the 2017 list.
And while Los Angeles is infamous for its skyrocketing prices, this year’s sales saw many buyers snagging homes below ask. Take Evan Metropoulos, brother of Playboy Mansion owner Darren Metropoulos, who acquired Danny Thomas’ former estate for $65 million earlier this year — or less than half of the mansion’s initial listing price.
Only three homes on the list were spec, marking a slight downtick from the four new construction properties that graced the 2016 list of priciest sales. Per usual, this year’s rankings included a handful of historic estates and resales.
Excluding any last-minute deals in 2017, here’s a rundown of this year’s top sales. The ranking is based on The Real Deal’s analysis of data from the Multiple Listing Service, Redfin and news reports.
1. 454 Cuesta Way | $88 million
It wouldn’t be L.A. if we didn’t have a celebrity leading the pack. Musical royalty Beyonce and Jay-Z topped the list with the priciest residential sale in 2017, clocking in at $88 million. The couple purchased McKillen Development’s spec home at 454 Cuesta Way in Bel Air at quite the discount, considering it initially asked $135 million. The Paul McClean-designed home has eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms over 30,000 square feet of living space.
2. 22108 Pacific Coast Highway | $85 million
David Geffen’s Malibu pad at 22108 Pacific Coast Highway finally sold for $85 million in May after spending about two years on the market. The runner-up on this year’s list sits on five parcels and is comprised of a two-story, oceanfront main residence and two guesthouses. Even though it didn’t hit the $100 million price tag Geffen had hoped for, the residential sale still broke a record in Malibu. The buyer, who isn’t listed in property records, was later reported to be Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter.
3. 3620 Sweetwater Mesa Road | $69.9 million
Next on the list was an unusual home flip that involved the federal government, the president of Equatorial Guinea and a luxe brokerage’s co-founder. Investor Mauricio Oberfeld and the Agency co-founder Mauricio Umansky flipped a seized Malibu home they initially bought from the feds for $38 million for a whopping $69.9 million in the spring, marking the third-most-expensive sale of 2017. The two Mauricios renovated the 15,000-square-foot mansion and then sold it to an unknown buyer from the British Virgin Islands. The estate once belonged to the playboy son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, who is now facing corruption charges.
4. 1187 N. Hillcrest Road | $65 million
Not to be outdone by his baby brother, Twinkie heir Evan Metropoulos claimed this year’s fourth spot on the list when he purchased the renowned Danny Thomas estate in Beverly Hills for $65 million. The 2.5-acre Trousdale Estates compound, owned and renovated by Lebanese-British billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, was also noteworthy for the massive price chop it underwent. Chagoury was forced to sell the mansion at 1187 N. Hillcrest Road, which initially demanded $135 million, at a hefty discount after the government barred his entry into the country on terrorism-related charges.
5. 22446–22500 Pacific Coast Highway | $48 million
Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison continued his Carbon Beach shopping spree this year, spending $48 million on a 7,700-square-foot, five-bedroom home in the prestigious Malibu enclave. Ellison, who already owned nine other properties on “Billionaire’s Beach” and the celeb-favored Nobu just down the street, purchased the property from Lisette Ackerberg, widow of real estate developer Norman Ackerberg.
6. 900 Stradella Road | $41 million
A modern-looking spec home on Michael Bay’s former Bel Air property sold for $41 million to an unknown buyer at the tail end of 2017. The home, which hit the market for $45 million, spans 15,000 square feet and includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a home theater. Located at 900 Stradella Road, the Jack Werner-designed residence offers 280-degree views from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica.
7. 300 Delfern Drive | $40.8 million
Nicolas Berggruen, formerly known as the homeless billionaire, paid $40.8 million to acquire the one-time home of socialite Edith Mayer Goetz at 300 Delfern Drive in Holmby Hills. The seller, Gary Wilson, had owned the 11-bedroom estate since 1990. The Georgian Revival-style house, renovated by celebrity designer Billy Haines, includes a screening room that was used to screen pre-release films produced by Goetz’s father, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer co-founder Louis B. Mayer. It was initially listed for $45 million.
8. 1520 Gilcrest Drive | $38.5 million
A spec mansion at 1520 Gilcrest Drive in Beverly Hills built by developer John Saca sold to Scottish businessman Tom Hunter for $38.5 million earlier this year. The property, which originally asked $48 million, has six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and a 22-person home theater. An LLC tied to Hunter’s firm, West Coast Capital Holdings Limited, was the buyer of record
9. 78 Beverly Park Lane | $38 million
In a rare trade, Detroit Pistons billionaire owner Tom Gores paid $38 million to acquire his former home at 78 Beverly Park Lane. He had initially sold the home and some other undeveloped land (see No. 10) to developers Gala Asher and Ed Berman as part of the deal, in which he was supposed to get a newly built, $100 million spec mansion on Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills in return. The Platinum Equity founder acquired his previous abode for $11 million below ask.
10. 673 Siena Way | $35.45 million
Rounding out the list is the $35.45 million sale of the parcel of land at 673 Siena Way in Bel Air. Billionaire Tom Gores unloaded the property to developer Ed Berman as part of the switcheroo deal mentioned above, earning it a top spot on last year’s list. This year, an LLC tied to Berman then sold the parcel to an LLC with its headquarters in Menlo Park. Property records indicate that LA Croix LLC paid $35.45 million for the land in February.