Buffett home leads Palm Beach’s sales for 2010

140 El Mirasol was another pricey sale, at $6.7 million

The $18.5 million sale of singer Jimmy Buffett’s home at 540 S. Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach led the town’s priciest sales for the year, according to MLS data compiled by Condo Vultures.

The sale of Buffett’s home, which was never listed, was recorded Thursday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court to a Delaware company with offices in New York and Via Marina.

The five-bedroom, nine-bathroom home built in 1925 had been appraised at $23.3 million by the county property appraiser, and, like all of the top sales for 2010, sold after March 3 in a sign the market has been picking up in the second quarter. All of the sales were single-family homes.

“We’ve just had more activity now, as far as real buyers making real offers, than we had in February,” said Jeffrey Cloninger of Jeffrey A. Cloninger & Associates.

Coming in second on the list was the $13.5 million sale of 822 South County Road, which was sold on April 12.

The third-priciest sale was the $10 million sale of 1141
North Lake Way, which sold on March 3, and fourth was the $8.53 million sale of
131 E. Inlet Drive, which sold March 12.

Rounding out the top five sales on this tony island so far this year was the 9,000-square-foot 140 El Mirasol, which was sold for $6.7 million to buyer NSHE Rosemead, an Arizona company. NSHE Rosemead is an affiliate of the National Safe Harbor Exchange.

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“[The buyers] saw a wonderful property with exceptional value — and that was sort of the bottom line,” said Robin Donnelley, a realtor with Fite & Shavell who represented the El Mirasol buyer.

El Mirasol sold for approximately $744 per square foot, and Donnelley said she thought sales in the town were on the upswing. This is, after all, Palm Beach.

“I think you can see the sales that have happened, they seem to be moving in the right direction. I think it’s more the location and the size and quality of the house, and not dealing so much with square footage. [The site] could have been two buildable lots, with the size of the property. I think unless you’re talking about new property, it all depends on the finishing and the quality.”

Donnelly said she had sold a townhouse for its asking price, of $3.65 million, earlier in the year, stressing the location and size of the property as its prime mover.

Palm Beach, the home of celebrities from Rush Limbaugh to Donald Trump, has a pedigree nearly unmatched in South Florida for pricy sales. Trump sold a mansion there two years ago for $95 million to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Current Democratic Senate candidate and former developer Jeff Greene bought his home, La Bellucia, from Malcolm Glazer for $24 million at the end of 2009.