From Miami Beach to Palm Beach, high-end homes changed hands at a brisk pace throughout 2013.
A coal mining executive kicked off the year by selling a pair of ICON South Beach condos for $21 million. Embattled New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez kept the luxury residential market’s momentum going by netting a hefty profit with the $30 million sale of his Miami Beach mansion.
On the buying side, celebrities like shock jock Howard Stern, Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and motivational speaker Tony Robbins made splashes with expensive Palm Beach home purchases.
Below is The Real Deal‘s list of the 10 most expensive residential sales of the year. The list is based on closed transactions recorded by Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. That means pending deals that have not closed, like the reported $34 million sale of a penthouse at the Residences at the Miami Beach EDITION, were not eligible. The EDITION transaction is scheduled to officially close next year, when construction is finished and occupancy permits are obtained.
1. Howard Stern buys Palm Beach compound for $52M
South Florida’s most expensive residential purchase was made by one of the world’s most recognizable media celebrities: shock jock Howard Stern.
At first, the $52 million sale of an oceanfront compound at 601 North County Road in Palm Beach stood out only for its high price. Textile and apparel executive Martin Trust and his wife Diane sold the compound to the non-descript 601 North County Road Revocable Trust in May.
Luxury residential buyers often form trusts or limited liability companies when making expensive purchases in an effort to protect their privacy or for tax purposes. It seemed the true buyer of 601 North County Road would remain a mystery.
Then, numerous media outlets reported Stern as the buyer. The America’s Got Talent judge and his wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, spent weeks house hunting in South Florida before choosing the home in the section of Palm Beach known as “Raiders Row.” Stern now resides near another media celebrity on the opposite end of the political spectrum: conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
2. Palm Beach mansion sold for $42M to resolve bankruptcy
A mansion on “Billionaires Row” in Palm Beach sold for $42 million in June. The sale resolved a bankruptcy case tied to luxury residential developer Dan Swanson. A Swanson-managed company had filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition in September 2012, citing $41.5 million in debt.
The buyer was the appropriately named 1220 South Ocean Boulevard Trust.
Swanson, of Addison Construction, originally put the property on the market for $74 million in September 2011. A mansion and guest house totaling 27,000 square feet of living space were built on the 2.5-acre property earlier that year. Both the main house and guest house front the Intracoastal Waterway.
3. A-Rod sells Miami Beach mansion for $30M
While fighting to salvage his baseball career, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez showed his real estate juice with the $30 million sale of his Miami Beach mansion in May.
A-Rod netted a $15 million profit in the sale of the 4358 North Bay Road home. He had acquired the property for $7.4 million in May 2010 and spent another $8 million to renovate the home. Rodriguez originally listed the mansion with a $38 million asking price in August 2012.
The two-story, nearly 20,000-square-foot mansion has nine bedrooms, 11 full bathrooms and an indoor batting cage. Other features include a four-car garage, 16-camera security system and a Zen garden.
Rodriguez is currently battling with Major League Baseball to reduce a 211-game suspension for alleged performance-enhancing drug use.
4. La Gorce Island home sets record in $30M sale
An 11-bedroom mansion known as Castello del Sol sold for $30 million in June. The transaction set a record as the most expensive transaction on La Gorce Island in Miami Beach.
The buyer was an undisclosed European corporation that purchased the mansion from another corporation, 1418518 Ontario. The selling company paid $12.45 million for the home in 2011.
Located on a nearly 71,000-square-foot property, the 42 La Gorce Circle mansion has 14 bathrooms and three half-baths. It fronts Biscayne Bay.
5. Eagles owner pays $28.5M for Palm Beach mansion
Earlier this month, retired financial services executive Bruce Hammonds and wife Sandra sold their 1275 South Ocean Boulevard mansion for $28.5 million. Within days after the sale of the six-bedroom home closed, reports surfaced that Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was the buyer.
Lurie spent several months looking for a home in Palm Beach, which is where his mother resides. He got a nice discount from the original asking price of $35 million when the Hammonds put the mansion on the market two years ago.
The 17,000-square-foot mansion includes an elevator, swimming pool and boat dockage.
6. Setai condo fetches $27M in record sale
The Miami Beach condo market got off to a rousing start in 2013 with January’s $27 million sale of a Setai penthouse.
At the time, the sale of the 40th floor unit at the 101 20th Street tower set a pricing record for the South Florida condo market. The condo has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and 7,100 square feet of living space.
The seller paid $15 million for the penthouse in 2010 and rented it out to celebrities like Madonna, Jim Carrey and Simon Cowell at exorbitant rates, the Wall Street Journal reported. The identity of the buyer, a Delaware corporation, is not known.
7. Tony Robbins gets Manalapan home for nearly $25M
Motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins bought an oceanfront mansion in Manalapan for $24.8 million in April.
Robbins purchased the 750 South Ocean Boulevard property directly from the Palm Beach-based developer who constructed the home. The Georgian-style home has more than 11,000 square feet of living space on two acres that stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway.
The sale price was the second-highest for a Palm Beach County home located outside the town of Palm Beach at the time of closing.
8. ICON South Beach condos sell for $21M
Ohio coal mining executive Wayne Michael Boich kicked off 2013 by selling a penthouse and 36th floor unit at ICON South Beach for nearly $21 million.
The four-bedroom, six-and-a-half bathroom unit was originally listed for $19 million. It has a private rooftop deck and pool.
Boich paid $7 million for the condo in 2007.
9. Palm Beach spec house sells for $20M
An oceanfront spec home in the Estate Section of Palm Beach sold for more than $20 million in March.
The 102 Banyan Road mansion had been on the market for two years before Banyan Road Trust acquired the property. Palm Beach Gardens-based real estate investor Peter Callahan developed the house with plans to sell it once builder Paul Wittmann completed construction.
A two-story home, 102 Banyan Road has 11,000 square feet of living space and seven bedrooms.
10. Golden Beach home sells for $17.3M
The gated northeast Miami-Dade County community of Golden Beach rounds out our list, thanks to the $17.3 million sale of a residence at 605 Ocean Boulevard in July.
Bruce and Deborah Kaye sold the three-story, 14,075-square-foot home to a company called Villa Deniz. The five-bedroom, nine-bathroom residence was completed in 2007.
Golden Beach is coveted by high-end home buyers who seek privacy. Last month, former baseball star Sammy Sosa paid $7.6 million for a home there.