The Real Deal Miami

South Florida’s 10 biggest residential sales of 2016

At top of the list is hedge funder Ken Tropin's $43.7M purchase in Palm Beach
By Katherine Kallergis | December 22, 2016 12:55PM

Clockwise from top left: 1695 North Ocean Way and Kenneth Tropin; 6 Ocean Lane and Roger Ailes; 1400 South Ocean Boulevard; and 89 Middle Road

Asking prices took a big hit among this year’s priciest residential sales – which were all single-family homes – in South Florida.

At the top of the list was an oceanfront spec mansion in Palm Beach, listed for $55 million, but which sold for 20 percent less. And even bigger sale price cuts followed, with a 30 percent difference between the asking and sale price of another Palm Beach home down the list. Palm Beach County, especially the town of Palm Beach and other luxury enclaves like Manalapan and Delray Beach, also dominated the top 10 list of residential sales in the tri-county area. Broward County didn’t make the ranking, and only two homes from Miami-Dade were on the list. 

Given the slowdown in luxury residential sales, especially in Miami-Dade, it makes sense that price reductions were littered throughout The Real Deal‘s ranking. More than a year deep into the housing market slowdown, brokers are now touting more “realistic pricing.” EWM CEO Ron Shuffield recently told TRD that 37 percent of luxury listings in Miami-Dade reduced their asking prices by an average of 14 percent by the summer of this year,

Here are the 10 biggest residential sales in South Florida in 2016, using MLS data, Redfin and TRD’s archives.

1. 1695 North Ocean Way, Palm Beach | $43.7 million

It’s always the hedge funders.

Kenneth G. Tropin, founder and chairman of Graham Capital Management, paid $43.7 million for a spec oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach, developed by Pat Carney. The house, with nine bedrooms, a guest home, two swimming pools and a 12-car garage, hit the market in January for $55 million and sold in March for more than $10 million less. The Corcoran Group’s Jim McCann was the listing agent.

Last year, fellow hedge funder Kenneth Griffin shattered records in South Florida with his $60 million purchase at Faena House. [more]

2. 89 Middle Road, Palm Beach | $39 million

Insurance tycoon Peter Wood paid $39 million in April for the former John Kluge estate in Palm Beach. Columbia University sold the 4.3-acre property at 89 Middle Road, which was listed for sale in 2011 for $59 million.

Records show Kluge donated the property to his alma mater after he died in 2010. Kluge, a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, made his money in the television industry. His former home is made up of five parcels that include a 1935 garden house with 12,000 square feet and a 6,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style oceanfront house designed by noted architect Addison Mizner, as well as three additional buildings that can be used for guests and staff, according to the listing. The property also includes gardens and a 150-foot reflecting pool.

Paulette Koch and Dana Koch of the Corcoran Group, and Carole Hogan and Carol Digges of Brown Harris Stevens were the listing agents. [more]

3. 6 Ocean Lane, Palm Beach | $37 million

Fox News founder and former chairman Roger Ailes is the buyer of this year’s third most expensive residential purchase in South Florida. Ailes, who resigned from Fox in July over multiple sexual harassment allegations, is reportedly the true owner of the trust that purchased the spec mansion at 6 Ocean Lane in September.

Luxury homebuilder Mark Timothy Inc. sold the beachfront Palm Beach home for $36 million to a City National Bank of Florida trust. Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates was the listing agent. [more]

La Brisa Coconut Grove

La Brisa in Coconut Grove

4. 3551 Main Highway, Miami | $34.6 million

Ransom Everglades School paid $34.6 million in June for La Brisa, a historic Coconut Grove estate that was once the most expensive residential listing in Miami-Dade. Ransom will use the 6.9-acre waterfront property to expand the private school’s campus up to 16.7 acres.

La Brisa’s history dates back to 1886, when the land was deeded to children’s novelist and conservationist Kirk Munroe. A trust in Munroe’s name sold the property. The waterfront, Mediterranean-style, nine-bedroom, 16,500-square-foot estate, was originally built during the 1920s and later restored. The mansion sits atop an ancient coral reef about 23 feet above sea level and has 208 feet of bay frontage. Features include 3,338 square feet of outdoor living space with several balconies and covered porches and a private port that can accommodate a 70-foot yacht.

In 2014, the property at 3551 Main Highway was originally listed for $65 million. Nelson Gonzalez of EWM took the listing over in November at $47.5 million. [more]

5. 921 South Ocean Boulevard, Delray Beach | $34 million

Investor and entrepreneur Richard A. Chaifetz paid $34 million in February for an oceanfront home in Delray Beach. The founder of Chicago-based Chaifetz Group picked up the home at 921 South Ocean Boulevard for nearly $6 million off the ask.

The 1.7-acre property has seven bedrooms, one theater, reflection ponds, a pool, spa, fountain, outdoor fireplace, balconies and more than 155 feet of oceanfront. Pascal Liguori of Premier Estate Properties put the estate on the market in January. [more]

6. 1400 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan | $28.2 million

Manalapan squeezed onto the list of biggest home sales in South Florida with the $25.2 million sale in July of the beachfront home at 1400 South Ocean Boulevard.

A company controlled by venture capitalist Stewart A. Satter sold the spec home to natural gas mogul Frances A. Mennella and Dolores Menella. It features nearly 205 feet of ocean frontage, beach access, entertaining patios with lawn areas, a courtyard, pool deck, and a 1,234-square-foot guest house.

Satter hired Pascal Liguori & Son to list the 1.85-acre estate when it was completed in January for a whopping $38.5 million, a difference of 34.5 percent. [more]

110 Arvida Parkway. Inset: Listing agents Lance Ruffe and Ray Betancourt

7. 110 Arvida, Coral Gables | $25.8 million

Steven Ruffe, the owner of Miami-based billing company Ruffe Systems Inc., and his wife Linda Ruffe sold their Gables Estates mansion in November for $25.8 million to an unknown buyer.

Their six-bedroom, two-story home was featured in the 1996 movie “Two Much,” starring Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith – the actors reportedly married after the film came out. The house had been on and off the market since 2013, for $35 million.

Records show the buyer is Spadefish Enterprises and Cobia Enterprises, companies based in Concord, Massachusetts. Lance Ruffe of the Keyes Company was the listing agent. [more]

8. 900 North Lake Way, Palm Beach | $25.5 million

Palm Beach developer Craig Menin sold a redeveloped mansion in June for $25.5 million, after being on the market for nearly $35 million. Fifth Cupcake LLC bought the seven-bedroom, 19,286-square-foot home designed by architect Milton Klein.

It features 200 feet of lakefront, a deep water dock, an infinity pool, two outdoor kitchens, a home theater, spa, 5,000-bottle wine room and a full house generator. Dana Koch of the Corcoran Group was the listing agent.

9 Tahiti Beach Island Road

9. 9 Tahiti Beach Island Road, Coral Gables | $23.5 million

The founder of a for-profit medical college in Colorado picked up a Cocoplum home in Coral Gables in July for $23.5 million. The seller was Adrianne Mittentag, widow to the late aerospace executive Paul Mittentag.

A trust in the name of Paul Tien, a Chinese-born immigrant to the U.S. who founded the for-profit medical college American University of the Caribbean, purchased the palatial three-story home with seven bedrooms, a private beach and a landscaped garden at 9 Tahiti Beach Island Road.

Judy Zeder of EWM was the listing agent. It hit the market for $28 million in April. [more]

10. 13180 Southfields Road, Wellington | $20 million

Billionaire developer Frank McCourt paid $20 million for a 40-acre property in Wellington known as the Crab Orchard farm.

The former Los Angeles Dodgers owner, horse enthusiast and head of McCourt Properties bought the farm in April after selling an equestrian estate nearby for $12 million.

The farm features a lake, sand ring, 11 paddocks, a gazebo, trophy room, tack room and locker room, a 3,200-square-foot warehouse with a three-bedroom apartment, an owner’s apartment with a fireplace and custom kitchen, and two studio apartments. Diane Jenkins of Jenkins Realty was listing agent. [more]

TRD Researcher Eda Kouch contributed to this report.