The ultra-luxury housing market has picked up steam in recent years, and appears to be just getting started.
There have been 24 sales of at least $100 million across the country since 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported. The total is more than all of the nine-figure sales recorded in the full decade prior to 2020. There were 19 such deals from 2011 to 2020, but there have been 22 since 2021.
Where these $100 million deals are unfolding is indicative of how wealth is moving around the country, as sunnier and more tax-loose states like Florida surge in comparison to traditional power and wealth bastions, such as New York City. Since 2020, there have been three $100 million deals in New York City, compared to six in Florida’s Palm Beach market alone.
There were three $100 million sales in Florida between 2013 and 2019, but seven since 2020. Billionaire William Lauder set a Palm Beach record with a $155 million purchase in March, only for the record to fall a month later to luxury car dealership owner Michael Cantanucci at $170 million.
On the other side of the country, Los Angeles and Malibu are also welcoming more nine-figure sales. Beyonce and Jay-Z set a California state record when they spent $190 million on a home in Malibu. Space and privacy are more readily available in some of these coastal enclaves.
New York City is still home to the most expensive residential real estate deal in the country’s history, after Ken Griffin’s $238 million penthouse purchase at 220 Central Park South in 2019. There was not a single $100 million sale last year in the Big Apple, but a contract is pending on a $115 million apartment at Extell Development’s Central Park Tower; it won’t be clear if the drought ends until the ink dries.
The Corcoran Group’s Pam Liebman labeled the lack of ultra-expensive buys as a “scarcity thing” when considering the demand for Central Park views. Jonathan Miller of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, meanwhile, said new inventory units are smaller in size, and therefore less likely to break the bank.
The rise in nine-figure buys correlates with more buyers who have a 10-figure net worth. There were a thousand more billionaires last year than a decade earlier, according to Wealth-X. The median sales price on the luxury market has also risen 75 percent from 2013 to 2023, according to Redfin, reaching $1.14 million last year.
— Holden Walter-Warner