Luxury Market Uptick Suggests Market Improvement Near

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor The biggest home in Los Angeles County has changed hands. Candyland is waiting for its redubbing after the widow of TV producer Aaron Spelling sold her massive 56,500-square-foot mansion in Holmby Hills. In what constitutes one of [...]

The biggest home in Los Angeles County has changed hands. Candyland is waiting for its redubbing after the widow of TV producer Aaron Spelling sold her massive 56,500-square-foot mansion in Holmby Hills. In what constitutes one of the largest residential real estate transactions in recent history, British fashion designer and heiress Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, doled out $85 million in the all-cash deal that secured her the ownership of the impressive estate. However, the deal is far from being a record, as a Silicon Valley property was reportedly the object of a $100 million transaction, a new U.S. record, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Although it is an impressive amount, the $85 million price tag is a major compromise from the original asking price of $150 million, when the property hit the market in 2009.

The property itself’s exceedingly high level of glamour in its 4.7 acres will not constitute a shock to the new owner. Socialite Petra Ecclestone currently has a Georgian estate in London’s Chelsea valued at an equally mind-boggling $90 million.

L.A. has seen a significant uptick in the number of $20 million-plus deals perfected since the beginning of 2011. Another of the deals also sold at above $50 million: that of the Iris Cantor estate. Although there have been more than a half-dozen such high-end deals, estate agents are currently only cautiously optimistic regarding a forthcoming upturn, The Times reported. However, it quoted Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, as saying Southern California would not be seeing such a level of increased activity if real estate specialists weren’t convinced that the lowpoint is very near–and therefore so is the upscale everyone’s been waiting for.