Most Expensive U.S. Homes Sold in 2011

  1. $27 million and up
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    $27 million and up

    Overall, the U.S. housing market may have failed to dazzle in 2011, but this year did mark a new record in luxury real estate. In February, a 25,500-square-foot mansion in Los Altos Hills, Calif., sold for $100 million, the biggest known sale of a single-family home in the U.S. (many large transactions are not publicized). The seller, Fred Chan, who founded ESS Technology in Fremont, Calif., helped finance the deal by extending a $50 million loan to the buyer, Yuri Milner, the Russian-born founder of Digital Sky Technologies. This was also the year Candy Spelling sold her 14-bedroom mansion—on the market since 2008 for $150 million—at a discounted price of $85 million to Petra Ecclestone, the 22-year-old daughter of Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone. “Prices have come down [over the past few years], so it’s an opportune time to buy,” says Philip A. White, president and chief operating officer of Sotheby’s International Realty.

    To build a list of the most expensive homes sold in 2011, Businessweek.com asked Realogy (the parent company of such brands as Sotheby’s International Realty, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, and ERA), Christie’s International Real Estate (a network of high-end brokers), and Brown Harris Stevens for their biggest sales this year. We also collected sales data from real estate websites Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and StreetEasy.com, as well as from such real estate agents as David Kean at the John Aaroe Group in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Terry Baxendale at Shore & Country Properties near Greenwich, Conn.

    Click here to see 26 luxury homes that sold for at least $27 million in 2011.

    Note: These are the most expensive home sales as of Dec. 20, the last day Businessweek.com collected data. Sales of land, multifamily buildings, and commercial properties were not included.

  2. No. 25 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): 740 Park Avenue, co-op unit
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    No. 25 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): 740 Park Avenue, co-op unit

    740 Park Ave., #17B, New York, N.Y. 10021
    Sale price: $27,000,000

    In November, William Lie Zeckendorf, co-chairman of the real estate firm Terra Holdings and a developer of the luxury building 15 Central Park West, purchased this co-op unit from Acclaim Entertainment founder Gregory Fischbach and Linda Fischbach, reported Bloomberg News. Fischbach bought the 9-room apartment for $6.3 million in 1994, according to curbed.com.

    * Sale data: StreetEasy.com

    Photography by: William Halsey/Bloomberg Businessweek

  3. No. 25 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Maui oceanfront home
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    No. 25 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Maui oceanfront home

    7150 Makena Road, Kihei, Hawaii 96753
    Sale price: $27,000,000

    Dan Huish, founder of Huish Detergents, sold this 1.7-acre oceanfront Makena property to PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, reported the Wall Street Journal in July. Listing details shown on Island Sotheby’s website indicate that the house has four bedrooms and 5½ bathrooms, sits on 1.6 acres of oceanfront land, and offers views of the water.

    * Sale data: Sotheby’s International Realty

    Photography: Courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty

  4. No. 24 Most Expensive Home Sold: Museum Tower Penthouse
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    No. 24 Most Expensive Home Sold: Museum Tower Penthouse

    188 Minna Street, Penthouse, San Francisco, Calif. 94105
    Sale price: $28 million

    This 20,000 sq.-ft. condominium on the top two floors of the St. Regis Hotel & Residences in San Francisco sold for $28 million on Dec. 16, the highest sale price for a condominium in San Francisco history, according to the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service. The unit has 21 ft. glass walls with 360-degree views, six bedrooms, seven full and four half bathrooms, and 2,900 sq. ft. of terraces. The unit, originally listed by owner Victor MacFarlane for $70 million in 2008, was returned to the lender Second Step Asset Management this spring in a deed in lieu of foreclosure, says Sotheby's International Realty agent Gregg Lynn. The bank put the condo back on the market for $35 million.

    * Sale data: Sotheby’s International Realty

    Photography: Courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty

  5. No. 23 Most Expensive Home Sold: Blossom Estate home
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    No. 23 Most Expensive Home Sold: Blossom Estate home

    40 Blossom Way, Palm Beach, Fla. 33480
    Sale price: $29,150,000

    This 6,055-sq.-ft. home has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, according to listing information on Zillow.com. Previously listed at $36 million, the house has a large courtyard with a reflecting pool, as well as a saltwater pool, reported palmbeachdailynews.com.

    * Sale data: Sotheby’s International Realty

    Photography: Courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty

  6. No. 22 Most Expensive Home Sold: 1922 Pacific Heights mansion
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    No. 22 Most Expensive Home Sold: 1922 Pacific Heights mansion

    2950 Broadway, San Francisco, Calif. 94115
    Sale price: $29,500,000

    Sold in November, this four-level brick house in the Pacific Heights section of San Francisco has 11,000 square feet of living space and offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, reported Bloomberg News. Listing information shows that the house, built in 1922, has six bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a four-car garage.

    * Sale data: Pacific Union International via Christie’s International Real Estate

    Photography: Courtesy of Zillow.com

  7. No. 21 Most Expensive Home Sold: Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, condo unit
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    No. 21 Most Expensive Home Sold: Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, condo unit

    50 Central Park South, 29th floor, New York, N.Y.
    Sale price: $30,000,000

    SAB Capital founder Scott Bommer sold this Ritz Carlton condo in August for more than the $28.5 million he paid for it in 2008, reported the New York Times (Bommer also bought a $34.6 million co-op unit at 927 Fifth Avenue). According to StreetEasy.com, the 5,894-sq.-ft. apartment has four bedrooms and four baths.

    *Sale data: Corcoran, StreetEasy.com

    Photography by: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

  8. No. 20 Most Expensive Home Sold: Residences at the Mandarin Oriental, condo unit
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    No. 20 Most Expensive Home Sold: Residences at the Mandarin Oriental, condo unit

    Penthouse, 80 Columbus Circle, New York, N.Y. 10019
    Sale price: $30,550,000

    This penthouse atop the Mandarin Oriental in midtown Manhattan, which sold in July, has sweeping views of Central Park and the rivers. The apartment is 4,822 sq. ft. and has four bedrooms, five baths, five half baths, and a private terrace, according to StreetEasy.com.

    *Sale data: StreetEasy.com

    Photography: Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental

  9. No. 19 Most Expensive Home Sold: Knoedler Art Gallery townhouse
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    No. 19 Most Expensive Home Sold: Knoedler Art Gallery townhouse

    19 East 70th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021
    Sale price: $31,000,000

    This townhouse, built in 1909 for Alice Vanderbilt Sheppard (a Vanderbilt heiress), has been used as an art gallery for the past four decades, reported therealdeal.com. The 20,575-sq.-ft., seven-story building has an elevator, eight bedrooms, two libraries, terraces, and a garden. The house, listed for $59.5 million in 2009, sold in February and the Knoedler Art Gallery closed Nov. 30.

    *Sale data: Sotheby’s International Realty

    Photography: Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

  10. No. 17 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Southampton Meadow Lane mansion
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    No. 17 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Southampton Meadow Lane mansion

    1710 Meadow Lane, Southampton, N.Y. 11968
    Sale price: $32,500,000

    The 8,500-sq.-ft. cottage-style house on the ocean has 10 bedrooms and 12½ baths, five fireplaces, an gunite pool and poolhouse with sauna and steam bath, tennis court, private walkway to the beach, and putting green with sand trap, according to Hamptons news site 27east.com. Former Warnaco Chief Executive Linda Wachner sold the mansion in April, hamptons.com reported.

    *Sale data: Zillow.com

    Photography: Courtesy of Google Maps

  11. No. 17 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Greenwich Meadow Lane mansion
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    No. 17 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Greenwich Meadow Lane mansion

    14 Meadow Lane, Greenwich, Conn. 06831
    Sale price: $32,500,000

    That’s right: another $32.5 million “Meadow Lane” mansion, this time on Meadow Lane, Greenwich, Conn. (Another $32.5 million sale was on Southampton’s Meadow Lane in April.) This estate, one of the most expensive new constructions for sale in 2010 (see Businessweek’s report) sits on 14.48 acres near the Round Hill Country Club and has gardens, a pool and pool house, a stone gatehouse, and a 1-mile walking path. It sold in July.

    * Sale data: Shore & Country Properties

    Photography: Courtesy of Realtor.com

  12. No. 16 Most Expensive Home Sold: 1916 Pacific Heights mansion
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    No. 16 Most Expensive Home Sold: 1916 Pacific Heights mansion

    2840 Broadway, San Francisco, Calif. 94115
    Sale price: $33,000,000

    This San Francisco manor, which once belonged to socialite and philanthropist Dodie Rosekrans, went to Roger Barnett, founder of beauty.com, and author Sloan Lindemann Barnett (sellers of the Vanderbilt Mansion this year) in August. The 17,286-sq.-ft. house is next door to the home of Oracle’s (ORCL) co-founder and chief executive, Larry Ellison (buyer of the $42.9 million Porcupine Creek estate), reported the Wall Street Journal.

    *Sale data: Trulia.com

    Photography: Courtesy of Google Maps

  13. No. 15 Most Expensive Home Sold: 834 Fifth Avenue, co-op unit
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    No. 15 Most Expensive Home Sold: 834 Fifth Avenue, co-op unit

    834 Fifth Ave., 12th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10065
    Sale price: $34,000,000

    This 12th-floor apartment in a luxury co-op on Fifth Avenue, across from the Central Park Zoo, sold for $34 million to billionaire Robert Bass, who runs the private-equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, reported the New York Observer on Dec. 16. This is one of two units in the building to make the list.

    Photography: William Halsey/Bloomberg Businessweek

  14. No. 14 Most Expensive Home Sold: 927 Fifth Avenue, co-op unit
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    No. 14 Most Expensive Home Sold: 927 Fifth Avenue, co-op unit

    927 5th Avenue, 11th floor, New York, N.Y. 10021
    Sale price: $34,602,000

    In December 2010, developer William Zeckendorf purchased this five-bedroom apartment for $29.1 million, only to sell it less than a year later to Scott Bommer, founder of the hedge fund SAB Capital, for $34.6 million, reported the New York Times. Originally listed at $31.5 million, the unit covers the building’s entire 11th floor and faces Central Park, according to StreetEasy.com.

    *Sale data: Corcoran

    Photography by: William Halsey/Bloomberg Businessweek

  15. No. 13 Most Expensive Home Sold: Jennifer Aniston’s house
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    No. 13 Most Expensive Home Sold: Jennifer Aniston’s house

    1004 North Hillcrest Road, Beverly Hills, Calif. 90210
    Sale price: $35,000,000

    Actress Jennifer Aniston bought this six-bedroom, 9,105-sq.-ft. house in 2006 for $13.5 million and fixed it up with designer Stephen Shadley, reported curbed.com. She listed the home, designed by architect-to-celebrities Hal Levitt, at $42 million in February 2011 and reportedly sold it for $35 million to bond investor Bill Gross.

    *Sale data: Trulia.com

    Photography by: Newscom

  16. No. 11 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): 834 Fifth Avenue, co-op unit
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    No. 11 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): 834 Fifth Avenue, co-op unit

    834 Fifth Avenue, #5/6A, New York, N.Y., 10065
    Sale price: $36,000,000

    In January, Leslie Wexner, owner of Limited Brands (LTD), sold this Fifth Avenue duplex to real estate developer Larry Heyman, reported curbed.com. Wexner was represented by Sotheby’s International Realty and Heyman by Brown Harris Stevens. This limestone-clad building is known to be one of the most exclusive addresses in Manhattan, according to the New York Observer.

    *Sale data: StreetEasy.com

    Photography by: William Halsey/Bloomberg Businessweek

  17. No. 11 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Tyndal Point
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    No. 11 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Tyndal Point

    400 Ferry Road, Sag Harbor, N.Y. 11963
    Sale price: $36,000,000

    Tyndal Point—a 55-acre property with three separate residences and 3,000 feet of shoreline—first hit the market in 2007 at $80 million, reported curbed.com. While it sold at a significant discount, it is one of the biggest sales in that area of Long Island. The estate went in June to billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Greene, who was also a candidate in Florida’s 2010 Senatorial election.

    *Sale data: Corcoran

    Photo Courtesy of Corcoran

  18. No. 10 Most Expensive Home Sold: Harkness Mansion
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    No. 10 Most Expensive Home Sold: Harkness Mansion

    4 East 75th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021
    Sale price: $36,500,000

    This five-story limestone mansion, previously acquired by billionaire investor J. Christopher Flowers for $53.6 million in 2006, sold in August to art dealer Larry Gagosian, reported the New York Observer. The massive Upper East Side townhouse is 50 feet wide and measures 21,700 sq. ft.

    *Sale data: StreetEasy.com


    Photography by: William Halsey/Bloomberg Businessweek

  19. No. 9 Most Expensive Home Sold: Field Point Park waterfront mansion
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    No. 9 Most Expensive Home Sold: Field Point Park waterfront mansion

    84 Field Point Circle, Greenwich, Conn. 06830
    Sale price: $39,500,000

    This waterfront estate, on 4.26 acres, has a 20,777-sq.-ft. main house of stone, two guesthouses, terraces with a waterfall and koi ponds, outdoor and indoor pools, and a historic suspension bridge to the pier, according to listing details.

    *Sale data: Sotheby’s International Realty

    Photography: Courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty

  20. No. 8 Most Expensive Home Sold: La Belle Vie
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    No. 8 Most Expensive Home Sold: La Belle Vie

    332 St. Cloud Road, Los Angeles, Calif. 90077
    Sale price: $40,000,000

    Listed at $53 million since 2009, this Bel Air mansion reportedly sold in April to Gene Sykes, a managing director at Goldman Sachs. The house was built for philanthropist Iris Cantor by her husband, Bernard Gerald Cantor, in 1993, according to the Los Angeles Times. Iris Cantor had tried to quietly sell the property for $60 million, Forbes.com reported in 2000. Listing information on Zillow.com shows that the property has eight bedrooms, 21 baths, three kitchens, 12 fireplaces, a staff wing, pool, tennis court, billiard room, gym, and beauty salon.

    *Sale data: Zillow.com

    Photography: Courtesy of Google Maps

  21. No. 7 Most Expensive Home Sold: Porcupine Creek
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    No. 7 Most Expensive Home Sold: Porcupine Creek

    42765 Dunes View, Rancho Mirage, Calif. 92270
    Sale price: $42,900,000

    Covering 249 acres, the Porcupine Creek golf course estate has a 18,430-sq.-ft. main residence, four 1,860-sq.-ft. guesthouses, and four 600-sq.-ft. casitas, reported palmspringslife.com. The property was built by real estate developer Tim Blixseth and Edra Blixseth (who divorced in 2008) and was listed at $75 million after Edra Blixseth filed for bankruptcy. Oracle’s (ORCL) co-founder and chief executive, Larry Ellison, bought the estate in late January 2011, reported Aol.com.

    *Sale data: Hilton & Hyland Real Estate via Christie’s International Real Estate

    Photography: Courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate

  22. No. 5 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Vanderbilt Mansion
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    No. 5 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): Vanderbilt Mansion

    16 East 69th Street, New York, N.Y. 10065
    Sale price: $48,000,000

    This townhouse, in the Lenox Hill section of Manhattan, was built in 1881 and was once owned by Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt. It sold in July to Johnson & Johnson heiress Libet Johnson, reported the New York Post. The sellers, Roger Barnett, founder of beauty.com, and author Sloan Lindermann Barnett, bought the home in 2001 for $11 million. The mansion is tied with a $48 million condo in the Plaza (see next slide) for fifth place.

    *Sale data: StreetEasy.com

    Photography by: William Halsey/Bloomberg Businessweek

  23. No. 5 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): The Plaza, condo unit
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    No. 5 Most Expensive Home Sold (tie): The Plaza, condo unit

    768 Fifth Avenue, #1207 and #1209, New York, N.Y. 10019
    Sale price: $48,000,000

    The Russian composer Igor Krutoy and his wife, Olga, bought this 6,000-sq.-ft. condo in March. Howard Lorber, chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said at the time that this was a record price for a single condo sold in New York City, according to Bloomberg News. The apartment is tied with the $48 million Vanderbilt mansion (see previous slide) for fifth place.

    *Sale data source: StreetEasy.com

    Photography by: Emile-Wamsteker/Bloomberg

  24. No. 4 Most Expensive Home Sold: Pine Brook Atherton
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    No. 4 Most Expensive Home Sold: Pine Brook Atherton

    237 Atherton Avenue, Atherton, Calif. 94027
    Sale price: $53,000,000

    This 12-acre estate, originally listed at $59.5 million, sold in September for $53 million. The property has an 11,000-sq.-ft. English Tudor-style house as well as a 6,500-sq.-ft. guesthouse, according to listing details. It was sold by the children of San Francisco philanthropist and arts patron Madeleine Haas Russell, who died in 1999, to an anonymous buyer, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    * Sale data: Trulia.com

    Photography: Courtesy of Google Maps

  25. No. 3 Most Expensive Home Sold: Spelling Manor
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    No. 3 Most Expensive Home Sold: Spelling Manor

    594 South Mapleton Drive, Los Angeles, Calif. 90024
    Sale price: $85,000,000

    The Spelling Manor, for sale since 2008, sold in July 2011 at 56.7 percent of the original listing price of $150 million. The Wall Street Journal reported that the buyer was Petra Ecclestone, the 22-year-old daughter of British billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, who is chief executive of the Formula One Administration. The three-story, 56,500-sq.-ft. home sits on 4.7 acres.

    * Sale data: Trulia.com, Hilton & Hyland Real Estate via Christie’s International Real Estate

    Photography: Courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate

  26. No. 2 Most Expensive Home Sold: 15 Central Park West, penthouse
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    No. 2 Most Expensive Home Sold: 15 Central Park West, penthouse

    15 Central Park West, Penthouse, New York, N.Y. 10023
    Sale price: $88 million

    Former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill just listed this 10-room condo at the Robert A.M. Stern-designed 15 Central Park West in November for $88 million, promising to give the proceeds to charity. Forbes.com reported on Dec. 19 that Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the 22-year-old daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitriy Rybolovlev, bought the unit at the full price. This would be a new record price for homes sold in New York City. Other notable residents have included Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, hedgefunder Daniel Lobe and rock star Sting.

    Photography by: JB Reed/Bloomberg

  27. No. 1 Most Expensive Home Sold: Los Altos Hills mansion
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    No. 1 Most Expensive Home Sold: Los Altos Hills mansion

    13310 La Paloma Road, Los Altos Hills, Calif. 94022
    Sale price: $100,000,000

    At $100 million, the top transaction this year set a new high for known sales of single-family homes. This 25,500-sq.-ft. mansion in the Los Altos Hills has five bedrooms and nine bathrooms, according to listing data. Russian tech billionaire Yuri Milner, founder of Digital Sky Technologies, bought the property in February from Fred Chan, founder of ESS Technology in Fremont, Calif., and his wife Annie, reported the Wall Street Journal. The sellers lent Milner $50 million to help finance the sale.

    * Sale data: Trulia.com

    Photography by: Paul Sakuma/AP Photo