Most Expensive Properties Sold In The U.S.


Nine-figure listings have been (relatively speaking) flying off the proverbial shelves lately, what with Connecticut’s Copper Beech Farm selling for $120M last week and L.A.’s long-unsold Fleur de Lys going for $102M cash in late March. Both of these deals are among the priciest properties ever change hands in the United States and have therefore entered a very exclusive real estate club that includes Russian billionaires and banking magnates, retractable glass walls and limestone manors, Donald Trump and 4,500 heads of cattle. Below, the 11 most expensive houses ever sold in America, from 124,000-acre ranches to four-bedroom penthouses. Do have a look.

William E. and Desiree B. Moore, founders of Kelly-Moore Paint, spent 20 years acquiring this epic land holding in Montana’s Rocky Mountain West, a swatch of river, ranchland, and hillside that spans three counties near Augusta. In all it’s 124,000 acres of operational ranch, with a 10,000-square-foot main house, an indoor pool, horse stables, and, you know, “3,500 mother cows plus 800 replacement heifers and 175 range bulls.” The property was enough to catch the eye of sports entrepreneur Stan Kroenke, owner of the Denver Nuggets among other Colorado teams, as well as has the largest share of English football club Arsenal,  $132.M for the spread.
A week ago Copper Beech Farm, the 50-acre Greenwich estate that was listed last May for arecord-setting $190M, sold for $120M. Though that’s just 61 percent of its initial ask, $120M is quite a feat for a moderately sized mansion saddled with debt and bruised by a few monstrous PriceChops, first down to $140M in September, then down to$130M just after the New Year. According to the Greenwich Town Clerk’s office, the buyer is “Conservation Institute LLC,” which says just about nothing about the buyer, but the broker reveals that he’s “not local.”
In late 2012, a nine-acre estate in Woodside, Calif.~ $117.5M, which is particularly ridiculous because at the time an 11-acre parcel was available just down the street for a quarter of the price. This house, a 8,900-square-foot Neoclassical manor commissioned by private equity titan Tully Friedman and designed by Virginia-based architect Allan Greenberg, was built in 2005 on land purchased for $8M.
As if to illustrate just how much money is thrown around in the Hamptons, heiress and photographer Adelaide de Menil acquired these 40 acres of prime oceanfront Hamptons real estate to use essentially as storage for all the local buildings she saved from demolition. When she was getting ready to sell the property, she moved them to various plots around town to remain protected, so whenRon Baron (a fine name for an investment manager worth $1.5B) dropped $103M on the property in 2007, it was the most expensive residential sale in U.S. history, despite the fact that it had zero in the way of built property. Since then, Baron’s estate, a 28,000-square-foot manse designed by NYC-based architecture firm Hart Howerton, has rattled about in the news cycle, mostly because Barondecimated 3,000-year-old protected sand dunes and wetlands to build a retaining wall. In May 2012, he boasted to a MarketWatch reporter that “it was actually $132 million” that he paid. (Public records confirm the $103M figure.) So it goes.
Earlier this month, L.A.’s Fleur de Lys, the estate that broke records when it hit the market in 2007 for $125M and, despite years of floundering, stuck stubbornly to its that price, sold for $102M, a record for L.A. county. The L.A. Times reported that the 100-room mansion, built in 2002 for billionaire David Saperstein and his then-wife, Suzanne, sold amid a bidding war that engaged three billionaires, with the winner agreeing to pay all cash for estate and its rare Louis XIV and Louis XV antiques. Though the sale is recorded as $88.3M, it’s been widely reported that the money exchanged totaled some $102M, perhaps accounting $13.7M for the furniture.
In 2011, Russian investor Yuri Milner paid $100M on a 30,000-square-foot mansion in Los Altos Hills in Silicon Valley. Built in 2008, the house is like a “symmetrical limestone” manse “inspired by 18th-century French chateaux,” which apparently equates to a ballroom, wine cellar, a tennis court, and “loggia and details like chandeliers and a frieze around a skylight in the entryway.”
Though he tried to keep the purchase a secret, in 2008 Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev paid $95M for Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate. Having bought the place for $41.35M at an auction in 2005, the real estate developer turned a pretty profit, having only done “very minor cosmetic work” on the 69,000-square-foot compound (which includes a 50-car garage) before listing it for $125M.
In 2000 financier Gary Winnick laid outa nonchalant $94M on Bel Air’s historic Casa Encantada. Built in the ’30s on 7.47 acres for glass heiress and socialite Hilda Boldt Weber, Casa Encantada has become one of L.A.’s most significant estates. Shortly after it was built, the upkeep for the 28,725 square feet (including 20 bathrooms!) became all too much for Weber, who ended up, , “committing suicide, poor and alone in Santa Barbara.” Eventually the estate landed in the hands ofConrad Hilton, who paid $225K. The über-rich hotelier lived there for 30 years, starting in 1950. In ’79 tycoon David Murdoch purchased it for $12.4M, and owned it until Winnick coughed up 7.5 times that much. While Casa Encantada is officially off the market, the property is rumoured to be available for $225M.
In April 2012, a trust linked to Dmitry Rybolovlev’seldest daughter, 22-year-old Ekaterina, paid $88Mfor a four-bedroom penthouse on NYC’s Central Park West. The seller? Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill. The apartment comes with a bedroom designed by Robert A.M. Stern, the building’s architect, “as an oval for an unobstructed view of the sun rising over Central Park.” There’s also a huge terrace with 19 glass doors.
In 2011, 22-year-old British heiress Petra Ecclestone, who, along with her sister Tamara, is set to inherit the gazillions of dollars their father makes as the president of Formula One, became the proud new owner of the L.A.’s Spelling Manor,the 14-bedroom, 27-bathroom estate in Holmby Hills built in 1988 for TV producer Aaron Spelling. Spelling had been asking $150M, though the palace ultimately sold for a measly $85M.

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