October is Luxury Month at Inman, and this is the final post in a 5-part series looking at the high end market. Click here to read how the luxury housing market became invincible in 2021, here to see the biggest luxury mountain sales, here for the biggest beach sales and here for the biggest city sales. Then join us for Luxury Connect at the Aria Hotel (Oct. 25-26, 2021) and the live presentation of the Inman Golden I Club honorees for this year.
If the biggest sales of the year are any indication, luxury real estate is doing better than ever. Although 2020 saw only one sale above $100 million, four properties over $120 million have already been purchased across the United States by October. In all of 2019, only 25 homes above $50 million sold.
Rising home values, historic inventory shortages and an overall exacerbation of inequality are creating a market in which even the top 1 percent of properties, which can normally sit for weeks due to a tiny pool of buyers with the funds to make such purchases, are snapped up quickly by those looking with massive real estate portfolios.
Long considered a beach escape for billionaires, Palm Beach has come out as a clear frontrunner this year — home prices grew by 30 percent since fall 2020 and eight out of the 20 properties on this list came from there.
While this type of list can never be complete due to the high level of secrecy with which many of these deals take place, we thought we’d take a look at some of the biggest sales in 2021 so far for Luxury Month:
New York, New York
The most expensive real estate purchase was cemented not by a flashy celeb but in a great deal of secrecy by one of Alibaba’s founders. Taiwanese-Canadian investor Joe Tsai, who also owns the Brooklyn Nets, paid a combined $157 million for a pair of condos in one of New York City’s most sought-after addresses.
The condos include a full-floor, 5,935-square-foot unit on the 60th floor that Tsai bought for $82.5 million, another full-floor unit on the 61st floor for $57 million and an 18th-floor studio for Tsai’s staff.
While news that someone had made one of the largest real estate purchases in New York’s history (the biggest in both the city and the country is still held by Ken Griffin, who bought the penthouse in the same building for $238 million in 2019) had first broken in June, Tsai’s identity as the buyer was not revealed until late July.
The purchase is around the same price range as the biggest real estate sale of 2020, which occurred when Jeff Bezos shelled out $165 million for a historic Los Angeles property known as Warner Estate.