Most Expensive Homes

In Portland, there are three homes listed over $5,000,000 but all are under $6,000,000. In the Bay Area, the most expensive home on the market award goes to Locksley Hall in Belvedere. Asking price? Just $65,000,000!

From the International Herald Tribune:

“If buyers like views, they will come here to Marin,” said Olivia Hsu Decker of Decker Bullock, the agency handling the sale of Locksley Hall. “Part of the value of this property is the rare view.”

Equally breathtaking, however, is the estate’s restoration, which took 10 years and cost $35 million. The work incorporated fine materials from around the world: teak from Burma, Indonesian stone, Carrara marble, African mahogany, silk wallpaper from Asia and chandeliers of Venetian glass.

More than $8 million was spent on the landscaping alone. The site, covering 1.2 acres, or half a hectare, was terraced and then planted with Japanese maples, magnolia, pines and fruit trees. Stone taken from Chinese villages along the Yangtze River before they were submerged by the Three Gorges Dam were used to create the patio.

… Still, Decker acknowledged, Locksley Hall’s asking price might be a little inflated, as the estate has been on the market for more than a year.

The artilce is from 2006; the home was featured on last night’s local news. It is still on the market.

5 Comments on “Most Expensive Homes

  1. Hello!

    I have a tip that should be useful to you and your readers.

    Many agents are already using our services to enhance or correct their photos. We have removed cars, sheds and fixed landscaping. Many real estate agents also are using us to enhance their photos on things from business cards to billboards.

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  2. First, ZeroFlaws = 100% spam.

    Second, statistical outliers don’t suggest much. If it were the other way around, the $65M property was located in the Portland area, what would that suggest? As far as I am concerned, nothing.

    I also note that just about everyone recognizes that median should be used to eliminate these statistical outliers.

    Also I once read a study on how long it takes, “on average,” to sell a property over $10M. Since the number of buyers is essentially zero, it takes far more time to make the buyer-seller match.

  3. JP, thanks for reminding me. I read ZeroFlaws from my phone and meant to go back to it. Not to delete it but to question this:

    Many agents are already using our services to enhance or correct their photos. We have removed cars, sheds and fixed landscaping.

    What the ____? Let’s use Photoshop so we can change the home’s appearance; mow the lawn, slap on a fresh coat of paint… There’s some truth in advertizing for you.

    The only time I have used Photoshop to edit a picture was to remove a FSBO sign that the seller had placed in the yard prior to listing with us.

    And yes, the buyer pool at the upper end of the market is small. Previous post: https://www.portlandrealestateblog.com/realestate/2007/06/pool_of_buyers.html

  4. Let’s discuss “Truth in advertising.”

    Of all the Nazis, Leni Riefenstahl was one of the few who was never convicted of any crime. Yet at the same time it is with little dispute that her work promoted the Nazi culture. In addition she was a personal friend of Hitler. Her defense was that she only documented the activities of others–she never actually made any arrangements. In any event, Hitler was always filmed at an angle that made him look larger than he really was. A photo taken at the wrong angle could mean death.

    Riefenstahl also did a fair amount of editing. Both her filming techniques and editing techniques were considered new to the time.

    My question is: When does editing a photo become a lie?

    I should note that when a television show broadcast football, the addition of a line here and there seems to be acceptable–the lie factor (as developed by Edward Tufte) is essentially zero. I forget which network it was, but during the footage of 911, the competitions logo was redacted out. This is getting to be a little more of a lie, but is it bad enough? Most people seem to accept cropping, but even that is considered lying by some…


    Let’s see what the Fed does on Tuesday. If the Fed keeps rates steady, then I predict that the destruction of wealth via declining housing prices will worsen. (Naturally this is my own personal prediction, but I am sure that I am not alone. In addition, I am sure there are those who suggest that wealth is not being destroyed… As always, individual properties have great variance, and there will always be properties that are increasing in value, and others that are dramatically decreasing in value. Construction is one way to increase a property’s market value, and the destruction of a structure, say by fire, is a quick way to reduce the market value of an individual property without respect to the aggregate market. It should be noted that the increase in market value of new construction may be less than the cost of the construction, but the property does, none-the-less increase in market value.)

    “Recent news has suggested the worse of the housing downturn, which has also afflicted mortgage lenders, may not be over.

    US home sales fell much more heavily than predicted in June, to their lowest level in over four and a half years.”


    One more comment. I have noticed that investors are pulling out of quality mortgage investments, such as REITs that invest in “low-risk” obligations. In my own opinion there could be some buying opportunities in debt, as the price is driven down to where yields are quite attractive.

    Any ideas on the health of the lending industry and existing debt backed by mortgages?

  5. Let’s see what the Fed does on Tuesday. If the Fed keeps rates steady, then I predict that the destruction of wealth via declining housing prices will worsen.

    And I predict that if the Fed does lower on Tuesday that the destruction of wealth via inflation will worsen dramatically.

    See, the Fed’s on a tightrope here. If the dollar weren’t approaching record lows I could agree that the Fed could lower rates, however in the current environment doing so will sink the dollar and cause prices for imports (like Oil) to increase dramatically – say hello to $100/barrel oil. Basically, if the Fed lowers on Tuesday we’ll end up in the same place but by a slightly different route. If they lower inflation will heat up and which will cause the bond market to tank even more which will lead to higher rates.

    Best for Ben to leave rates right where there at. In fact, if the dollar continues to weaken he may need to raise rates by year end.

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