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LA among the world’s top real estate markets for the super-rich

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A new report shows the one percent love LA

LA mansions
Most of LA’s priciest sales have been recorded in Bel Air and Beverly Hills.

While millions of Los Angeles residents struggle to pay for basic needs like food and housing, a handful of wealthy homebuyers are making the urban area one of the world’s most desirable real estate destinations for the world’s richest residents, according to a new report from Knight Frank.

The global real estate firm finds that the LA area is one of just 17 “ultra-prime” residential markets worldwide, where homes regularly sell for eight-figure amounts.

By Knight Frank’s reckoning, a market can only be described as “ultra-prime” if at least three homes there have sold for more than $25 million in each of the past three years.

Not all that long ago, a sale that costly could have broken local records, but home sales above $25 million have become routine in recent years. According to the report, 51 LA homes have sold for that much since 2015, with 18 selling in 2017 alone.

And that doesn’t even include the 12 homes that have sold for more than $25 million in Malibu since 2015 (Malibu was treated as its own market in the report, and also made the list of 17 ultra-prime destinations).

Los Angeles was one of five American real estate markets included on the list. The others were New York City, Malibu, Palm Beach, and Aspen.

Notably absent: San Francisco, where the median home price is more than double that of LA County. While housing is, by and large, far pricier the Bay Area than it is in LA, the region sees fewer mega-sales.

Case in point: The most expensive house ever sold in the city of San Francisco fetched $38 million earlier this year. The priciest home sold in LA city limits? That would be a tie between a spec house purchased by Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and the notorious Playboy Mansion. Both sold for $100 million.

Los Angeles is one of just six major cities featured on Knight Frank’s list. Incredibly, three of those cities—London, Hong Kong, and New York—have seen at least 150 sales above $25 million since 2015.

Los Angeles is next on the list, beating out Singapore (where 23 homes have bested that price threshold) and Sydney (where 20 homes have sold above $25 million).

Where are LA’s priciest homes selling? Not surprisingly, the famously upscale 90210 zip code claimed the highest share of sales analyzed in the report, with 20 qualifying transactions. Close behind was the 90077 zip code, which covers Bel Air. Here, 18 homes sold for more than $25 million.

Earlier this year, a separate analysis from Property Shark found that Los Angeles County is home to 18 of the nation’s most expensive zip codes.

It’s also where you’ll find one of the most expensive pieces of land anywhere on Earth. In July, a 157-acre hilltop parcel in the 90210 zip code hit the market with an astonishing—and perhaps unrealistic—asking price of $1 billion.