I walked down Singapore’s most exclusive street and found it was a strange mix of mansions, embassies, and empty estates

a mansion on nassim road in singapore
Some of Nassim Road’s mansions sit empty because their owners bought them as investments.

  • Nassim Road, Singapore’s most prestigious street, is lined with embassies and mansions.
  • I walked down the street recently and found that many of the residences sat empty and in a state of disrepair.
  • Most of the mansions were barely visible behind dense foliage and gates with security cameras.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Nassim Road, a quiet, tree-lined street that’s less than a mile long, is the most exclusive and expensive street in Singapore.

nassim road singapore map
Nassim Road is located near the Botanic Gardens in central Singapore.

Nassim Road’s ultra-wealthy residents live in mansions known as “good class bungalows” — the most coveted type of housing in Singapore, which must have a land area of at least 15,000 square feet.

“Nassim has become a brand name on its own,” Bruce Lye, the cofounder and managing partner at Singapore Realtors Inc., told me. “The Nassim address itself commands a big premium … If you have the opportunity to own a piece of land there, it’s something that can be passed down for generations to come.”

Of the handful of good class bungalows publicly listed on Nassim Road right now, the cheapest is about $45 million and the priciest is roughly $72 million.

The most expensive home ever to sell on Nassim Road was a bungalow that sold for $170 million in 2019. The rumored buyer? Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin, who has lived in Singapore for more than 10 years. Saverin did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.

Nassim Road’s exclusivity stems from its secluded locations, large lots, and the fact that it’s a short street with a limited number of home sites.

the road sign of nassim road, singapore's most prestigious and expensive road

“A piece of regular land in Nassim is like fine art or wine,” Lye told me in March, adding that the prices of such properties “keep reaching new highs all the time.”

I recently took a walk up Nassim Road, starting from where it meets Tanglin Road and Orchard Road — Singapore’s famous shopping street — all the way to its end point at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Here’s what I saw.

After the hustle and bustle of the Orchard Road area, stepping onto Nassim Road felt like stepping into a quiet, lush garden.

a view of trees and a condo building on nassim road, singapore's most prestigious and expensive road

The road was lined with trees, which muffled the noise of the city.

Toward the bottom of the road were a couple of condo buildings including this one, called Nassim Park.

a condo building on nassim road in singapore

Current listings in the building range from a four-bedroom unit for about $9.5 million to a five-bedroom penthouse for $26 million.

But the street is not all polish: I passed an abandoned building with a sign that said it used to be the Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

an abandoned embassy building behind a gate on nassim road in singapore

The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia is now located off Orchard Road, about a 10-minute drive away.

As I continued my walk up Nassim Road, the sounds of the city faded away even further and all I heard were birds and the occasional sounds of construction.

a view of the tree lined street on nassim road in singapore

The few cars that drove by were either construction vehicles or Range Rovers, Audis, Mercedes, and Porsches.

The condo buildings I saw at the bottom of the street gave way to grand homes like this gated mansion …

a white gated mansion surrounded by palm trees on nassim road in singapore

… and this ultra-modern house, which belongs to Stephen Riady, the executive chairman of real-estate company OUE.

a modern mansion on nassim road in singapore

Riady paid 95 million Singapore dollars, or about $70 million, for the home — which was designed by French architect Jean Francois Milou — in August 2019.

Nassim Road is clearly a high-security area: Every home I saw was outfitted with multiple security cameras, and that was on top of the gates and fences that surrounded most of the homes.

a view of two security cameras against blue sky and trees

And the homes weren’t the only high-security buildings on Nassim Road.

I walked by the Russian Embassy, a stark gray, brutalist building that had signs warning that photography was forbidden. The street is also home to the Embassy of the Philippines and the Embassy of Japan.

Some of the houses had gate houses.

a gatehouse and bungalow on nassim road in singapore

Most of the mansions were set far back on their lots and partially obscured by trees.

the front gate entrance to a mansion hidden among the trees on nassim road in singapore

Many were barely visible at all.

a mansion peeks through thick trees on nassim road in singapore

Through dense foliage, I could see just a peek of Eden Hall, the official residence of the British high commissioner in Singapore.

a blue and white mansion seen through thick trees on nassim road in singapore

In March, a bungalow right next to Eden Hall sold for $96 million to Jin Xiao Qun, the wife of Singaporean tech entrepreneur Shi Xu, who founded Nanofilm Technologies International.

Sunita Gill, the CEO and founder of the real-estate firm Singapore Luxury Homes, told me at the time that the new owner would likely need to shell out about another $20 million to renovate the nearly 60-year-old bungalow — showing just how much effort and money buyers are willing to spend for property on Nassim Road.

About halfway up Nassim Road is the most expensive property ever sold in the prestigious area: a good class bungalow that sits on nearly 85,000 square feet of land.

most expensive house nassim road singapore

In the summer of 2019, it sold for SG$230 million, or about $170 million. The seller was Cheng Wai Keung, chairman of property developer Wing Tai Holdings, who has an estimated net worth of $705 million.

The identity of the buyer has never been made public, but rumors have floated around that it was billionaire Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin.

The old Saudi embassy was not the only run-down building I saw on Nassim Road. Several other homes also appeared to be empty.

a mansion on nassim road in singapore

Lye, the real-estate broker, told me that quite a few of the homes on Nassim Road are sitting empty because some buyers are “land banking,” or holding the property with the intention of selling it in the future rather than living in it.

“People who own these plot of land are waiting for somebody to buy them out at whatever premium that they think the plot commands,” Lye said. “People are just buying it, knowing that the value will always be there.”

There were, however, multiple active construction sites on Nassim Road where people were either renovating older bungalows or building new ones.

a residential construction site on nassim road in singapore

The grandeur of Nassim Road is perhaps best displayed by satellite, which shows sprawling mansions with resort-like grounds and swimming pools.

a satellite view of mansions on nassim road in singapore

But from the road, you can only catch a tiny glimpse of that opulence. The neighborhood’s true essence is hidden from view for those who don’t have the wealth and access to go beyond the gates.

If you’re looking for a clear display of Singapore’s famed wealth, you won’t find it on Nassim Road.

a view of an entrance of singapore botanic gardens
My walking tour of Nassim Road ended at one of the entrances to the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

While there’s no dearth of impressive homes on Nassim Road, the bulk of them are hidden from view by trees, walls, and fences.

And that’s certainly not by accident: Like the ultra-wealthy across the globe, Singapore’s rich on Nassim Road clearly covet privacy and security.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Chinese gaming billionaire just paid $500,000 over asking for a historic Los Angeles mansion. Take a look at the $25 million property.

aerial view of the usc presidential mansion in san marino california
The 14,000-square-foot mansion housed USC presidents for 40 years.

  • Chinese gaming billionaire Tianqiao Chen bought a historic $25 million Los Angeles mansion earlier this month.
  • He paid $500,000 over the asking price for the residence, which housed USC presidents for 40 years.
  • Chen, the founder and chairman of Shanda Group, is known as one of the pioneers of China’s online-gaming industry.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Tianqiao Chen, a Chinese billionaire who made his $1.5 billion fortune in the games industry, just bought a historic 14,000-square-foot mansion in San Marino in Los Angeles County.

Chen Tianqiao
Chen in 2005.

Chen offered $500,000 over the $24.5 million asking price, beating multiple other competitive offers, a spokesperson for Douglas Elliman, one of the brokerages who held the listing, told Insider.

“The [winning] offer was compelling, but we had buyers waiting in the wings,” Listing agent Ernie Carswell of Douglas Elliman told Mansion Global.

Chen, the 48-year-old founder and CEO of Shanda Group, is credited with pioneering the gaming industry in China. He founded gaming company Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited in 1999 and became a billionaire by age 30. In 2004, Shanda was the largest online-gaming company in China. Chen left China around 2012 and lived in Singapore for a time. He’s now based in Silicon Valley, according to real-estate news site Dirt.

In 2016, Chen and his wife, Chrissy Luo, donated $115 million to create the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech, which is just a five-minute drive from their new home.

Chen declined to comment on the purchase via his company.

Called the Seeley Mudd Estate, the 14,000-square-foot home is also known as the University of Southern California (USC) Presidential Mansion because it housed the university’s presidents for 40 years.

a view of the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

The residence has hosted multiple holiday parties each year for university donors, faculty, trustees, and special guests since 1979, according to Douglas Elliman. And every Thanksgiving, the university president would invite USC students who were unable to travel home for the holiday to a dinner at the residence.

USC decided to sell the estate to cut costs during the pandemic and downsized to a smaller home for the university president in Santa Monica, per the Los Angeles Times.

Built in 1934, the American Colonial-style mansion sits on more than seven acres in San Marino, an upscale Los Angeles suburb.

aerial view of the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

Its $25 million price tag makes it the most expensive home sale in San Marino history, according to Douglas Elliman. 

It has housed more than just USC presidents.

aerial view of the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

The seven-acre estate was assembled from parcels that once belonged to WWII General George S. Patton and railroad tycoon Henry Huntington.

The home’s historic details include imported 17th-century wood paneling in the living room and walnut hardwood flooring.

a living area in the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

Source: Douglas Elliman

The house has eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.

a large master bedroom inside the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

Source: Douglas Elliman

Carswell, one of the listing agents, said he expects the home’s new owner to upgrade the kitchen and give the house a more open floor plan.

kitchen in the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

The home is in “beautiful condition, but is not in the style of today,” the agent told Mansion Global in February, when the home went on the market.

Elliman’s Austin Alfieri and Brent Chang of Compass also shared the listing.

The property’s grounds feature expansive lawns, a forest of magnolias, sycamores, oaks, and Chinese elms, English rose gardens, and multiple fountains.

aerial view of the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

Source: Douglas Elliman

The home’s al fresco dining and entertaining areas give the owner plenty of opportunity to enjoy the Southern California weather.

an outdoor patio area at the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

Source: Douglas Elliman

There’s also an outdoor swimming pool with a lounge area and outdoor kitchen.

an outdoor swimming pool at the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

Source: Douglas Elliman

At the far end of the property sits a sunken championship tennis court.

a tennis court at the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

Source: Douglas Elliman

The estate also includes a carriage house garage with its own gas station and car wash, an office, and a chauffeur’s apartment.

aerial view of the usc presidential mansion in san marino california

In a whimsical touch, there are also “children’s cabins” at the edge of the forested section with running water so that children can play house and have tea parties.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Should I buy a home right now? Here are the 5 things you should know before diving into the bonkers housing market.

plight of pandemic homeowners 4x3
Buyer beware: A number of factors have led to rising home prices, which makes taking the plunge into homeownership even more costly.

  • Low mortgage rates and the remote-work boom fueled home-buying during the pandemic.
  • The frenzy has depleted inventory, sent home prices soaring, and anointed new hot places to live.
  • This guide lays out the facts to know to help decide if you’re ready for homeownership.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The hottest pandemic purchase is a house.

One report found that 11% of Americans have moved since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Unmoored by remote work and driven by the desire to be near family or enjoy a lower cost of living, buyers have been snapping up primary residences and second homes, fleeing the coastal cities and flooding states such as Texas and Florida, as well as smaller cities, spacious suburbs, and vacation-home spots.

The mass relocations and purchases – coupled with the reluctance of existing homeowners to find a new place to live during a pandemic – have driven the number of homes for sale down to record lows, which in turn has propelled home prices to their highest rates in 15 years.

Intense bidding wars are commonplace. Take one California home that got 122 offers in two days. A May Zillow report found that nearly half the homes for sale in the US are selling in under a week.

Add that up and it’s harder than ever to break into the real-estate market.

Here are five things to understand in order to decide whether you’re ready to take the plunge into homeownership.

1. There’s a striking imbalance of supply and demand

Competition to buy a home is fierce.

There are more people who want to purchase properties than there are homes on the market. (There are even more real-estate agents in the US than there are homes for sale.)

Dwindling housing supply has fostered intense competition marked by bidding wars and all-cash offers.

The tightening housing market is goading prospective buyers into expensive homes that don’t ultimately fit their wants or needs. But for those with cash to spare who are prepared to compromise, now could be a decent time to scoop up a property.

Read more:

Buying a home is a lot harder than it was at the start of the pandemic. Experts say you should wait and avoid buyer’s remorse

April’s red-hot housing market saw nearly half of homes sell in less than a week, Zillow says

It’s actually a horrible time to buy a house

8 signs you’re ready to buy a house

3 reasons why the housing shortage will last for years, Goldman Sachs says

2. Buying a house is expensive even though mortgage rates are still low

Low mortgage rates and the desire for comfortable work-from-home digs have fueled a home-buying frenzy.

The spike in real-estate activity has absolutely depleted housing inventory and ratcheted up housing prices, meaning you could ultimately be overpaying for a property you’d be settling for anyway.

stella guan los angeles buy home regret ibuyer
Stella Guan had buyer’s remorse after beating out other eager bidders for a Southern California house that ended up having toxic mold.

Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, but the high home prices can cancel out the opportunity to get more house for your money and keep monthly payments affordable.

And don’t forget to budget for closing costs and insurance.

Read more:

The average homebuyer now needs to offer above asking price

Investors snatched up $77 billion worth of homes – a record – making it even harder for regular buyers to buy one

Homebuyers are getting slammed by record-high prices. Here’s when economists say they’ll finally ease up.

Most Americans think it’s a good time to buy a house even though they think prices will keep soaring, which shows just how irresistible the dream of homeownership is

Millennials are flocking to fixer-uppers because it’s the only way some can afford a home

3. Building a new home may not be much of an alternative

While existing listings dwindle – in part because homeowners are reluctant to resell their homes out of fear that they may not be able to afford their next one – a possible solution is to buy land and build a new house.

But the raw materials necessary to construct a new property have gotten exorbitantly expensive amid the pandemic. Logistics and shipping issues have resulted in long waits for certain supplies.

There’s also a finite number of contractors and workers to erect such homes. Those workers are in demand, meaning labor costs are also high. Builders nationwide are facing severe delays to complete new builds or even finish renovation projects on fixer-uppers.

Lumber
Lumber prices in the US are skyrocketing, adding tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of building new homes.

The added costs and delays slow down builders, lead to even more expensive home prices, and act as a deterrent to hopeful buyers.

Read more:

The price of lumber is wild right now and it’s a disaster for the already disastrous housing market

More houses will get built soon, Fannie Mae says – but maybe not as much as the market needs

The US is facing a shortage of nearly 4 million homes as builders struggle to meet exploding demand

The cost to build a house depends on the size of your home, but it’s generally more expensive than buying a home

Inside the business of a general contractor in Atlanta, where home renovation prices are in ‘bizarro world’ and backlogs are stretched to 12 weeks

4. Many popular places to live have become even more unaffordable

The pandemic emboldened many Americans – particularly employees who could work remotely – to ditch their big-city apartments and try out the suburbs, rural areas, or different states.

It led to booms in states such as Texas, Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina.

Buying a home in these newly popular areas may result in even more competition. Think higher prices and fewer houses to choose from.

Florida
Miami is one of the Florida hot spots that’s recorded a huge uptick in both buyer interest and property prices.

Read more:

The wealthy invested in ‘hidden gem’ locations during the pandemic, propelling property prices in smaller cities to new heights

Home prices are soaring across the US, but these 11 places are the wildest right now

Big cities are the clear losers of the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Americans moved away from these 10 urban hubs.

We talked to people in 4 popular beach towns who said this summer is the wildest in years, with barely any houses left to rent and prices through the roof

Elon Musk decries Austin’s housing shortage and sky-high home prices. Peek inside the bonkers real-estate scene in the city Musk predicts will be the country’s ‘biggest boomtown.’

5. Do thorough research before making any offers

Over the past year, some have snatched up houses only to be met with buyer’s remorse, while others have happily profited from their real-estate investments.

House-hunting hopefuls can prepare to buy by establishing an emergency fund, determining how much to budget, and getting preapproved for a mortgage.

Read more:

Why finding a home shouldn’t be your first step toward buying a house

Confessions of pandemic homebuyers: 6 families open up about overpaying, losing bidding wars, and settling for fixer-uppers in a bonkers housing market

I just bought a house in a red-hot market after 5 rejected offers, and I have 6 dos and don’ts for anyone thinking about buying right now

I thought I wanted to buy a ‘dream home’ but had to settle for an ‘OK home’ in this wild market – and I couldn’t be happier about it

Millennials who snapped up homes in the hot real-estate market reveal their biggest regrets, from unexpected costs to high mortgage payments

Read the original article on Business Insider

Million-dollar luxury home sales are soaring even as many buyers struggle to find a house

luxury house
Even though wealthy Americans are snapping up luxury homes, there’s an abundance of them on the market.

Luxury home sales are soaring.

They increased by 41.6% in the first three months of 2021 over the first three of 2020, according to a recent Redfin report that defined luxury homes as those selling for an average of $975,000. It’s a sharp contrast from sales for what Redfin deems “affordable” homes (those selling for an average of $184,400), which only increased by 7% in the same time frame.

It’s emblematic of the wealth divide that has deepened in America since the pandemic began, with the wealthy doing just fine and lower-income earners struggling to the point of falling into poverty. This K-shaped recovery is manifest in the housing market.

The report stated that home sales growth is typically similar across price tiers, but the pandemic’s exacerbation of economic inequality has caused it to diverge. “Affluent Americans with the flexibility to work from anywhere are taking advantage of low mortgage rates and buying up high-end houses – particularly in popular vacation destinations -which is contributing to the surge in luxury-home sales,” it reads.

The luxury housing market hasn’t been riddled with the same problems plaguing the more affordable housing market. The latter has seen cutthroat competition rife with ubiquitous bidding wars, as desperate buyers have resorted to all-cash offers, waiving inspections, or forgoing appraisals to win them. It’s resulted in a shortage of homes, Insider’s Taylor Borden reported, with current homeowners afraid to sell their houses for fear of being unable to find another.

America is short 2.5 million homes, per a recent Jefferies note. The National Association of Realtors estimated in March that existing housing inventory could run out in two months.

But while multimillion-dollar luxury properties are also seeing heated competition with multiple offers and selling for more than the asking price, Redfin’s Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather told Housing Wire, there are enough of them to go around.

Miami saw the biggest increase in luxury home sales (101.1%), which could partially be explained by the number of Wall Streeters who have moved there during the pandemic. California gobbled up the next round of luxury home sales, with San Jose leading the way, followed by Oakland and Sacramento.

It seems that the wealthy are in search of sunshine and space, and they are once again exempt from the many pandemic-related economic problems afflicting many Americans.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Look inside a Singapore supermarket billionaire’s $50 million mansion, which combines a historic bungalow with an ultra-modern house and has a 100-foot swimming pool

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee
The home is a “good class bungalow,” Singapore’s most rare and coveted type of real estate.

  • Singapore billionaire Lim Hock Leng lives in a $50 million historic bungalow combined with a modern mansion.
  • Lim, who co-owns Singapore’s 3rd-largest supermarket chain with his two brothers, has amassed a fortune of $1.2 billion with his brothers.
  • The mansion features a swimming pool that starts indoors and extends outside.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
On a secluded, leafy street in Singapore, supermarket billionaire Lim Hock Leng lives in a $50 million bungalow.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Lim is the co-owner and managing director of Singapore’s third-largest supermarket chain, Sheng Siong, which operates more than 60 stores in the city-state.

Lim’s older brother, Lim Hock Chee, is Sheng Siong’s CEO, while the eldest brother, Lim Hock Eng, is executive chairman. Together, the three brothers own a majority stake in the company, putting their combined net worth at $1.2 billion, according to Forbes.

Lim’s home is a “good class bungalow,” Singapore’s most rare and coveted type of real estate.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

The city-state has a limited number of good class bungalows, making them a status symbol reserved for the ultra-wealthy.

The design of Lim’s home combines a historic Singapore bungalow with an ultra-modern home.

“From the front, it looks very unassuming,” one local real-estate agent, who has visited the home and wished to remain anonymous, told Insider. “But if you look from the back it’s a monstrous house that towers over the whole neighborhood.”

The back of the home shows off the modern addition that was designed as “as a series of stepped terraces with green roofs,” according to the architecture firm.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Singapore-based architecture firm Ta.le Architects oversaw the restoration of the colonial bungalow and designed the new bungalow.

Lim paid 35 million Singapore dollars – or about $26.2 million – for the land and the historic colonial bungalow in 2015, a spokesperson for his company confirmed to Insider.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

The executive then spent roughly SG$30 million ($22.4 million) to restore the bungalow and build the attached modern bungalow, which was completed in 2018, the spokesperson said.

That brings Lim’s total investment in the property to nearly $50 million.

The architecture firm, Ta.le Architects, dubbed the finished property “Hidden House.”

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The home has three courtyards, one of which features a grassy lawn and sits between the historic bungalow and the modern bungalow.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Another courtyard separates the living room and the dining room of the new bungalow and brings light and air into the center of the house.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The third courtyard on the lowest level of the home is where you’ll find the 98-foot swimming pool, which extends from indoors to outside of the house.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Above the pool is a staircase designed to “glow in the night,” according to the architects.

Indeed, the entire rear facade of the home does appear to glow at nighttime.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The bungalow sprawls across 33,700 square feet.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Rather than going for pure opulence, the architects said they designed the home to create a “minimalistic luxurious experience.”

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Last month, Lim gave a tour of his home to the South China Morning Post and told the publication that he shares his home with different generations of his family.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: South China Morning Post

The architects therefore designed large bedrooms – almost like independent apartments – to accommodate Lim’s four children and his parents.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The bungalow’s formal dining area can accommodate at least 15 people.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Many of the home’s common areas appear to open up to the grassy terraces.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Photos of the home show lavish marble bathrooms. There’s also a massive walk-in closet.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The spacious office seems appropriate for the managing director of a major supermarket group.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The home’s amenities include a fitness center, a sauna and squash court, a pool table, and a home theater with 14 seats.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

When he set out to build the house, Lim said he told the architects, “‘You are building this house for my neighbors, not me.'”

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

“When you build a house, that house has to become scenery for your neighbors,” Lim told the Post during the tour.

Lim told the Post that he considers spending so much money on a house to be a bit “extravagant.”

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

But for Lim, the cost was justified. His father always wanted the whole family to live together but couldn’t afford a large enough home, Lim said, so he sees the house as realizing his father’s dream.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison just dropped $80 million on a Palm Beach mansion, 4 months after he said he’d moved to Hawaii

larry ellison palm beach mansion
A Google Maps satellite view of Ellison’s new mansion.

Palm Beach has gained yet another billionaire resident.

Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison has paid $80 million for a 15,000-square-foot beachfront mansion in the southeast Florida county, Katherine Clarke reported for The Wall Street Journal.

Ellison, who has an $89.1 billion fortune and is the world’s 10th-richest person, said in December that he had relocated from California to the island he owns in Hawaii. The tech billionaire’s massive real-estate portfolio also includes properties in Malibu, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Rhode Island, and Japan.

His newest purchase is the third-largest oceanfront parcel of land in Palm Beach County, according to the listing, which was held by Douglas Elliman. The Tuscan-style estate sits in a gated community and sprawls over more than 15,000 square feet, with 520 feet of ocean frontage. It features a home movie theater, a wine room, a large private pool terrace, and a tennis court.

It’s one of “only a handful of properties in Florida where someone could land and take off in a helicopter from the estate,” according to the listing.

larry ellison palm beach mansion
The home has 520 feet of ocean frontage.

Ellison bought the 7.35-acre property from hedge-fund manager Gabe Hoffman, who put it on the market in June 2020, asking $79.5 million.

With his newest purchase, Ellison joins an affluent community that’s added even more billionaires to its ranks in the past year.

Billionaire private-equity executive Robert F. Smith bought two homes in Palm Beach for about $48 million in November. In February, hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper went into contract on a $73 million Palm Beach mansion. And casino mogul Steve Wynn, who’s worth $3.2 billion, has bought two Palm Beach homes since December – one for $18.4 million and one for $49 million. He’s already flipped the former for $23.68 million.

These new ultra-wealthy Palm Beach residents may rub shoulders with longtime billionaire denizens like Stephen Ross, the chairman and owner of Related Cos., which owns Equinox and SoulCycle.

Hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who heads Citadel, has spent nearly $250 million over the years on real-estate along Palm Beach’s “Billionaires Row” with reported intentions of building a massive mansion.

Goodbye, Silicon Valley. Hello Texas, Florida, and Hawaii.

Ellison’s Palm Beach purchase is not the only big move the tech billionaire has made during the pandemic.

In December, he announced he’d be relocating Oracle’s headquarters from Redwood Shores, California, to Austin, Texas. A few days later, the Oracle executive chairman told his employees that he himself had moved to Lanai, the Hawaiian island of which he owns 98%, as Recode first reported.

“I’ve moved to the state of Hawaii and I’ll be using the power of Zoom to work from the island of Lanai,” Ellison wrote in an email to staffers.

larry ellison
Ellison told his employees in December that he had moved to Hawaii.

It’s unclear whether Ellison plans to make Palm Beach his new home base or simply add it to his collection of homes. He also owns a 23-acre estate in Woodside, California, and a home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, multiple homes on Malibu’s “Billionaire’s Beach,” and several properties in Lake Tahoe.

An Oracle spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A 42-acre estate in the Hamptons is set to sell at a record-breaking price after nearly 4 years on the market

jule pond
The 42-acre Southampton estate has nearly a quarter-mile of private beach.

A 42-acre estate in the Hamptons that was asking $145 million is in contract to sell for a record-breaking price, Jennifer Gould reported for the New York Post.

jule pond
The borders of the property are outlined in white.

Bespoke Real Estate, the brokerage handling the deal, did not disclose a final sale price but said on Facebook that it would be “the highest price achieved for a single property in the Hamptons’ history.”

The identity of the buyer is unknown, but Zach and Cody Vichinsky of Bespoke Real Estate told the Post that the buyer is from an “American real-estate family” that’s not based in New York. The brokerage did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Jule Pond’s current owner is portfolio manager Brenda Earl, who bought the property in 2002.

The Jule Pond estate in Southampton hit the market in August 2017 for $175 million, but after nearly four years and several price chops, it was most recently listed for $145 million.

jule pond estate

The record for the most expensive home sold in the Hamptons is held by hedge-fund billionaire Barry Rosenstein, who bought an East Hampton property for $147 million in 2014. 

Jule Pond would have to sell over its asking price to break that record. But Zach and Cody Vichinsky told the Post that the East Hampton estate was a combination of multiple adjacent properties and that Jule Pond would be the priciest single parcel ever sold.

Either way, Jule Pond would likely be the priciest home ever sold in Southampton. Last year, billionaire Ken Griffin paid $84.4 million for fashion designer Calvin Klein’s modern compound on Southampton’s “Billionaire Lane.”

Jule Pond, which was once part of a larger property called “Fordune,” was originally built for Henry Ford’s grandson.

jule pond

The home was built in 1960, and many of its original architectural details have been maintained.

It boasts a stretch of beach that spans nearly a quarter mile, the largest ocean frontage in the Hamptons, according to the listing.

most expensive home hamptons

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

It also fronts several ponds, including its namesake Jule Pond.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

A stately driveway lined with manicured hedges leads to the main house.

jule pond estate

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

Inside, you’ll see ornate chandeliers and Italian marble fireplaces.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

The main home has 20,000 square feet of living space with 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

Large windows show off panoramic views of the grounds.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

A massive kitchen leaves plenty of space for cooking and entertaining.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

There’s also a library that opens onto a koi pond with a waterfall.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

Hedges surround the 20-foot pool …

jule pond estate

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

… and a path leads down to the beach.

jule pond

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

To the northeast, the property borders a swath of reserved land, which adds another quarter mile of unobstructed views.

jule pond estate

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

In addition to the main house, the estate includes a garage that can hold at least six cars, a greenhouse, a tennis court, a basketball court, and a three-bedroom carriage house.

jule pond estate

Source: Bespoke Real Estate

The pending Jule Pond sale comes as the Hamptons real-estate market has exploded during the pandemic.

jule pond

While the Hamptons have long been home to coveted property, demand has surged over the past year as affluent New Yorkers have left the city for the seaside villages in New York’s Long Island.

As Juliana Kaplan reported for Insider, buyers have been snapping up luxury homes left and right, leading to bidding wars and the median sales price soaring to $8.8 million in the third quarter of 2020.

According to the Real Deal, at least 11 Hamptons homes sold for more than $30 million last year.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The iconic mansion from ‘The Godfather’ is back on the market at a $105 million discount. Look inside the Beverly Hills estate.

godfather mansion hearst estate
  • The iconic mansion seen in 1972 classic film “The Godfather” is back on the market for $89.75 million.
  • That’s a roughly $105 million discount from its $195 million asking price in 2016.
  • In the movie, the mansion was the home of movie producer Jack Woltz, who woke up with a severed horse head in his bed after crossing the Corleone family.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The historic Los Angeles mansion where the classic 1972 film “The Godfather” filmed scenes is back on the market for $89.75 million – a $105 million discount from its original asking price – after the owner declared bankruptcy on the property.

godfather mansion

The estate’s owner, attorney and real-estate investor Leonard Ross, put the property on the market in 2016 for $195 million. Over the past several years, it’s seen price cut after price cut, down to $135 million in 2018 and $125 million in 2020

Now, the Mediterranean-inspired estate is listed at a 54% discount from its original asking price.

The new price comes after Ross was recently ordered to sell the property by a bankruptcy court following a petition from Fortress Investment Group, which said it’s owed more than $52 million in unpaid loans and interest, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ross had placed the LLC that owns the estate into chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019.

Ross and his attorney did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment for this story.

The nearly 30,000-square-foot mansion, built in 1927, sits on 3.5 acres of prime Los Angeles real estate in Beverly Hills.

godfather mansion

Once owned by media titan William Randolph Hearst, the property was formerly known as “the Beverly House” but is now being rebranded as “the Hearst Estate,” according to a spokesperson for colisting agent Marguleas of Amalfi Estates.

In 2013, the property was available for rent for $600,000 a month, per The New York Daily News.

With its latest foray onto the market, the estate is now colisted by three brokers: Anthony Marguleas of Amalfi Estates, Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, and Zizi Pak of Rodeo Realty.

The Hearst Estate was used in several scenes from “The Godfather,” where it portrayed the home of the character Jack Woltz, a movie producer who makes the mistake of crossing the Corleone family.

the godfather woltz mansion

Source: IMDb

It’s been widely reported that the mansion was the setting for one of the film’s most iconic scenes in which Woltz wakes up to a bloody, severed horse head in his bed.

the godfather horse head

But Marguleas’ spokesperson told Insider that scene was in fact filmed inside an estate on Long Island in New York.

Paramount Pictures, which produced the movie, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for confirmation on the filming location of the scene.

The mansion was also seen in Beyonce’s 2020 visual album “Black Is King.”

beyonce black is king

The Hearst Estate is first shown when Jay-Z rolls up in a vintage Rolls Royce, and the film features multiple additional shots of the interior and exterior of the property.

Visitors to the estate will have to go through a wrought-iron gate and up the 800-foot driveway.

godfather mansion

Source: Amalfi Estates

The home was designed by Gordon Kaufmann, an architect who designed many other lavish mansions in the Beverly Hills area.

godfather mansion

Several additions were made to the home in the 1990s, expanding it significantly, according to a former listing.

Source: Amalfi Estates

The home, which has two swimming pools, once belonged to publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst.

godfather mansion

In addition to the pools, the home also has a private tennis court.

Source: Amalfi Estates

It’s surrounded by pristine, manicured gardens and hedges. Landscape architect Paul Thiene designed the gardens.

godfather mansion

Source: The Beverly House

Before it was listed for $195 million in 2016, the property was up for rent for $600,000 a month in 2013.

godfather mansion

Source: New York Daily News

The interior of the mansion is just as impressive as the exterior. Like the outside, it’s mostly decorated in warm, natural tones.

godfather mansion beverly hills

Source: Amalfi Estates

It includes a two-story library with hand-carved paneling and a detailed ceiling.

godfather mansion beverly hills

Source: Amalfi Estates

The furnishings are opulent, with gold tones and touches throughout many of the rooms.

godfather mansion

Source: Amalfi Estates

The living room, with its 22-foot-high arched ceiling, was sometimes used as a ballroom.

godfather mansion beverly hills

Source: Amalfi Estates

The mansion was well known even before its appearance in “The Godfather” – Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy spent part of their honeymoon there in 1953.

godfather mansion

SourceNew York Daily News

A stroll through the house would take you through its grand hallways, one of which is 82 feet long and the other more than 102 feet with a 40-foot wide mural.

godfather mansion los angeles

Source: Amalfi Estates

The 32-foot billiards room is open to the main hallway.

godfather mansion

Source: Amalfi Estates

The pool area was also used in scenes from “The Godfather.”

godfather mansion

Source: IMDb

In the film, it doesn’t look too different from today.

the godfather woltz mansion

Source: IMDb

If the 19 bedrooms in the main house aren’t enough, there’s also a separate five-bedroom house on the property near the entry gate.

godfather mansion guest house

Source: Amalfi Estates

The terrace can reportedly seat up to 400 guests.

godfather mansion

Source: Amalfi Estates

The Hearst Estate is not the only sprawling Los Angeles estate that’s gotten a massive price chop recently.

godfather mansion california

Another Beverly Hills estate, known as Villa Firenze, once listed for $165 million, just sold at auction for roughly $60 million.

And in December, a contemporary Bel Air home that was once asking $180 million dropped its price to $99 million. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

A tech founder’s wife just paid $96 million for a house in Singapore’s most exclusive neighborhood, marking the priciest home sale of the year

30 nassim road house singapore ladyvale
A Google Maps street view of the home’s entrance on Nassim Road.

The wife of a Singapore tech founder paid 128.8 million Singapore dollars, about $95.6 million, for a house on exclusive Nassim Road, according to property website EdgeProp.

The home sits on a 32,160-square-foot lot next to the British High Commission on Nassim Road, Singapore’s most prestigious road that’s lined with embassies and multimillion-dollar mansions. Jin Xiao Qun, who’s married to Shi Xu, the founder of Nanofilm Technologies International, bought the property from businesswoman Oei Siu Hoa, who’s also known as Sukmawati Widjaja, per the report.

Jin’s purchase is the priciest single home sale of the year, according to property records. The highest overall residential sale came earlier this month when a buyer paid SG$293 million – about $217.5 million – for all 20 units of an ultra-luxury condo building.

nassim road singapore
Nassim Road is a lush, quiet neighborhood full of mansions and embassies. Jin’s home not pictured.

Sunita Gill, CEO and founder of real-estate firm Singapore Luxury Homes, said she was surprised by the high purchase price of the Nassim Road property, noting that it’s “not ready for move-in.”

“Usually purchases like that are influenced either by a potential feng shui decision or external advice on why she was willing to pay this kind of a price,” Gill told Insider.

Known as Ladyvale Bungalow, the house was built in 1964 and sold by the British High Commission in 2000 for SG$19.3 million, according to Tatler Singapore. Oei, the most recent owner, bought the home for SG$25.5 million in 2003.

Although the home is designated as a “good class bungalow” – the most rare and coveted type of housing in Singapore – it will likely require a full renovation that could cost from SG$500 to SG$1,000 per square foot, Gill said.

“So if you calculate that into size of the property, she is potentially looking at another 20 to 30 million [Singapore dollars] just on rebuild cost,” she said.

Jin could not immediately be reached for comment for this story.

The Nassim Road home sale also breaks Singapore’s price-per-square-foot record, which was set in 2019 when vacuum billionaire James Dyson paid SG$50 million for a home on a 15,101-square-foot lot on nearby Cluny Road.

james dyson singapore house
James Dyson’s bungalow in Singapore.

Bruce Lye, cofounder and managing partner at Singapore Realtors Inc, said he thought the price was fair for the location, even considering the cost of potential renovations.

“A piece of regular land in Nassim is like fine art or wine,” Lye told Insider, adding that the prices of such properties “keep reaching new highs all the time.”

The deal hints that 2021 could be another banner year for Singapore real estate after home prices recently reached a two-year high as Singaporeans and foreign nationals snap up homes during the pandemic.

“Our high-end market is very resilient,” Lye said. “Singapore is much sought after due to our safe haven status for ultra-high-net-worth individuals. With amendments to the Global Investor Program and benefits of setting up family offices in Singapore, we will see many more eye-popping deals being inked in the near future.”

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Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle just sold their Hamptons house for $8 million – nearly double what they paid for it in 2019. Look inside the 7-bedroom home.

donald trump jr hamptons house
The Bridgehampton home sits on 3.9 acres in a gated community.

Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, just sold their house in the Hamptons for $8.14 million, a source close to Guilfoyle confirmed to Insider.

donald trump jr hamptons house
Trump and Guilfoyle’s bought the Bridgehampton home almost two years ago.

The couple nearly doubled the return on their investment in the Bridgehampton home, which they purchased for $4.4 million in the summer of 2019.

The home was not publicly listed, according to Page Six, who first reported the deal. James Giugliano and Shawn Egan of Nestseekers brokered the deal, per the Page Six report. The agents didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle, who have been together since at least June 2018, are now looking for a home in Florida as the rest of the Trump family relocates to the Sunshine State, the source close to Guilfoyle said.

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr.
Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. at a Ted Cruz Rally in Texas in October 2018.

In January, virtually the entire Trump family made moves to Florida.

Former president Donald Trump and Melania Trump left Washington, DC hours before Biden’s inauguration and took up residence in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. 

The day before, The Wall Street Journal reported that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner signed a lease for a “large, unfurnished unit” in a Miami Beach condominium building for at least a year. This move came after the couple bought a $32 million lot in December on a high-security private island in Miami that’s known as the “Billionaire Bunker.” 

Page Six reported at the time that Tiffany Trump was also looking for property in Miami. 

Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle’s sale of their Bridgehampton pad comes as the Hamptons real-estate market has boomed during the pandemic.

donald trump jr hamptons house

The exclusive strip of villages on New York’s Long Island has seen bidding wars and homes flying off the market at record prices, Insider’s Juliana Kaplan recently reported.

The 9,200-square-foot Bridgehampton home sits on nearly four acres in a private gated community, according to a former listing.

donald trump jr hamptons house

The living room features a fireplace and high ceilings.

A formal dining room seats at least eight people.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

Another dining area is just off the kitchen.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

The spacious, farmhouse-style kitchen is divided by a large island.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

The kitchen leads out to a screened patio overlooking the pool.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

The home’s master suite has its own sitting area and private deck.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

There are six other bedrooms in addition to the master suite.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

And they each come with an en-suite bathroom.

donald trump jr hamptons house

In total, the home has 10.5 full bathrooms and one half-bathroom.

The listing photos show multiple sitting areas throughout the house.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

A game room with a billiards table opens up to one of the decks.

donald trump jr hamptons house

Source: Corcoran

The house is minutes from the beach and includes large mahogany and stone patios, a heated pool and spa with a waterfall, and waterfront access to a 25-acre pond.

donald trump jr hamptons house
The Bridgehampton home sits on 3.9 acres in a gated community.

Source: Corcoran

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