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2014 Shattered the Record for Home Sales Over $50M

Every few weeks an unreasonably expensive home pops up on the market, and real estate-watchers are dumbfounded all over again. Top blockbuster honors currently go to the 25-acre Beverly Hills compound Palazzo di Amore, listed last November for $195M, the same month a Georgian Revival mansion on 11 acres in the Hamptons debuted for $140M. Turns out, November was not just a freak month; it was instead part of a terrifying data set. According to sales figures tracked by Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, 2014 saw more U.S. houses selling for between $50M and $99M than in the previous ten years combined.

There were twenty such sales in 2014, compared with just one in 2013. Additionally, three properties listed for over $100M were able to successfully sell last year, a three-fold increase from 2013, 2012, and 2011. Although there are some ludicrously expensive places listed in Florida and California, the main font of super-high-end real estate is New York City, where pricey condos have become veritable safe deposit boxes for foreign buyers looking to park or hide their assets. Last year New York City also broke the record for the largest sum ever paid for a single home in the U.S, when a hedge fund manager shelled out $147 million for an ocean-facing property on 16 acres in East Hampton.

Ironically, homes at that price point are not even a good investment. "The reality is if you buy a $100 million personal residence, you're sinking that money into an asset that brings you no income and costs you money to have it," the real estate analyst Leonard Baron told Market Watch. And in the understatement of the year: "Buying homes of this size just takes money out of their bank account."

· Sales of $50 Million U.S. Homes Surged in 2014 [Market Watch]
· Mapping the Most Expensive Houses for Sale in America [Curbed National]
· All Blockbusters posts [Curbed National]