Russian billionaire buys Silicon Valley home
In a transaction which set a new record for most expensive U.S. residential sale, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner (who heads Digital Sky Technologies) has reportedly paid $100 million for a 25,500-square-foot Los Altos Hills (CA) home which was not even listed for sale. According to The Wall Street Journal, the sellers, Fred and Annie Chan took back a $50 million note on the home.
This record-setting sale is just one indication that the wealthy have opened their wallets and are shopping for homes again. The million dollar and above housing market rose 4% in February year-over-year as luxury buyers snapped up homes, often for all cash. Earlier this month a Palm Beach (FL) home sold and closed for a reported $24.6 million. The jump in luxury purchases is counter to the real estate resale trend in general. In February, total residential sales dropped 2.8% as compared to February a year ago.
Why the rise in luxury sales? According to Laurie Moore-Moore, Founder of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, “The number of wealthy U.S. households is almost back to where it was before the downturn. Add the fact that many affluent pulled money out of investments and have been waiting in the wings with cash in hand while deciding where to invest. Residential real estate is now attracting many of these dollars.” Moore-Moore goes on to say, “This bodes well for the luxury home market in the short term. Luxury may well be the real estate segment that leads the recovery.”
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