Nine Figure Properties (NFPs) are residential homes with values of at least $100 million. Since the first nine figure home sale (this sale in 2011 was "believed" to be first, but there were prior large transactions), there have been scores of homes that have sold for nine figures. Ranking the most valuable properties is somewhat subjective. One complication in ranking the most valuable properties is the fact that many have not been sold or listed for sale recently, and there are other properties that would almost certainly sell for nine figures if offered for sale. Sale prices, if recent, are usually the best indicator of current value (assuming the sales were arm's length transactions). Property tax assessments are another data point which arguably offer a decent estimate of current values for some properties. List prices on super high-end homes are often much less relevant since they are often inflated, if not fantasy prices (see examples). There have been many properties listed for nine figures that sold for less, or didn't sell at all. Plus, in some locations sale prices don't have to be publicly disclosed.

Location, Location, Location - The Golden Rule of Real Estate

     Los Angeles (when you include Malibu) has the most NFPs based on actual sales. Northern California is home to Silicon Valley and also has a smaller cluster of NFPs, but there are several other locations in the United States that have an argument for having the most valuable residential properties, specifically New York City (along with the Hamptons) and southern Florida. Globally, London and the French Riviera have several of the most valuable properties in the world.

“...for many, LA is the most desirable place to live in the entire world.”
The Story of Modern Los Angeles, California's MEGACITY (TDC Video)

     The most valuable property in New York (and possibly the United States) may be Ira Rennert's Fair Field, which hasn't been on the market in decades. The highest priced home sale in California in 2023 was a Malibu home that was not formally on the market (I had noticed it on satellite images while building this website, but didn't know it was being selectively marketed), which was then exceeded by another off market $210,000,000 Malibu sale. Some believe the most valuable homes in the world are worth 10 figures (for instance some have suggested Antilia cost 10 figures to build and Chateau Du Champs supposedly received a 10 figure offer). Some that comment on high-end real estate sales also include ranches in lists of high priced property sales, for instance the 171,400 acre Trinchera Ranch in Colorado sold for $175 million in 2007. The highest priced sale might be Stan Kroenke's 2016 purchase of the truly gigantic W.T. Waggoner Ranch for hundreds of $millions.

     Among the most prolific property buyers is Larry Ellison. He owns virtually the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai (which he reportedly bought for $300 million and he has continued to invest huge sums of money into), a 23 acre estate in Woodside CA, a huge property in Florida, and reportedly owns over a dozen properties in Malibu.

     Bill Gates built Xanadu 2.0 in Washington (assessed at $146M in 2022), but also purchased a home in Del Mar (San Diego County) for $43 million. Jeff Bezos was reportedly interested in The Mountain and almost bought Enchanted Hill before purchasing the Jack Warner Estate for $165 million. Even Warren Buffett owned a Laguna Beach home in Southern California. Google has been expanding in Los Angeles and Eric Schmidt purchased Enchanted Hill, while Founder Sergey Brin also bought in Malibu.

     Ken Griffin has been perhaps the most prolific residential NFP buyer in recent years. His $238 million condo purchase in NYC is considered the US current record holder by many, plus he purchased a $60 million Miami condo, multiple Star Island properties, and another NFP in Coconut Grove. Yet they may all be dwarfed by his development that includes spending over $hundreds of millions over many years on 27 acres of connected properties in Palm Beach Florida, just south of Mar-a-Lago (which the former President purchased for $12 million in 1995, but could be worth $hundreds of millions). The NY Post published an update on the development in October (or here).

     One of the few NFP owners that can compete with Griffin and Ellison actually owns an entire resort where Griffin owns a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Michael Dell (founder of computer maker Dell) owns the "Raptor Residence" and liked the resort of Hualalai so much that in 2006 he bought the whole resort (originally with Rockpoint Group, and later Rob Walton reportedly for over $500 million). His private investment firm MSD Capital was set up to manage his family’s fortune and in 2004 it previously bought the Four Seasons Maui for $280 million, plus in 2014 Dell spent $100 million on a NYC penthouse.

     I suspect that some people will find these properties as unwelcome flaunting of wealth or displays of inequality. That is not my intention, in fact buying and building large homes is arguably a good way for the super wealthy to share their wealth, given that 1) they pay very high property taxes (NFP owners in Los Angeles generally pay about a $ million a year, or more), 2) they spend large sums on building their homes thus sharing their wealth by hiring the people involved in construction and landscaping, 3) and they tend to employ large staffs for security and household management. Some owners also offer their homes for charitable or fundraising events.

     You'll note that a large percentage of these properties are owned by self-made entrepreneurs, which is one reason the United States is called the land of opportunity and we generally recognize success as the reward for hard work and creativity. Some of these properties appear to be owned by individuals that inherited their wealth, or are connected to foreign governments, but they are generally the exception rather than the rule in Southern California.

“You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.”
Exodus 20:17

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