One of the latest symbols of the overinflated luxury housing market is a pink mansion perched above the Mediterranean on the French Riviera.
The 13,000-square-foot property, built and owned by the fashion magnate Pierre Cardin, is composed of giant terra cotta orbs arranged in a sprawling hive. The home’s name befits its price. “Le Palais Bulles,” or “the Bubble Palace,” is being offered for sale at approximately $450 million.
The listing is part of a global pileup of homes listed for $100 million or more. A record 27 properties with nine-figure prices are officially for sale, according to Christie’s International Real Estate. That is up from 19 last year and about a dozen in 2014.
If you add in high-priced “whisper listings” that are offered privately, brokers say the actual number of nine-figure listings worldwide could easily top 40 or 50.
It’s a bumper crop,” said Dan Conn, chief executive of Christie’s International Real Estate. “It’s just a new world in terms of what people are building and offering for sale.”
The rise in nine-figure real estate listings comes just as sales of luxury real estate have cooled. Many say the sudden surge in hyperprice homes — often built and sold by speculative investors — is the ultimate bubble signal.
“When you have a record number of homes for sale at a price point of $100 million or more, that tells you these homes aren’t selling,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and research firm. “It’s not as deep a market as some might hope.”
Last year, only two homes in the world sold for over $100 million, according to Christie’s. One was a 9,455-square-foot house in Hong Kong purchased for $193 million by Jack Ma, the chief of Alibaba. The other was a townhouse in London that sold for $132 million. This year, a ranch in Texas went on the market for $700 million and a home in Dallas listed for $100 million. Both sold, but the actual sale prices have not been disclosed.