Most expensive house in America is sold
The long-running drama over the sale of the highest-priced home in the U.S. appears to be heading to its finale.
The 57,000-square foot Los Angeles mansion built by the late TV producer Aaron Spelling is slated for sale to a 22-year-old heiress to a Formula One racing fortune. The home on five acres of property in Holmby Hills has a bowling alley, beauty salon, several gift-wrapping rooms and parking for 100 cars.
"The Manor," as the property is known, had a list price of $150 million that didn't budge during the real-estate downturn that sent prices in Los Angeles down by more than a third. The sales price was not disclosed.
The seller, Candy Spelling, Mr. Spelling's widow, declined to comment. Mr. Spelling produced such TV shows as "Mod Squad," "Charlie's Angels," "Dynasty," "Starsky and Hutch," "Beverly Hills, 90210," and "Melrose Place."
Ms. Spelling and her husband bought the property in the early 1980s and tore down the existing house to build the French chateau-style home in 1991. The home has a double staircase inspired by "Gone With the Wind." It was considered the largest home in Los Angeles by far when it was built.
There's also a flower-cutting room, a china room, a "Prince Charles suite," named after its one-time royal guest, and a library in which Ms. Spelling bound her husband's scripts. The estate has been shown since 2008 and was officially listed in March 2009.
If completed, the sale would underscore the importance of foreign buyers in the U.S. real-estate market. Earlier this year, Russian investor Yuri Milner bought a Silicon Valley home for $100 million, the highest-known price paid for a single-family home in the U.S.
Russian composer Igor Krutoy and his wife, Olga, recently bought a condominium at New York's Plaza for $48 million.
Overall, though, the real-estate market in the U.S. is struggling, with prices sinking to 2002 levels in the first quarter, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller National Index released earlier this month.
Petra Ecclestone also has a six-story house in London's Chelsea neighborhood purchased for £56 million ($90.9 million), according to press reports. In 2004, her father sold a mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens to steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal for £57 million, according to reports.
Ms. Spelling has said she wanted to downsize. She closed in December 2010 on a 15,555-square-foot condominium in nearby Century City for $35 million.
She had earlier agreed to pay $47 million for the two-story penthouse in Related Cos. Art Deco-inspired tower, "The Century," but Related dropped prices amid the weak market. The new price also reflected a smaller square footage and other changes.
Rick Hilton and David Kramer of Hilton & Hyland, a Christie's International Real Estate affiliate, represent Ms. Ecclestone. Mr. Hilton and Jeff Hyland of the same firm share the listing with Sally Forster Jones of Coldwell Banker.