Welcome back to the Real Estate newsletter. Both the weather and the market are unfathomably hot right now, and this week, celebrities shattered price records in multiple neighborhoods.
Alyson Hannigan of “How I Met Your Mother” got things started in Encino, where she unloaded her architectural estate for $16 million — the highest on-market sale in the neighborhood’s history.
The high mark makes sense given the estate’s scope and style. Clocking in at 7,600 square feet on three acres, the striking mansion was built by L.A. architect Peter Tolkin, who designed it as a series of gallery-like pavilions loaded with wood, concrete and glass.
Over in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin broke another record by selling his penthouse loft for $5.5 million — by far the highest price ever in the area and one of the biggest sales in all of downtown.
Lin had been using the four-story loft as an office for his production studio, and listing photos show how flexible the space is. It spans 4,300 square feet and has an additional 3,600 square feet of outdoor space with floating staircases slicing through a vast open floor plan. Single-family housing will always be the go-to option in Southern California, but Lin’s place serves as an example of what luxury vertical living can look like.
Another film figure — blockbuster producer Joel Silver — is hoping for similar success in Brentwood. He relisted his hot pink mega-mansion for $49 million, a deep discount from the $75 million he was previously asking.
Built by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, the whimsical, one-of-a-kind estate would be Brentwood’s third-priciest sale ever at $49 million behind Scooter Braun and a massage chair mogul.
The wild week wasn’t limited to the residential market. In the San Gabriel Valley, the Westfield Santa Anita mall sold for a staggering $537.5 million, making it the priciest mall sale in years.
The buyer’s identity remains unclear, but one source said it’s an established commercial real estate investor with other retail assets in Southern California. It’s a massive sale but not a surprising one; in April, Westfield’s owner said it would sell all 24 of the company’s U.S. malls.
Finally, we spent some time breaking down what “affordable housing” really means. It’s a term that graces the headlines of multiple Los Angeles Times stories every week, but how does it actually get built? And more importantly, how can you be one of the lucky few to land an affordable unit?
Jon Healey’s story answers those questions and more.
As always, while catching up on the latest, visit and like our Facebook page, where you can find real estate stories and updates throughout the week.
Encino just saw one of its biggest sales ever as “How I Met Your Mother” star Alyson Hannigan and her husband, actor Alexis Denisof, sold their architectural compound for $16 million.
It’s the most ever paid for a home on the market in Encino, beating out Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner’s $15.2-million sale in 2021. But the record price came in 2019 in what’s known as an off-market sale — that is, a home changing hands outside of the Multiple Listing Service — when another Jonas brother, Nick, and his wife Priyanka Chopra quietly paid $20 million for a 20,000-square-foot mansion.
Hannigan and Denisof, both of whom starred in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” doubled their money on the deal. Records show they bought the property for $7.95 million in 2016.
The prized compound is known as the Sherman Residence, and it’s unlike anything else on the market in the San Fernando Valley. Composed of pavilions marked by wood, glass and concrete, the estate has starred in multiple films and TV shows over the years, including “Fracture,” “Fun With Dick and Jane,” “CSI: Miami” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Director Justin Lin just closed the priciest deal ever for a condo in downtown L.A.’s Arts District, selling his penthouse loft for $5.5 million.
It’s a defining sale for downtown L.A.’s luxury market, which took a hit during the pandemic as buyers worked remotely and abandoned vertical living in favor of single-family housing. The sale also ranks as downtown L.A.’s priciest condo deal outside of the Ritz Carlton Residences at L.A. Live, where NBA players such as Kawhi Leonard and Lonzo Ball have bought homes to be close to Crypto.com Arena.
Lin, who’s best known for directing five films in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, bought the place a decade ago for $2.6 million from actor-director Vincent Gallo and used it as an office for his production company, Perfect Storm Entertainment. Records show he listed it for sale earlier this year at $7 million.
At 4,300 square feet, the four-story condo is bigger than most single-family homes. It sits atop the 7th floor of Biscuit Company Lofts, a 1925 building that once served as the West Coast headquarters of Nabisco.
If at first you don’t succeed, slash, slash the price. That’s Joel Silver’s strategy in Brentwood, where he just relisted his hot pink mega-mansion for $49 million — a 35% discount compared with his previous ask of $75 million.
Silver, the film producer behind blockbuster franchises such as “Die Hard” and “The Matrix,” will still make a hefty profit if he gets his price. He bought the property for $3.3 million in 1988 and razed the existing structure, commissioning Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta to build a 25,000-square-foot mansion in its place.
If it sells for $49 million, it will be the third-priciest sale in Brentwood history behind Scooter Braun, who spent $65 million on a modern farmhouse last year, and massage chair mogul Matt Wollman, who unloaded his fortress-like estate for $56.55 million a few months later.
One of the brightest and boldest homes in the area, the pink compound is a perfect representation of Legorreta, whose whimsical style brought color to both Mexico and the U.S., including the 1994 redesign of Pershing Square.
Westfield Santa Anita has changed hands in one of the most expensive mall sales in years as its Paris-based owner moves to unload its U.S. properties and retrench in Europe, writes Roger Vincent.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield sold the large indoor shopping center in Arcadia for $537.5 million, the French mall company said.
It was the highest price paid for a U.S. mall since 2018, according to real estate investment bank Eastdil Secured, which advised Unibail-Rodamco in the sale. That year, real estate giant Brookfield sold a 49% stake in Fashion Place near Salt Lake City for $594 million, which Brookfield’s real estate chief told investors “was a very healthy price.”
The identity of the Arcadia mall buyer was not disclosed, but Unibail-Radamco said the new owner “is an established commercial real estate investor who owns other retail assets in Southern California.”
Los Angeles has far too little housing, especially of the affordable variety. A 2021 study by the California Housing Partnership found that nearly 800,000 low-income households in the city need low-cost housing, but the supply of affordable units is almost 500,000 short, writes Jon Healey.
Still, new affordable units are opening every year — more than 8,200 were added to the city’s inventory from April 2021 through March 2022, according to the city’s housing report.
But how can renters find out about those units, and how do they get filled? We have answers.
“Serial home-swapping” sounds like a new HGTV show, but it’s actually an emerging trend in which remote workers trade houses to try out different cities. The BBC spoke to a few embracing the swap, including a New Yorker that traded his studio for a house in Colorado and a European couple that swapped their Amsterdam apartment for a beach house in Barcelona.
There’s affordable, and then there’s so-cheap-it-seems-fake affordable. MarketWatch looked at eight homes on the market for less than $100,000 around the country and found a houseboat in Washington, a bungalow in Texas and a four-bedroom home in Syracuse, N.Y.
For reporting and exclusive analysis from bureau chief John Myers, get our California Politics newsletter.
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Jack Flemming covers luxury real estate for the Los Angeles Times. A Midwestern boy at heart, he was raised in St. Louis and studied journalism at the University of Missouri. Before joining The Times as an intern in 2017, he wrote for the Columbia Missourian and Politico Europe.