Mansion’s 10 Best-Read Stories of 2018



At the start of the year, the U.S. luxury real-estate market still looked relatively rosy.

The year 2017, after all, had ended with entertainment’s first couple, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, purchasing a Bel-Air, Calif., mansion for $88 million. Billionaire scion Evan Metropoulous acquired comedian Danny Thomas’s one-time estate in Beverly Hills for about $65 million. A five-bedroom penthouse in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood that was listed for $65 million went into contract, setting a local record.

As regular readers of The Wall Street Journal’s Mansion section know, it has since become much more of a buyer’s market. In New York, celebrities and billionaires are offering multimillion-dollar price cuts on their apartments. In Miami, a residential skyscraper that was popular with the 1% has seen many of its boldface names sell their homes. Among the reasons: a decline in foreign buyers and the 2017 GOP overhaul that capped state and local tax deductions.

These big stories—along with a dose of coverage on the famous buying and selling their homes—were among the 10 most-popular articles with our readers this year.

1. At Miami’s Billionaire Bunker, Another Wealthy Buyer Heads for the Exit

Real-estate developer Edward J. Minskoff is asking $16.5 million for his apartment at Faena House, a condominium tower that drew diplomats, billionaires and financiers.

2. Michael Cohen Purchases New York City Apartment for $6.7 Million

Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer financed the purchase with a mortgage from the developers, according to public records.

3. As Manhattan’s Most Secretive Skyscraper Rises, a Super-Elite Clientele Emerges

Billionaire Dan Och and the musician Sting are among the owners of 220 Central Park South, an ultraluxury tower seemingly immune to New York’s real-estate slowdown

4. New York’s Wealthiest Cut Losses as Manhattan Real Estate Falters

Luxury homeowners struggle to accept the new reality of home prices falling after a decadelong property boom.

5. New Tax Laws Have Home Buyers Checking New Places

The new cap on deductions for taxes, including on property, have people looking for deals outside high-tax states; Florida and Nevada have become more popular after GOP overhaul.

6. Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods’s Ex-Wife, Lists Home for $49.5 Million

The former model’s custom-built estate in South Florida measures 25,878 square feet with 11 bedrooms, 15 full bathrooms and three half bathrooms.

7. Michael Dell Paid a Record $100.47 Million for Manhattan’s One57 Penthouse

The Dell Technologies founder quietly paid $100.47 million for a penthouse at Manhattan’s One57, setting a record for the city.

8. What Beyoncé and These Billionaires Have in Common: Massive Mortgages

America’s wealthiest homeowners pay banks like Goldman Sachs hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly after borrowing millions to finance home purchases.

9. Train Buffs Are Traveling Cross-Country in Super Luxe Railcars Hitched to Amtrak Trains

Obsessive train lovers spend millions to restore vintage railcars, then hook them up to Amtrak trains to travel the country.

10. When Retirees Should Not Pay Off Their Mortgages

Baby boomers are swelling the ranks of retirees, and more are carrying mortgage debt than in the past. But it doesn’t always make sense to pay off the debt.

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Source: Housing Trends Feed