Got a spare billion dollars? It seems no one else does either.
A mountain landholding in Beverly Hills is proving one of the world’s hardest real estate sales, with the owners choosing to list the home in July for an unthinkable US$1 billion (A$1.4 billion).
It’s still up for sale with no signs of being snapped up.
The 157 acre (63ha) property overlooks the homes of Hollywood heavyweights Sylvester Stallone and Seth MacFarlane and was once envisioned as a mansion for the sister of the Shah of Iran.
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The owners have tried to sell pieces of the land at various times in the past and were believed to have even attracted interest from the likes of Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and James Packer.
But the owners have yet to get anyone interested enough to buy the land, despite trying to create buzz by touting it in marketing as “nearly twice the size of Disneyland”.
The property overlooks downtown Los Angeles, Malibu and the Pacific Ocean and occupies a long ridge branded “The Mountain Beverly Hills”.
Upkeep of the property is estimated to cost nearly $1 million a year in taxes and other costs.
The decision to list the land at $1 billion has raised eyebrows, considering the priciest residential home ever sold worldwide was the US$301 million paid by Saudi prince Mohammed Bin Salman for the Chateau Louis XIV outside Paris.
The biggest recent sale in the Los Angeles area was the $110 million paid for a home in Malibu in mid-2018.
Among for sale properties that include an established house, the priciest is the $500 million being sought for fashion designer Pierre Cardin’s former ‘Bubble Palace’ in the south of France.
Even Hugh Hefner’s famous Playboy Mansion changed ownership in 2016 for a considerable amount under $1 billion at $100 million.
One billion dollar real estate is naturally unheard of in Australia too. The priciest real estate sale Down Under was concluded in late 2018 when billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes paid about A$100 million for Point Piper estate Fairwater.
The first high-profile owner of the Mountain Beverly Hills property was Shams Pahlavi, the elder sister of Mohammed Riza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.
The elder Pahlavi acquired the property in the 1970s and intended to create a single estate but abandoned her plans after the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
The princess sold the property nearly a decade later to media boss Merv Griffin, who had planned to build a 5300sqm compound.
Mr Griffin was understood to have levelled much of the land before losing interest in his compound project toward the end of the 1980s.
It took nearly a decade for the property to sell again during which time it attracted interest from a group of Saudi businessmen and was toured by director Steven Spielberg.
The property was eventually snapped up by businessman Mark Hughes and was later managed by his estate after he died of an overdose in 2000.
An attempt was made to sell off the property for $29 million, but it languished on the market for nearly three years.
The property was eventually transferred to an investment group with plans to develop the land and divide it into six lots. Additional work was done on the property and space was created for vineyards.
The highest of those lots had a feature resembling a sloped toboggan-run, which was believed to have interested Tom Cruise.
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James Packer was understood to have also taken an interest in one of the other lots and was prepared to go into a $80 million deal with Cruise and another investor in 2007. The deal never came to fruition.
A US entrepreneur was rumoured to have offered $210 million in 2014, but the owners turned it down.