What exactly does $500 Million dollars buy nowadays?
If you are Uber, you could use the money to create a proprietary map of all of the world's roads - to reduce the reliance on Google maps and make your business more self-reliant.
If you are the Pentagon, you could finally finish the F-35 fighter jet. A key defense tool which features stealth and advanced electronic attack mechanisms to be used in the Navy, Marines and Air Force.
If you are George Soros, you could invest in programs and companies benefiting migrants and refugees fleeing life-threatening situations. How's that for a tax write-off?
So what do you do if you don't want to save the world, refugees or build the next greatest company on the planet?
Spend it all on a single family home, of course!
Perched high above in the hills of Bel Air, real estate developer Nile Niami is creating a new standard in residential homes.
At 100,000 square feet of living space, this monstrous marvel of contemporary construction will be TWICE the size of the White House and carry a price tag of (you guessed it) $500 Million dollars.
Planning to be completed in 2017, this home features a cozy 20 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms, a gym, a hair and nail salon, walls of glass tanks filled with Jellyfish (why not?) and a 30 car garage.
"Hey HOLD UP..WTF...I can't afford a $500M dollar house!!?"
No worries. Luckily the Spelling Manor hit the market at a slightly more affordable price of $200M dollars:
The Spelling Manor was built in 1988 for television producer Aaron Spelling (remember the TV shows "The Love Boat", "Dynasty", "Beverly Hills 90210", "Melrose Place", etc?).
The Manor is a French chateau-style mansion with 123 rooms and 56,000 square feet of living space on more than 4.6 acres.
Fun fact: During its construction, the neighbors hated everything about the mansion. The Spellings sparred no expense in the construction, which created droves of heavy construction equipment and noise in the neighborhood.
In 1985, entertainment attorney Sydney Irmas and his wife, Audrey, filed an injunction against the Spellings, limiting the number of construction trucks on the property and requiring the Spellings to reimburse neighbors for property damage.
As if Hugh Hefner needed another reason to celebrate in 2016, his famed Playboy Mansion hit the market and SOLD at a cool $105 Million dollars.
The mansion was purchased by its neighbor, Mr. Daren Metropoulos, 33, the co-owner of Twinkies maker Hostess. He has lived next door to the Playboy mansion since 2009.
The sale comes with one unusual condition: Mr. Hefner, 90 years old, will be able to remain in the home as long as he lives. After Mr. Hefner’s tenancy ends, the current owner intends to connect the two adjoining estates into a combined 7.3-acre compound.
You might be wondering: Outside of these lavish spec and/or celebrity homes, what has the growth been in the "normal" housing market in Los Angeles?
Median home prices are still growing YTY at around 6% while inventory keeps shrinking.
Fewer owners are willing to part with their ever-valuable home in Los Angeles, perhaps holding out for even greater value in the near future.
Demand is high and growing, which continually pushes newer home buyers out of the market into surrounding areas; i.e., "suburban infill".
Until we start to see an incline of interest rates, I believe that it's still a little bit too early to shake our fist at the heavens and yell "bubble!!" just yet.
It's more likely that a natural disaster would bring this market down first.
With 2017 upon us, it's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out in the City of Angeles.