After more than a year spent in various stages of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the housing market is showing signs of a full recovery—and may even be on its way to a full-scale boom. A recent report from Zillow showed that half of the homes across the country were selling in less than a week as the demand to find one's dream home soars. But the growing interest in real estate doesn't just apply to the general public: Some of Hollywood's hottest celebrities are buying and selling like the rest of us.
From the Kardashians to Ariana Grande, stars are moving out of the city, buying up suburban properties, and constructing their dream homes; some are even fleeing the States for more remote country (ahem, Zac Efron). With so much movement happening in the housing market these days, one might wonder what to take away from Hollywood's most recent buying-and-selling bonanza. So we spoke with celebrity real estate expert Natalie Way of Realtor.com to find out where celebrities are moving, why some of their homes are being sold for less, and much more.
Where Celebrities Are Moving
Even the biggest celebrities appear to be heading to the 'burbs. "There are lots of little celebrity hot spots—well-known areas like Beverly Hills or Manhattan—where stars have historically lived, and we’ve been seeing some spread from these locales to places like Pacific Palisades and Hidden Hills in California, and to vacation destinations like the Hamptons in New York, Telluride in Colorado, and Miami," says Way. "Montecito is another spot in California that’s gaining in popularity—we’ve seen a ton of A-listers who’ve bought there in the last year, including Meghan and Harry, Ellen and Portia (again), Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom."
What Celebrities Are Buying
Bigger is always better when it comes to high-profile real estate, but stars are also spending money on one-of-a-kind upgrades and amenities to improve their quality of life. "Celebrities are able to spare no expense when it comes to their home, and we see this in high-end design details like open spaces that bring the outdoors in, custom kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances, huge floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on amazing views, and sports courts," says Way. "In terms of home styles, we’re seeing everything from ultra-modern to Mediterranean villas and historic homes. It really just depends on the individual."
Why Celebrities Are Slashing Prices
"Celebrities’ posh pads are usually priced above the average price per square foot due to the luxe interiors and attention to detail you’ll often find within," says Way. "But sometimes even a celeb-owned home is just too expensive to sell as-is, and the sellers will need to reduce the price by a few million dollars [to find a buyer]. And because celeb homes are sometimes the most expensive in a neighborhood (even in pricey spots like Beverly Hills or New York City), it can take time to find a buyer with deep pockets to match the price." As with anyone, there's also the question of taste. "Sometimes celebrities like to customize their homes, and buying into another person’s design can be a challenge for many people," says Way.
How Covid Altered Their Buying and Selling Habits
While most stars seem to be in a constant state of buying ever-bigger houses in the world's brightest (and most congested) cities, the pandemic seems to have changed the celebrity real estate game. "After being cooped up in their homes—granted, their homes are bigger and more decked out than many of our homes—many celebs are thinking they might want to change their surroundings. They just happen to have a little bit more spending power than us mere mortals," says Way.
"Some celebrities, like Zac Efron, realized they wanted to get out of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles: He bought a plot of land in Byron Bay, Australia, and just sold his Los Feliz mansion for $5.3 million, so it seems he’s keen on making Australia his main residence," she goes on. "Katy Perry and Ariana Grande made purchases in the much smaller town of Montecito, in what’s likely an effort to leave Hollywood for the tranquility of this exclusive seaside town. Matt Damon also made a definitive move to the east coast."
The only question is: How long will these trends last?
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