From the palaces of LA, to the penthouses of Manhattan luxury living is back - and more expensive than ever.
This month, mansions in Los Angeles and Greenwich, CT each sold for more than $100 million dollars, shattering records.
Mauricio Umansky is a Los Angeles real estate broker who specializes in ultra-high end homes - that is, when he is not moonlighting on the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’. His wife is “housewife” Kyle Richards. The real estate agency that he runs is called simply 'The Agency'. “Real estate just keeps, you know, beating expectations in terms of sales,” he says, “and it's just fun.“
He has sold houses to absolutely everybody from high-end celebrities to stock brokers.
Mauricio and his daughter Farrah brought ‘Nightline’ on a tour of some of The Agency’s most exclusive listings -and revealed the art of big sale.
A 16,000-square foot estate in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles is for sale for $48 million dollars. Built by Italian developers, it is by some accounts the most expensive spec home for sale in America.
And if this is what $48 million can get you in Los Angeles, check out what a similarly priced duplex penthouse looks like in New York, where prices for square foot are skyrocketing. So how much are you paying just for a good view? A lot.
“There are very few viewpoints in Manhattan, it could be the rivers, and I would say Central Park that are priceless,” said Fredrik Eklund, a New York real-estate broker.
Fredrik and his business partner John Gomes, head one of the top producing real estate brokerage teams in the country. The apartment that they hope to sell is in the upscale Time Warner Center next to Central Park. At $12,000 per square foot they say their most-likely buyer will be international - shopping for a New York City crash pad.
When it comes to checking out some of these million dollar listings - those who are not household names do not automatically get the red-carpet roll out. Potential buyers are screened before they can even tour.
“I've said no to multiple people that have, you know, wanted to see houses. And generally speaking it's just because we don't feel that they qualify,” Umansky says.
When all goes well and the sales come through, the potential payoff is big. For a home in the $50 million dollar range, commission is about $2 million dollars.
“What are you driven by?” asks Nightline’s Paula Faris.
“The rush I get when I have been negotiating for a long time, and I do the impossible, which is getting the buyer and seller to meet,” Eklund says, “And I do a high kick and jump up and down and scream.”
A rush that can be worth millions.