From $30 million Manhattan condos to a record-breaking $165 million Los Angeles estate, here’s a look at 20 of the most expensive residential real estate deals to take place this year.

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As 2020 winds to an end, we are getting closer to the definitive list of the biggest and most expensive sales to take place across the country this year.

It’s been a big year for the 1 percent. In February, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos set the record for the most expensive sale in the history of Los Angeles while Citadel founder Ken Griffin’s 2020 purchases pushed his real estate portfolio passed $1 billion mark.

Luxury real estate has stopped at nothing — not a global pandemic, not a national reckoning with race and police brutality and not a national recession — and sales of over $50 million continued to roll out at a pace consistent with last year.

“There’s no seasonality to these sales,” Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of the real estate and consulting firm Miller Samuel Inc, told Inman back in June. “It’s product-based and, as a result, we’ve had these properties being significantly overpriced.”

Here is an updated list of some of the biggest sales to take place this year.

Warner Estate

$165 million

Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)

Google Maps | WikiMedia

The most expensive real estate sale this year and in the history of Los Angeles happened in February when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shelled out $165 million for a historic property known as Warner Estate.

The nine-acre estate and 13,600-square-foot mansion were built by Warner Brothers head Jack Warner in the 1930s and had been owned by media mogul David Geffen since the 1990s.

The deal took place off-market and without an agent — news that rocked the LA real estate community just before the coronavirus outbreak hit the U.S.

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Estate

$125 million

Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)

Katzenberg Estate | Google Maps

The second-biggest residential sale of the year (and one of the biggest sales in Los Angeles history) came from entertainment mogul and billionaire Jeffrey Katzenberg.

In August, the former CEO of DreamWorks Animation sold his Beverly Hills property for $125 million. Different sources reported the buyer to be either a family from the United Kingdom or Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp.

The lot, which Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn bought in 2009 for $35 million, was torn down and rebuilt by architect Howard Backen. The buyer took over a seven-acre, 26,000-square-foot property a stone’s throw away from the area’s iconic Greystone Mansion.

200 Central Park South Penthouse

$99.9 million

New York (Midtown Manhattan)

Courtesy of Vornado

Despite talks that the affluent were fleeing New York during the pandemic, a number of high-end sales have taken place throughout the global health crisis. The penthouse of Manhattan’s 220 Central Park South tower sold to an anonymous buyer for $99.9 million at the end of July.

The penthouse measures 8,200 square feet and is built across two floors at the top of the 69-floor tower. It also comes with 850 square feet of outdoor terrace space and was originally listed for $108 million.

The buyer, whose name is being kept private behind the 76CPS LP limited partnership registered in Delaware last year, also purchased a smaller unit in the building for $1.81 million.

Meadow Lane Estate

$100 million (approx.)

Southampton, New York

Aerial view of Southampton, New York with shoal and inlet. Credit: Fotosearch and Getty Images

Ken Griffin, an investment banker who set records as the buyer of the most expensive home in America in 2019, dropped approximately $100 million on a seven-acre Southampton property back in February.

While the whole deal took place off-market and was shrouded in secrecy, Mansion Global reported that Griffin bought it from famed fashion designer Calvin Klein.

The property is located on Meadow Lane, home to some of the country’s most expensive addresses, and came right before the pandemic sent affluent residents out of the city and prices in the Hamptons skyrocketing.

Winter White House

$70 million

Palm Beach, Florida

Google Maps

At the end of June, a Palm Beach property that President John F. Kennedy’s family dubbed their “Winter White House” sold for $70 million.

First reported by Palm Beach Daily News, the sale took place off market. The home sold to an anonymous buyer disguised by a trust fund. The seller was a company tied to real estate billionaire Jane Goldman, who bought the property in 2015.

The house was built in the Mediterranean style in 1925 and purchased by JFK’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., in 1933. The Kennedys would often go there with the kids during JFK’s presidency; the Winter White House stayed with the family until 1995.

Foothill Estate

$68 million

Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)

Back in June, David Geffen dropped $68 million for a 3.3-acre property known as the Foothill Estate in Los Angeles.

This is the same Geffen who sold the $168 million home to Bezos in February —  he has been making luxury real estate news a lot in 2020 and passed the benchmark of a real estate portfolio worth over $1 billion earlier this year.

The home, which Geffen bought from Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee President Casey Wasserman, is the third most expensive sale to take place in Los Angeles this year.

10721 Stradella Court

$60 million

Los Angeles (Bel Air)


In March, a house linked to Robert Shapiro — a former developer sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2019 for running a $1.3 billion Ponzi scheme with clients’ investments — was purchased for $60 million.

Located at 10721 Stradella Court in the tony Bel Air neighborhood and under construction at the time of sale, the 21,000-square-foot mansion was one of the properties put into a trust after Shapiro pled guilty in August 2019.

According to the Real Deal, the buyer remained anonymous by buying the home through an entity called Sky Garden 2020 LLC.

Southampton compound

$58 million

Southampton, New York

The real estate market in the Hamptons exploded after the coronavirus hit New York City, with some people paying as much as $2 million to rent a house there throughout the summer.

In late April, a two-home compound owned by late financial advisor John F. Sullivan sold to an unknown buyer for $57.5 million. While the deal was reportedly negotiated before the pandemic hit, demand for properties in the ultra-affluent New York enclave has only grown since.

Modern Mountain Estate

$57 million

Vail, Colorado

Scott Cramer | LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

A mountain estate set the record in July as Vail’s most expensive sale ever. Purchased by biotech entrepreneur Kevin Ness, the estate is remarkable by its environmental design and location in the very center of the notoriously expensive mountain resort town.

The $57 million sale nearly doubles the previous record-holder in Vail, a home owned by philanthropist Ann Smead that sold for $28.7 million.

Chief executive of the Colorado-based biotech company Inscripta, Ness bought the extravagant mansion as a “generational” home for his family. The seller, a limited company connected to Mexican investor Alejandro Rojas, was represented by Eustaquio Cortina of Ron Byrne & Associates Real Estate.

220 Central Park South

$51-53 million

New York City (Midtown Manhattan)

City Realty

While the sales were not widely reported, Jonathan Miller told Inman that four neighboring units in the brand-new luxury New York skyscraper 220 Central Park South sold between February and April of this year — for $51 million, $51 million, $52 million and $53 million, respectively.

The single buyer began contracts for the four units in 2019 and finalized the deal in April. With most of the transaction kept private, it is unclear whether the buyer intends to turn the condos, 5,495 square feet each, into a very large unit or leave them as-is.


$50 million

Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)

Jim Bartsch

In February, LA real estate mogul Nile Miami found a buyer who paid $50 million for a 20,500-square-foot Opus mansion in Beverly Hills.

The home, which Miami built with architect Paul McClean in 2017, was originally listed for $100 million — a common tactic in which LA developers set an exorbitant listing price to generate buzz around a home even if it ends up selling for a fraction of that price.

620 Arvida Parkway

$49 million

Miami, Florida (Coral Gables)

The annual record for the most expensive home in the Miami area was broken by Leon Medical Centers founder Benjamin Leon Jr., who sold a waterfront mansion in Gables Estate for $49 million in April.

The buyer was trial attorney John H. Ruiz while the home, an extravagant 22,000-square-foot mansion at 620 Arvida Parkway, is the second most expensive in Miami’s history — the first being the sale of 3 Indian Creek Island for $49.9 million in late 2019.

Ocean Boulevard estate


Palm Beach, Florida

Google Maps

An estate that once belonged to Alfred Taubman, the late mall mogul convicted of a price-fixing scheme in the early 2000s, sold for for $46.75 million.

Located in Palm Beach, it sits at 19,000 square feet and was sold in May, at a time when Florida was first starting to re-open after coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Further Lane estate

$45 million

East Hampton, New York

Out East

Also in April, an oceanfront property in East Hampton that was originally listed for $60 million sold for $45 million — at the time, the highest sale in the area.

While the buyer has remained anonymous, the home was purchased from the estate of late Union Pacific chairman James H. Evans.


$45 million

White River Valley, Colorado

Hall & Hall | WikiMedia

About six weeks after he dropped out of the presidential race in March, businessman Michael Bloomberg decided he might want to lay low in Colorado — and bought a ranch in the north of the state from fellow billionaire Henry Kravis for $44.79 million.

Known as the Westlands, the estate is located about an hour’s drive from Aspen and sits at 4,600 acres of land while the 19,000-square-foot main property is designed like a ranch house — a far cry from Bloomberg’s New York tastes.

Ocean Front Estate

$43 million

Del Mar, California

Google Maps | Shutterstock

Back in March, Bill and Melinda Gates dropped $43 million on a 5,800-square-foot, oceanfront property in San Diego. Gates, who co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in the 1970s, is currently the second-richest person in the world after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

He and Melinda, co-founders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, bought it from the widow of Texas financier T. Boone Pickens. The house is located in Del Mar and was originally listed for $48 million before the Gates snapped it up in March.

10410 Bellagio Road

$43 million

Los Angeles (Bel Air)

10410 Bellagio Road

A Bel Air mansion designed by architect Paul Williams was yet another sky-high sale to take place in Los Angeles at the height of the coronavirus outbreak in early April, when the city was under a shelter-in-place order.

Located at 10410 Bellagio Road, the 20,000-square foot estate belonged to Hillside Pueblo, an LLC managed by real estate investor Christopher Cole. Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and former chief executive of Uber, was later revealed by several outlets to be the buyer.

21 Casuarina Concourse estate

$37.6 million

Miami, Florida (Coral Gables)

Miami MLS

In June, companies connected to Grupo Cisneros (a Florida-based Spanish-language media conglomerate owned by the powerful Cisneros family of Venezuela) sold off several parcels of land in Gables Estates for a combined $37.6 million.

These include an estate at 21 Casuarina Concourse for $25.5 million, the tennis court across the street for $5.4 million and the adjacent lot for $6.7 million. According to the Real Deal, the combined sale price is about $20.4 million less than once listed.

LeBron James’ New Home

$36.75 million

Los Angeles (Beverly Hills Post Office) | Getty Images

Even playoffs did not stop LeBron James from making this list — at the start of October, the basketball legend dropped $36.75 million on a new home in a gated Beverly Hills Post Office community.

Spanning two-and-a-half acres, the estate is both visually stunning and has a storied Hollywood past. Sold to James by the estate of the late The Young And The Restless star Lee Phillip Bell, it was built in the 1930s by actor Charles Boyer and later sold to director Howard Hughes. Katharine Hepburn was one of the many starlets who leased it from Hughes during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

The property comes with the 9,100-square-foot main home, two guesthouses, a pool and a pool house, a screening house and palm-lined motor court that leads onto one of the longest driveways in Los Angeles.

111 West 57th Street

$30 million

New York City (Midtown Manhattan)

111 West 57th Street

111 West 57th Street | Credit: JDS Development Group

At the start of June, two units in the still-under-construction 111 West 57th Street skyscraper on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row were purchased for around $30 million each.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, a unit on the 64th floor went to an American in the finance industry for $30 million while the second unit on the 70th floor went to an international businessman in the tech industry for $30.5 million.

The latter entered contract last week, in the midst of the police brutality protests sweeping the country, while the former had been in contract since March.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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