Aspen, Colorado, a winter playground for the rich and famous, produced four out of the 10 biggest mountain and ranch transactions since October, according to a new analysis by Inman.

All month long in July, we’ll survey the changing luxury real estate market, talk to top producers and offer advice on how to level up — all leading to the gathering of the year, Inman Luxury Connect, Aug. 2-3 at the Aria in Las Vegas. Make plans now to join us there.

As Luxury Month unfolds in July, Inman is analyzing the biggest deals between October 2021 — when we last dug into sales — and June 2022, to determine the top home sales nationwide over the past several months. All this week we’ll be breaking down the top mountain, beach and city transactions as well as the top overall sales of 2022 so far. Be sure to check back each day to see the results come in.

The top mountain, ranch and land deals in recent months have run the gamut in terms of cost, with the priciest at a jaw-dropping $200 million and the 10th priciest rounding out the list at a cool $21 million.

From the beginning of October 2021, the priciest sale only reached $136.25 million, according to Inman’s previous top mountain sales roundup.

Despite the significant price range at play, one market clearly stands out as the frontrunner when it comes to the most deals in recent months: Aspen, Colorado. The winter playground produced four out of the 10 deals identified here with some separate deals even made by the same individual.

That kind of news for Aspen may be exciting for the luxury real estate community, but the market’s demand and cost-of-living increases in recent years have put a palpable strain on residents — so much so that the Aspen city council instilled a ban on new short-term rental permits in December.

Aside from Aspen, no other mountain or ranch market stood out as a popular location for repeat ultra-luxury deals. Aspen is the only city to grace the following list of top deals more than once. Read on for all of the details.

Beaverhead Ranch

$200 million

Southwest Montana

Beaverhead Ranch and Rupert Murdoch | David Shankbone on Wikicommons and Preston Keres/U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wikicommons

In the final weeks of 2021, a mammoth ranch sale took the crown as the biggest sale of the year. In the privately-marketed deal, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry Murdoch purchased a 340,000-acre ranch in southwest Montana from the Matador Cattle Co., a subsidiary of Koch Industries. 

It was the largest ranch deal to ever close in the state of Montana both in terms of size and price, according to Chance Bernall of Beaverhead Home and Ranch Real Estate who co-represented the sellers with Joel Leadbetter of Hall and Hall.

The property spans two different counties and is home to a host of wildlife including about 4,000 elk, 800 antelope and 1,500 mule deer along with a 28-mile long creek stocked with trout. The working ranch also includes about 25 employee homes.

1011 Ute Ave.

$60 million

Aspen, Colorado

1011 Ute Ave. | Zillow

Without previously thinking about putting her home on the market, Christy Thompson, daughter of late Texas oil exec J. Cleo Thompson, sold her mansion in Aspen for $60 million marking one of the most expensive mountain sales of 2022.

Liz Leeds of Slifer, Smith and Frampton & REALM represented Thompson in the deal, which closed near the end of May. She told The Wall Street Journal the sellers simply received an unsolicited offer they couldn’t turn down.

Todd Lemkin, chief investment officer at Dallas-based investment firm Canyon Partners, and his wife Kasey Lemkin, purchased the property following the $32.25 million sale of a historic home the couple owned in Aspen earlier that same month.

The nearly 17,000-square-foot property that sits at the base of Aspen mountain features seven bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, a spa, a wine cellar, a garage with a car turntable and a 40-foot-high foyer that displays a 30-foot waterfall wall. The property is also known for serving as a rental to celebrities including singer Rihanna.

Oakview Estate

$52 million

Montecito, California

Trulia and Vogue Taiwan on Wikicommons

Maroon 5’s lead vocalist Adam Levine and his wife model Behati Prinsloo purchased a $52 million mansion in the celebrity hot spot of Montecito, California, beneath the Santa Ynez mountains at the end of March.

The 10,000-square-foot mansion in the Virginia countryside style was previously owned by actor Rob Lowe and his wife, makeup artist and jewelry designer Sheryl, who purchased the land for the home in 2005 and constructed the property.

Levine and Prinsloo bought the estate known as “Oakview” from healthcare private equity executive Jack McGinley and his wife Julie, who took ownership of the property in 2020. The deal was conducted off-market so limited details were available including what, if any, kinds of upgrades were made to the home in the brief time it was owned by the McGinleys.

The purchase by Levine and Prinsloo was just another in the couple’s pattern of buying high-end homes and flipping them for a profit in a relatively short period of time. In 2018 they bought a Beverly Hills mansion for $33.9 million and sold it one year later for $42.5 million, in 2021 they purchased a Montecito estate for $22.7 million and sold it three months later for $28.5 million and in May the couple sold their Pacific Palisades estate for $1 million, up from the $31.95 million they paid for it in 2018.

1700 San Remo Drive

$51 million

Pacific Palisades, California

1700 San Remo Drive | Redfin

Only about one month after purchasing their new Montecito home Levine and Prinsloo sold their Los Angeles mansion in Pacific Palisades, up against the Santa Monica Mountains, for $51 million. The sales price brought the couple a $19 million profit after purchasing the home for about $31.95 million from Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in 2018.

Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency represented the listing. The buyer could not be immediately identified.

The unique property includes a five-bedroom main house, a four-bedroom guest cottage, a wellness building, a swimming pool and spa, an outdoor kitchen and city-to-ocean views on over three acres of land.

45081 and 45101 Colorado State Highway 82

$51 million

Aspen, Colorado

45081 & 45101 State Highway 82 | Zillow

After Christy Thompson, the aforementioned daughter of late Texas oil exec J. Cleo Thompson, sold her Aspen mansion for $60 million, she went ahead and purchased another mountain home with a hefty price tag a few miles outside of downtown Aspen for $51 million, allowing her name to appear twice on this list.

Thompson bought her new home from venture capitalist Lawrence F. De George, who built the property about 16 years ago. Listing agent Carrie Wells of Coldwell Banker Mason Morse represented De George.

The De George House spans about 15,000 square feet and includes an Old Hollywood-style movie theater, a pair of glass elevators and a system that pumps oxygen into the primary bedroom to combat the effects of the high altitude.

550 Aspen Alps Road

$50 million

Aspen, Colorado

550 Aspen Alps Road | Zillow

This Aspen home flip project by fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger shows just how hot the mountain resort town has become in the last few years. Hilfiger first purchased his ski chalet for $31.9 million in December and then went ahead and sold it at the end of March for $50 million to net a profit of $18.1 million in about three months.

The home is located on the slope side of Aspen Mountain’s Little Nell ski trail and was built in 2003. Encompassing more than 7,100 square feet, the home has four bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

The property was sold off-market and represented by Steven Shane of Compass.

7979 E. Boulevard Drive

$48 million

Alexandria, Virginia

7979 E. Boulevard Drive | TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

A portion of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, the president’s plantation along the Potomac River, broke records when it sold for $48 million last November. Spanning over 16 acres of land the property known as the River View Estate became the priciest-ever residential sale in the D.C. area.

The main house encompasses 16,000 square feet and holds seven bedrooms and 13 bathrooms with 400 feet of water frontage on the Potomac. The property also features a 2,600-square-foot guest house with three bedrooms. The terms of the sale also included $2 million worth of furniture and personal property that came with the home.

The property was last purchased for $18.6 million by former Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens and his wife Michelle in 2014. Heather Corey of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty represented the listing.

253 White Pine Canyon Road

$39.6 million

Park City, Utah

A photo of Russell Weiner from 2006. | Bevnet at English Wikipedia/Wikicommons and Engel & Völkers

Founder of Rockstar Energy Drink Russell Weiner set a new price record in the state of Utah with the purchase of a $39.6 million spec home in Park City in May. Before this sale, a $32.5 million riverside property was the most expensive home sold in the state in 2019 to former Nikola Motor Chief Executive Trevor Milton.

Paul Benson of Engel & Völkers represented both Weiner and the seller, development company Iluminus Group, founded by brothers David and Joe Ostrander.

The 17,500-square-foot six-bedroom property which was sold fully furnished is located in Park City Mountain Resort, a Utah ski resort destination. It was listed for $42 million in December as construction was wrapping up and went under contract with Weiner in April. When final touches were being made to the interior furniture and decor in March, Benson posted on Instagram an update about the project which is how he attracted Weiner and another competing buyer to the home, an Engel & Völkers representative told Inman.

Big Creek Ranch

$39.3 million

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Big Creek Ranch | Ranch & Resort Realty

In a sizable off-market deal the 4,860-acre Big Creek Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, sold for $39.9 million at the beginning of July.

Tommy Bagwell, the former owner of American Proteins, a poultry-rendering business acquired by subsidiaries of Tyson Foods in 2018, was the buyer represented by Brian Hartley and Alex Maher of Live Water Properties. The LaMantia family, who are in beer distribution, were the sellers represented by Christy Belton of Ranch & Resort Realty.

The ranch had been on and off the market for about 10 years, with an initial listing price of $59 million. About 80 percent of the property line borders land owned by the U.S. Forest Service making the property extremely private.

Nonetheless, it’s roughly 10 miles from Steamboat Ski Resort. It includes a 10,000-square-foot main residence, a 3,000-square-foot manager’s home, several cabins and a bar. Hartley told The Wall Street Journal that the combination of the property’s size, closeness to town and privacy could not easily be duplicated in other mountain resort markets.

1099 Willoughby Way

$37.6 million

Aspen, Colorado

1099 Willoughby Way | Zillow

An Aspen spec home sold for about $37.6 million at the end of June, becoming one of the top mountain sales of the year thus far. The home was last listed for $42.5 million, according to Zillow. Carrie Wells of Coldwell Banker Mason Morse-Aspen held the listing and Brittanie Rockhill of Douglas Elliman represented the buyer, Kevin Washington, who is the son of the billionaire industrialist Dennis Washington.

The home was developed by the development company Good Property which operates in Aspen, Miami, the Hamptons and New York. The company purchased land for the site for $13.2 million in 2018, according to records.

Sitting on a little over one acre the home encompasses about 9,500 square feet and was designed in the Japanese Modern style. The property backs up to U.S. Forest Service land and features 180-degree views of Aspen Mountain, Highlands, Buttermilk and Independence Pass, according to the listing description.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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