More on the ultra-rich and deals being made around L.A. – thanks daytrip:


It’s not uncommon on the Westside of Los Angeles for people to shell out $20 million or more for a house.

And then take a wrecking ball to it.

Jeff Hyland, of the high-end Beverly Hills real estate agency Hilton & Hyland, had a recent tear-down sale of $35 million in the Trousdale section.

“It was in absolutely magnificent condition,” noted Hyland, who would not reveal the owner’s name but said his client was happy to pay all that money “just for the dirt,” with plans to erect a dream house.

Tearing down a $35-million house in a region where the middle class is disappearing, affordable housing is scarce and multiple families are crammed into homes or apartments — not to mention the tens of thousands living on the streets — is the kind of thing that makes you think the world is about to end.

But that’s the way things are in the Westside hills, where there’s no shortage of buyers from around the world snapping up estates. Longtime residents, suffering in cramped 10,000-square-foot quarters, are squawking about new and rebuilt estates the size of aircraft carriers.

One house just sold for north of $80 million, right around the time the Economic Policy Institute published a study concluding that “more than half” the residents of metro Los Angeles “are struggling to achieve economic security.”

The year 2014 was the biggest on record for his agency, said Hyland, with $2.9 billion in sales across Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, through Brentwood and out to Malibu. But that mark could be topped in 2015, with Hilton & Hyland’s 100 agents chasing a target of between $3 billion and $3.2 billion.

“We’ve sold, I think, 10 houses this year for over $20 million,” Hyland told me while we toured some of the most expensive homes on the U.S. market in his Rolls-Royce Ghost.

“The Chevrolet of Beverly Hills,” Hyland said of his car, which rides like a dream. The base price for a new Ghost is about $300,000, or roughly the median price of a new house in the United States.

See the great video in this full article:


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