In the third quarter of last year, the median home price in the state was $829,760, 48% above the typical US home price of $398,000. With the median income for a 4-person household being $98,644, only 18% of the people could afford houses in the state. While the majority cannot afford pricy homes, a subset of the population is always ready to spend big for a piece of the state’s real estate.
The year also saw a shift in the real estate market, with less over-listed home prices and two-week escrows. Tech layoffs that gripped the state and rising interest rates were a big factor in cooling off the state’s real estate sector. However, as the power returned to buyers, deals still shocked the sector.
The Mysterious House
Mid last year, a home perched on the rolling hills in Placerville, California, caused a stir online with a price tag of $1 million. While far from the most expensive house on sale in the state, it’s the interior of the house that made it one of the most surprising 2022 real estate deals in California.
Built like the 1970’s homes, the 4,400 square feet three-bedroom house came with a giant 2,000 square feet stark white warehouse. It’s the seemingly endless shelves inside the room that took the internet world by storm. It soon emerged that the previous owner loved collecting stuff, thus building endless shelves for the items.
It took over nine months to remove all the stuff for the home, which included 25,000 books, 2,000 DVDs and 2000 VHS. In the end, the house was bought for $750,000.
Clifftop Castle for $40 million
Brad Pitt also went big in the year, paying $40 million for a historic Clifftop home off the California coast. It was the biggest ever deal in the Carmel area. The high price tag has to do with the Mediterranean-style castle design that made it stand out.
Built by the famous arts and crafts architect Charles Green, the house resembles a Tintagel in Cornwall, England, comprised of granite and sandstone. So, it does not come as a surprise that Brad Pitt paid $40 million, given his love for unique architecture.
Ryan Seacrest $51M
American Media personality and producer Ryan Seacrest was at the heart of one of the most surprising 2022 real estate deals in California. The television personality listed his glassy Beverly Hills mansion in 2020 for $85 million. But, given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, he could not find a suitable buyer. A move to slash the asking price to $74.5 million in 2021 did not work either.
Nevertheless, the house did go on sale in 2022 at $51 million, a deep price cut. It was still impressive, given the credit crunch and the turmoil that had already gripped the real estate sector.
Western White House $10 Million
It did come as a surprise that the 25,000 square foot 24-room Western white house sitting in one of the wealthiest enclaves in the country was sold for $10 million. The property stood on almost 3 acres of land and was remodeled by architect Julia Morgan after being severely damaged by fire in the 1920s.
The interior of the castle features marble and silk. A unique staircase and elevator serve the four floors in the house, with three cut glass chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. The $10 million final price was way below the initial asking price of $25 million.
Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr’s $145 million
Arguably the most surprising 2022 real estate deal in California in 2022 was by Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and his wife model Miranda Kerr splashing $145 million on a property in Los Angeles. While the mansion went for $120 million, the billionaire spent an additional $25 million to acquire a smaller portion of the land located next door.
The high number makes the property the most expensive paid-for California home. However, it does not come as a surprise as the property sits on one of the most famous neighborhoods surrounded by homes such as the Manor.
The Most Surprising 2022 Real Estate Deals in California lived up to expectations, as the state is known for its weirdest, wildest and most dramatic property market. Even as the lower-end market cooled due to high-interest rates, the filthy rich continued to spend big in the luxury property market. The battles were waged between celebrities and tech moguls as their fortunes increased.