Billionaire’s Beach Real Estate Faces Hard Times

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A custom-built mansion on Billionaire’s Beach in Malibu heads to the auction blog with a starting bid of $22 million.

The oceanfront strip in Malibu known as Billionaire’s Beach is not your typical strip of land for real estate. Many assumed the exclusive area was immune from the housing crisis, only to face reality over the past weekend when one of the area’s custom-built properties went to auction for $22 million – down from the $65 million asking price in 2008.

Homeowners like Paul Allen, Larry Ellison and David Geffen call Billionaire’s Beach home, and the area has never seen distressed sales like the rest of the county. However, investment banker William J. Chadwick and his wife, Cherry, are simply tired of waiting for their home to sell, so they put it up for auction.

For $22 million, the 10,500-square-foot home features 150-feet of beachfront, nine and half bathrooms, a wall-sized aquarium, a private pub, a gym, an Art Deco home theater and a huge garage.

The owners said they are not selling out of distress, but rather are moving to Chicago and need to tie up their Billionaire Beach loose ends.

Agent Carol Bird told the Los Angeles Times, “They tried the regular process and it didn’t happen. They wanted to try something that creates a sense of urgency and attracts attention. It puts a fire under the chair.”

However, the auction signifies a harsh reality that even some of the nation’s most exclusive and desired communities need a push when it comes to real estate.

According to reports, Malibu’s median sales price dropped 22.9% in the first half of the year. Similar luxurious and exclusive areas of Washington and Connecticut have seen similar mansion auctions recently, including Mercer Island (Washington) and Darien (Connecticut).

Source: Wall Street Journal

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