This So-Called Billion-Dollar Beverly Hills Property Just Sold for $100K

The "world's most expensive real estate listing" had a 0.01% return on investment

The Mountain
This 157-acre undeveloped property landed in foreclosure
Matthew Momberger/YouTube
By Kirk Miller / August 23, 2019 11:31 am

Good news: Your house is probably worth more than a supposed billion-dollar property in Beverly Hills.

Bad news: That ten-figure property was just sold for a paltry $100,000.

The Mountain in Beverly Hills is a 157-acre piece of undeveloped land that was listed last year for $1 billion, at one point the most expensive real estate listing in the world. At a foreclosure auction this week, it only sold for $100K to the estate of Mark Hughes, the late Herbalife founder who actually owned the property once before, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Turns out investor Chip Dickens bought the estate in 2004, borrowed $45 million to buy it, and watched that amount grow to $200 million when you add in interest and fees. After transferring ownership to a limited liability company and being unable to secure Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Hughes estate forced a foreclosure auction.

According to the Times, only 20 people were present for the auction, half of them just regular attendees. Because no one wanted to take on the debt, the Hughes estate stepped in.

The real price? About $200,100,000, since the buyers now forfeit the debt owed.

As for the property itself: Town and Country describes the area as “a series of sprawling, manicured fields on an escarpment rising to 1,360 feet in California’s Santa Monica Mountains with 360-degree views.” From the high perch, you can see the mansion of James Murdoch, an undeveloped property from the late Paul Allen and several nine-figure oceanfront houses. When the house was priced in the billion range, the realtors behind the suggested any potential owner would actually need to be worth $5 billion. “We estimate that there are 100 buyers in the world for it,” said broker Aaron Kirman back in February.

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