The Wall Street Journal

Larry Ellison, Ken Griffin and Other Rich Buyers Kept the Luxury Market ‘Separated From Reality’ in 2022

January 2023
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The luxury real-estate market may have returned to earth slightly in 2022 following a whirlwind pandemic-induced free-for-all in 2021. Still, some of the country’s richest buyers managed to log big-ticket deals. 

There were at least seven deals closed for $100 million or more in 2022, down from the eight closed the prior year, according to data from appraisal firm Miller Samuel and The Wall Street Journal’s reporting. In total, there were 44 sales across the U.S. closed for $50 million or more. While that’s down from 48 in 2021, it’s still the second highest total on record and a significant uptick from the 23 recorded in prepandemic 2019, according to Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller. 

The flurry of major transactions, despite a general normalization of the broader market, rising interest rates and recession jitters, shows that, at the very highest end, the ultraluxury market “is separated from reality,” Mr. Miller said. “It has nothing to do with the normal housing market.”

Read on for a closer look at some of the year’s biggest deals, which were concentrated in three states, New York, California and Florida.

In January, a large estate comprising two separate homes in Watermill traded for $118.5 million in an off-market transaction, marking the biggest Hamptons deal of the year, records show.

The sellers were Arthur Rabin and his son Jason Rabin, records show. Jason Rabin is the CEO of the apparel company Centric Brands. His father was the founder of Wear Me Apparel, which was purchased by Hong Kong-based global consumer goods exporter Li & Fung Limited in 2009. The buyer is Philadelphia real-estate developer Michael Karp, according to two people familiar with the situation. 

Information on the property is scarce since it was never formally listed, but aerial images show that it includes two large residences as well as two pools and multiple sports courts. A few months after the sale, Mr. Karp put a piece of the property back on the market for $72 million; that piece includes a 17,000-square-foot house with 21 bedrooms, according to the listing.

Hedgerow Exclusive Properties brokered the deal. Neither the Rabins nor Mr. Karp responded to requests for comment.

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