From the NYT:
One of the latest symbols of the overinflated luxury housing market is a pink mansion perched above the Mediterranean on the French Riviera.
The 13,000-square-foot property, built and owned by the fashion magnate Pierre Cardin, is composed of giant terra cotta orbs arranged in a sprawling hive. The home’s name befits its price. “Le Palais Bulles,” or “the Bubble Palace,” is being offered for sale at approximately $450 million.
The listing is part of a global pileup of homes listed for $100 million or more. A record 27 properties with nine-figure prices are officially for sale, according to Christie’s International Real Estate. That is up from 19 last year and about a dozen in 2014.
If you add in high-priced “whisper listings” that are offered privately, brokers say the actual number of nine-figure listings worldwide could easily top 40 or 50.
The rise in nine-figure real estate listings comes just as sales of luxury real estate have cooled. Many say the sudden surge in hyperprice homes — often built and sold by speculative investors — is the ultimate bubble signal.
“When you have a record number of homes for sale at a price point of $100 million or more, that tells you these homes aren’t selling,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and research firm. “It’s not as deep a market as some might hope.”
“The era of aspirational pricing is over, and I’m not sure it ever really worked,” Mr. Miller said. “These prices get headlines, but the properties just don’t sell.”
Yet the market for megamansions and penthouses has cooled significantly in the last year. Prices for homes in the top 5 percent of the real estate market fell 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to Redfin. Prices for the rest of the housing market increased 4.7 percent.
Brokers say the very top of the market — consisting of eight- and nine-figure homes — is faring the worst as slowing economies overseas and volatile stock markets have spooked buyers. The supply of homes for the rich exploded as builders aimed at the high end after the financial crisis.