The beach town of Malibu, Los Angeles, was always reserved for the rich and famous in its early stages of development.
But in just the last few years, even millionaires have been banned – and the community has only become a fixture for the ultra-rich.
Larry Ellison, the tech titan who has invested heavily in the city for nearly three decades, started the Malibu trend to boost the area’s real estate values.
Combined with a raging coronavirus pandemic, the surf town’s uncrowded beaches and laid-back vibe have sent Malibu real estate prices skyrocketing — and lured the richest of the rich.
In the past year alone, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and his wife Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen acquired three separate properties in Malibu for a combined $255.5 million.
Rapper Kanye West paid a whopping $57.3 million for a sculptural concrete home designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
In 2019, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum bought two adjacent properties in the Paradise Cove area for a total of $187 million.
The sky-high prices can be attributed to low inventories that few have the sources to outbid others, causing a dramatic shift in what was once known as a tight-knit community.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Beverly Hills native Andy Stern revealed the changes he experienced when he first moved to the city to raise his young family.
“There’s less of a sense of local community because people aren’t here,” Stern, 69, a two-time mayor of Malibu and a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Realty, told The Journal.
Stern fondly recalled block parties with kids on the street playing together. Now, he explained, he rarely sees his neighbors — who are rarely there year-round.
The families who once lived in the neighborhood have largely been replaced by celebrities and billionaires, who also include Chicago-born real estate billionaire Sam Zell, Miami Heat president Pat Riley, and Torstein Hagen, the Norwegian billionaire and founder of Viking Cruises , belong.
Many of his new neighbors own three to four properties in the area and use these homes as getaways.
The Malibu market ” took off like a rocket,” Stern added.
And though longtime residents have gotten used to many of the celebrities and billionaires moving in, they say they’re still shocked by the latest round of lavish home sales, which longtime locals say are causing the neighborhood to lose its bohemian character that’s so in the city lured took first place.
“Malibu has always had a kind of typical small-town vibe, although there were also wealthy people or famous people here,” Mikke Pierson, 62, who lives in Malibu and is also a former mayor, told The Journal. “But it had a much more working class feel and many of the residents had small horse ranches. Now these are almost completely gone.”
Pierson added that the prices being paid for these homes were “running high.”
Home sales for $5 million and up rose to 81 last year — up from 39 in 2019, according to valuation firm Miller Samuel. According to The Journal, the median price for a single-family home reached $6.99 million in the first quarter, compared to $4.25 million in the same period in 2021.
Meanwhile, as of July 1, 2021, the population of Malibu stands at 10,429 — a 17.5% decrease from April 2010, according to U.S. Census data.
While some of the population decline is due to the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which destroyed several homes, it is also attributed to many homes being owned by part-time residents.
According to a report by the city of Malibu in 2003-2004, there were around 2,500 children in public schools. This year there were fewer than 1,100 students.
Stern told The Journal that he thinks Malibu’s optimal privacy practices attract these business moguls and high-net-worth celebrities.
“People that you usually see dressed on TV don’t shave or comb their hair here,” Stern said. “Here you can be a bit more yourself.”
Meanwhile, Ellison — worth an estimated $97.6 billion — isn’t just making a footprint in Malibu. Most recently, the Oracle founder spent a record $173 million on a spread in Palm Beach.
And for his home base in Hawaii, Ellison signed over $300 million for 90 acres on the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
https://nypost.com/2022/06/27/malibu-now-only-a-billionaires-club-after-larry-ellison-laid-the-groundwork/ Malibu is now just a billionaire club after Larry Ellison broke ground