Vertical living has never been high on the shopping list for Southern California’s wealthy set. But a new wave of luxury developments is drawing the rich out of single-family homes and into the sky.
The latest example just closed in West Hollywood, where a penthouse condo has traded hands for $21.5 million. That’s the priciest condo sale in L.A. County so far this year, and the fourth most expensive the county has ever seen.
It’s easy to see the appeal, even for staunch supporters of single-family living. The unit covers 6,301 square feet — bigger than the vast majority of stand-alone homes — and for outdoor space, there’s a 2,782-square-foot wraparound terrace overlooking L.A.
The penthouse spans the entire 10th floor of the Pendry Residences West Hollywood, a hotel-condo hybrid opened by Montage Hotels & Resorts. It was sold as a design-ready unit, meaning the buyer will be able to choose the layout and design.
Built on the former site of the House of Blues, the $500-million complex has already set multiple records, including a 2,681-square-foot unit that sold last year for $13 million. That shakes out to $4,848 per square foot, which is by far the highest price per square foot in the history of L.A. condo sales. (The latest Pendry sale works out to $3,412 a square foot.)
Pendry’s collection includes 40 private residences. So far, about 50% have been sold.
The blockbuster sale signifies a renewed interest in luxury high-rise living, which took a major hit during the pandemic when shared amenities such as pools and elevators suddenly became a safety hazard.
So far this year, there have been 27 condo sales north of $5 million in L.A. County, according to the Multiple Listing Service. The same stretch last year saw just 14 sales above $5 million. In the first half of 2020, there were only five.
That interest has carried across all sections of the market, not just the luxury side. In the second quarter of 2022, the median condo sale price was $640,000, up $20,000 compared with the same stretch last year, according to data from Sotheby’s International Realty.
Condos are also selling quicker, lasting an average of 27 days on the market in the second quarter of this year compared with an average of 34 days during the same stretch last year.
At $21.5 million, it’s the highest-priced condo sale since Matthew Perry unloaded his 9,300-square-foot “mansion in the sky” for $21.6 million in Century City’s Century Tower last summer. The all-time record belongs to socialite Candy Spelling, who dropped $35 million on a 15,555-square-foot unit in the same building complete with two stories and a private pool.
Taaseen Qureshi of PowerPlay represented Pendry in the $21.5-million sale. Molly Williams of the Hobin Company represented the buyer.