Real Estate

California Mansion Sells At Auction — Likely At Record-Breaking Price

A California mansion that was once listed for $165 million has sold to the highest bidder following an auction last week.

Known as Villa Firenze, the Beverly Hills estate was first listed for $165 million by owner Steven Udvar-Hazy in 2018. After failing to find a buyer to pay the exorbitant price, Udvar-Hazy turned to Concierge Auctions to organize an auction in December.

The auction completed Feb. 2 and a buyer is under contract, according to Mansion Global. While neither the buyer nor the final price have been revealed, the deal is likely to smash records as the most expensive single-family home sold at auction.

The 28,000-square-foot Villa Firenze was built in 1998 and modeled after the old palaces of Europe. It boasts 13 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, eight half bathrooms and three guest homes. It opens onto a palm-lined courtyard that can fit up to 30 cars while the mansion itself is filled with grand entryways, arched passages and vaulted ceilings fit for a storybook castle.

The main house includes a library, gym, home theater, media room, den and wine cellar. The outside grounds span nine acres of land and includes a landscaped garden, pool, tennis courts, jogging trails and a pool house.

Hilton & Hyland’s Jeff Hyland and Rick Hilton were the listing agents for the home while it was on the market and were also involved with the auction. Bidders included both American and foreign buyers, with a strong interest from investors in China.

While auctions have long been common with foreclosed or otherwise problematic homes, they have also become a popular way to sell off luxury properties throughout the pandemic — both to reduce the number of people coming inside the home for showings and as a way of guaranteeing a quick sale.

If the Villa Firenze fetches anything remotely close to the original $165 million asking price, it will greatly surpass the previous record-holder, another palace-style estate that sold for $42.5 million in Hillsboro Beach, Florida, in late 2018.

“In only 53 days we secured a strong field of bidders — which ultimately resulted in breaking our own previous world record — and brought reach, speed and certainty to our client,” Concierge Chariman Chad Roffers told Mansion Global in a statement. “Not every seller has the risk tolerance to let the market speak, and it paid off in folds for our client.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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