Beyoncé and Jay-Z have reportedly snapped up a $200m oceanfront mansion in Malibu, an acquisition that appears to break the record for the most expensive home in California.
The 40,000 sq ft modernist mansion, which has been described as “massive”, “minimalist” and “echoey”, reportedly includes both a pool and a “water feature”, as well as an award-winning concrete driveway.
It was designed by celebrity Japanese architect Tadao Ando, a Pritzker prize winner whose exposed concrete and glass homes have become status symbols for American superstars. Kim Kardashian announced earlier this spring that she was working on a “dream project” with Ando, and in 2021, Kanye West reportedly purchased a comparatively modest beachfront Malibu home designed by Ando for $57.3m.
The home Beyoncé and Jay-Z reportedly purchased was commissioned by William and Maria Bell, art collectors and members of the family soap opera dynasty that created The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Maria Bell described the construction as “dazzling” and “spectactular”, but told the Wall Street Journal: “It’s also a daunting idea to live in something that can seem to many people like a Brutalist structure.”
The original asking price for the property was $295m, TMZ, which first reported the sale, said, characterizing the final $200m sale price as an “unbelievable deal”.
New York City still holds the record for the most expensive home in the United States, a $238m penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park. But California has been repeatedly breaking its own records in recent years.
With its green cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Malibu is a rising contender in the US’s ultra-luxury real estate market. Its rise in the rankings of the favorite spots of the super-wealthy was driven by decades of investment by tech magnate Larry Ellison, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ellison, the fifth wealthiest person in the world, owns an estimated 10 homes on what is now known as Malibu’s Billionaire’s Beach, according to the newspaper, in addition to a series of commercial holdings. (Ellison also owns most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.)
Billionaire tech executives and celebrity artists are continuing to push up real estate prices in the city, undaunted by multiple deadly wildfires that have hit the region in recent years, including a 2018 blaze that razed multimillion-dollar mansions and left three people dead. The median price for a single-family home in the city has more than doubled since 2016, to nearly $7m. Some of Malibu’s new elite homeowners are now cobbling together multiple properties to build mega-luxury compounds, according to the Journal. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum bought two adjoining properties for a combined $187m, while Marc Andreesen owns three different Malibu homes with a total value of $255.5m.
A representative for Beyoncé did not immediately comment on the reports about the mansion purchase. Kurt Rappaport, the Malibu “alpha agent” who reportedly arranged the record-breaking $200m sale, has previously worked with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Ellen Degeneres. He did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile, social media commentators have weighed in on the stars’ acquisition, with the New York Post, a publication known for its skepticism of California “cheeseball” real estate aesthetics, highlighting comments comparing the mansion to a “WWII bunker” or “an empty Costco distribution center”. On Reddit, a thread about the mysterious property concluded that “every Malibu mansion looks like a supervillain lair”.
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