By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles TimesTheir internationally recognized names sell music and movie tickets. They promote perfumes and presidents. But when it comes to selling their own houses, celebrities often find that their cachet doesn’t pull in the cash.
Actors Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell haven’t found a buyer for their Malibu beach house, which comes with a raft of celeb-friendly amenities including a covered outdoor living room, a spa-like bath retreat and a meditation room. So the couple have nipped $3.5 million from last year’s price, listing the Balinese-influenced oceanfront spread at $11.2 million.
Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne managed to sell their Malibu place for $7.925 million — nearly 21% off the original asking price. But the Architectural Digest-worthy Hidden Hills mansion owned by the first couple of hard rock has had no taker since it was listed last year at almost $13 million.
Actress Meg Ryan has put her Bel-Air manse back on the market at $11.4 million — a 42% price chop from its 2008 listing.
Although the masses respond to rock-star branding, housing is too expensive for celebrity ownership to make a measurable dollar difference, said Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, author of “Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity” and an associate professor at the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development.
Here in Greenwich we see the same thing, which is hardly surprising. Diana Ross’s house in Belle Haven remains unsold – off the market now, she asked something like $35 million. Mel Gibson’s Old Mill home started at $39 million and finally sold for $24 million, Leona Helmsley, an infamous celebrity, couldn’t get $125 million and settled for $30, and any number of baseball, football and hockey players have discovered to their annoyance that it is possible to pay too much for Greenwich real estate that no amount of celebrity draw will recoup.