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Top 10 penthouses for mid-2019

Updated September 17, 2019 - 9:57 am

High-rise sales are down in 2019 as buyers look to the home market, but a unit at the Waldorf Astoria fetched the highest price in 2½ years.

The high-rise penthouse sold for $5.75 million in the Waldorf Astoria, leading the way in 2019 as the top seller in the condominium marketplace. That eclipses the highest sales price in 2018 at Turnberry Place for $5.5 million, and that was the highest since a unit at the Waldorf sold for $6.2 million in March 2017.

The top sales price could change by the end of the year because the most expensive high-rise on the market is a three-bedroom penthouse measuring 6,230 square feet at Palms Place. It’s priced $15 million, or $2,408 per square foot, in a listing with Ivan Sher Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Nevada Properties.

“It’s known as the Founder’s Penthouse that belongs to the Maloof family that purchased it when (they built the tower),” Sher said. “There’s nothing like it in the city. Its rooftop wraparound balcony where you can see everything on the Strip. We’ve had a lot of interest, and we’re hoping that it closes by the end of the year.”

The Waldorf, whose name was rebranded in August from Mandarin, had five of the top 10 sales — all 10 of which were paid with cash — as tracked through Aug. 1 by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Forrest Barbee. The Waldorf has 225 residences on top of 389 rooms in the nongaming hotel.

High-rise sales overall are down for 2019 compared with 2018, and some Realtors said rising prices and a greater selection of newly constructed modern homes in the valley’s luxury hillside communities are pulling people away from condominium living.

The No. 1 sale is a Waldorf penthouse on the 46th floor that measures 3,922 square feet with three bedrooms, a den and four baths. It sold for $1,466 per square foot, and the buyer was listed as the Rick Thompson Trust and Thompson Family Trust in Southern California, according to the Multiple Listing Service and Clark County property records.

The unit was listed by Las Vegas Realtor Kamran Zand of Luxury Estates International. In 2015, the same penthouse sold for $3.87 million to 4606 M O L L C. That’s a gain of about $1.9 million, or 48 percent, over four years.

“It’s on the second-to-highest floor and a corner unit with a great view of the Raiders stadium and Bellagio fountains,” Zand said. “It was fully furnished and professionally designed.”

Zand said the previous owner put about $500,000 of improvements into the unit, which helped increase its value.

No. 2 on the list is a two-level penthouse at Turnberry Place that sold for $4.15 million. Dennis and Mireille Gillings are listed as the owners, according to Clark County property records. Dennis Gillings is a British-born American billionaire statistician and entrepreneur who founded the clinical research company Quintiles. His wife, Mireille, is a Canadian neurobiologist and entrepreneur who founded HUYA Bioscience International.

The penthouse measures 6,421 square feet with four large bedrooms and six baths. It has 270-degree views of the Strip and mountains, a private pool, upper deck with fireplaces, wet bar, game lounge, living room that opens to a gourmet kitchen and formal dining room, according to Cristine Jensen, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, which represented the seller, Jazz Trust.

“Turnberry Place penthouses are very unique with high ceilings, gorgeous drop views, privacy and location that make it a one-of-a-kind development,” Jensen said. “Only a few penthouses have a private second floor and a pool and hot tub.

No. 3 on the list is a condo on the top floor of the Waldorf that sold for $3.99 million and was listed by Michelle Manley of Award Realty.

The two-bedroom unit on the floor is known as the Presidential Penthouse with two master-spa-inspired suites, three baths, and a translucent onyx bar overlooking the city, Manley said. She said the penthouse level is the only floor that features 11-foot ceilings. Burebista LLC is listed as the owner.

No. 4 on the list is two-bedroom unit at the Waldorf that sold for $3.6 million with Essie Taylor of Keller Williams as the listing agent. The condo is a corner unit that was remodeled with high-end finishes. It has floor-to-ceiling windows and surround sound throughout. Center Crest LLC is listed as the new owner.

No. 5 on the list is a three-bedroom penthouse unit on the 63rd floor at Trump International that sold for $2.9 million. Nicole Milner Breen, vice president and broker with Trump International Realty was the listing agent on the developer-owned unit. Laurence Lipnick is listed as the buyer, according to country records.

The condo has a Breccia Onniciata marble foyer after entering through double doors. There are 10-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows, an Italian marble vanity and a 6-foot whirlpool tub.

No. 6 is a condo at Park Towers that sold for $2.8 million with Madison Blau of the Ivan Sher Group as the listing agent. The Harold Moore Revocable Trust is listed as the owner. The three-bedroom unit has floor-to-ceiling windows, a bar and a study.

No. 7: Tied at No. 6 is a Sher Group listing by Realtor Rhonda Allen with a two-bedroom penthouse unit on the 46th floor at the Waldorf that sold for $2.8 million. It has a custom bar for entertaining guests and walk-in wine cooler. The second bedroom transforms into an office or library with a Murphy bed. The Peter S. Mugar Trust is listed as the owner. The Mugars are a prominent New England business family with Mugar Enterprises.

No. 8 is a Park Towers two-bedroom condo that sold for $2.7 million. It has a theater screen and elevator that leads into the unit. Jerry Masini with Award Realty was the listing agent. Park Tower JF LLC in Santa Barbara, California, is listed as the owner.

No. 9 is a one-bedroom condo with a den at the Waldorf that sold for $2.4 million. Manley with Award Realty was the listing agent. The Jonathan D. Rose Revocable Trust was listed as the owner.

No. 10: There’s a tie for 10th place with two three-bedroom units at One Queensridge Place, which sold for $2.35 million.

— Carol Barber Terkhorn with Realty One Group was the seller’s agent for one condo. Artemus W. Ham III Living Trust was listed as the new owner.

— The second condo was listed by Randy Char, broker and president with Char Luxury Real Estate. Michael and Maureen Mekjian Trust are listed as new owners. The prominent couple are benefactors of the Orange County School of Arts in Southern California.

High-rise sales down

Overall, high-rise condo sales were down during the first half of 2019 compare with the first half of 2018. But those that sold were fetching higher prices this year at 18 of the 21 high-rises tracked by Applied Analysis.

The research firm reported the 432 sales in the first half of 2018 fell to 304 this year based on the 21 high-rises the firm tracked along the Strip and downtown.

The average sales price per unit in 2019 was $546,270, up from $515,873 a year ago. The price per square foot at $405 is up from $393, according to Applied Analysis in tracking sales through the Multiple Listing Service.

The Waldorf Astoria and Veer at City Center recorded the biggest drops in sales. Waldorf sales went from 30 sales a year ago to six this year. Veer went from 30 to 12.

The Waldorf had an average price per sale at $2.59 million, up from $1.42 million, or $1,318 a square foot. Park Towers was second with an average price of $2.18 million, or $622 a square foot. One Queensridge Place is third at $1.46 million average price with 10 sales, down from 14 a year ago.

Sales were down at some of the other high-profile properties, including Turnberry Place, from 36 last year to 27 this year. Turnberry Towers went from 22 to 20.

The Trump International had 17 sales this year, down from 29 a year ago. Prices were up at $440,824, a gain from $308,453.

Only six of the 21 condo towers reported sales increases this year compared with a year ago.

Newport Lofts in downtown went from two sales to eight; Palms Place went from 28 to 29; Park Towers east of the Strip went from two to four; the Platinum went from three to five; Soho Lofts went from three to four; and the Vdara at CityCenter went from three to 10.

Two towers, MGM Signature and the Metropolis had the same number of sales as last year. The MGM had 39, and Metropolis had two.

Zand said the luxury condo market with the exception of his No. 1 sale has “slowed down a lot,” and he attributed that in part to the luxury housing market.

“We feel it in the high-rise sector,” Zand said. “We had high-rises we put on the market that I could have sworn we would have sold in like a week. It’s already been several months, and they’re still on the market.”

That contrasts with the trend in the luxury home market. Luxury existing home sales of $1 million or more are about even with 2018, while new home luxury sales are up more than 40 percent for the year.

“I think buyers have more choices, and now they’re starting to see modern homes being built that are accommodating their needs.” Zand said. “In the past, resale homes were Tuscan when buyers wanted something sleek and clean. There’s innovative building out there that’s giving people views, just like you would get a high-rise condo. There’s great product in MacDonald Highlands and Ascaya being built and another option for a potential buyer.”

Zand said he expects high-rise values to drop until the demand increases. He said some owners increased prices because they thought there were sellers willing to pay it.

“The prices have gotten to the point where they’re not as attractive to potential buyers,” Zand said. “There needs to be an adjustment of current seller’s expectations to get buyers excited again. There are still sellers thinking about the top sales that happened over the last few years and thinking they can get that same price. Maybe they can if their unit is super special and decked out. Like the property I sold, it was fully furnished and decked out, but that doesn’t mean all of those other condos can demand that same price per square foot, especially if it’s in original condition.”

Applied Analysis reported there were 489 high-rises on the market at the end of the second quarter with an average list price of $808,000.

Some 25 units were on the market at the Waldorf Astoria with an average list price of just over $3 million, or $1,395 per square foot. One Queensridge Place had 10 units with an average price of $2.5 million. Park Tower is next with five units at $2.4 million at $625 per square foot. Trump International had the most units on the market with 68 and an average price of $480,000 per unit or $632 per square foot.

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