In another sign that even the rich are suffering in this crisis, a deal to purchase the Kaufmann House, a famous modernist design by architect Richard Neutra, fell apart recently. The Palm Springs home was promoted as a work of art and sold last May at auction house Christie’s for $19 million.
But that deal came undone. It’s listed now for $12.9 million. Edgar Kaufmann, by the way, was a department store mogul from Pittsburgh who also commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater. He knew something about markdowns.
According to a recent account in the Los Angeles Times, the present owners, a divorcing couple—he’s a big wig at bond giant Pimco, have invested about $11 million in the property.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.