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What Really Makes a House Worth a Hundred Million Dollars?

Welcome back to Property Lines, a column by veteran real estate reporter Alexei Barrionuevo. Each week on Tuesday, Barrionuevo will report on housing trends, real estate deals, and major business moves right here on Curbed.

Listing photos of Palazzo di Amore in Beverly Crest, Los Angeles, via Curbed LA.

The text message arrived on my phone innocently enough. "He is considering not selling," wrote Joyce Rey, the Beverly Hills real estate agent known for her celebrity and billionaire clients. Rey, who works for Coldwell Banker Previews International, was responding to my request earlier this month to tour the sexily named Palazzo di Amore, the mega-mansion owned by Jeffrey Greene, the billionaire from Palm Beach, Florida. Until recently, the 12-bedroom compound in Beverly Hills, spread over 25 acres and replete with its own vineyard, was the most expensive listing in the United States, at $195 million.

Greene, who became rich shrewdly betting against real estate as subprime mortgages tanked, put the house up for sale in November of 2014. In September, he slashed the price to $149 million, declaring in a press release that he was "very motivated" to sell the home, which took eight years to build. But now, he may be waking up to the reality that the market for homes hovering around the $100 million mark just isn't as big as the rhetoric spilling out of the real estate industry—especially in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco—would suggest.

"I am so tired of hearing about these high-end listings" >>