Celebrity Buyers and Sellers Stimulate High-End Market

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Ruth Ryon | December 12, 2008 9:57 AM ET

(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- There is something in the air, and it isn't only Christmas.  It's more like spring; or late summer, before the start of school. A few people are out looking to buy homes again, if celebrity shoppers are any indication. 

Along with the potential buyers are stars just about ready to sell, such as Meg Ryan.  She has had a house in Bel-Air (an upscale neighborhood on the Westside) that she has thought about selling for years, but she held back from officially listing it until now.  Its asking price is $19.5 million.

Although they didn't buy it, Ryan's home was priced right enough for Galaxy soccer star David Beckham to look at with his wife, Victoria, known as singer "Posh Spice".  The couple was looking for a house priced at about $20 million when they first moved to L.A. from London many months ago.  Shoppers termed "recent" include actor-producer Ben Affleck and his wife, actress Jennifer Garner.

Cher still has her Malibu home on the market.  She has been asking $45 million for her six-bedroom, seven bathroom home on a bluff overlooking the ocean.  The house has a theater, gym, tennis court, pool, spa and a guest house.  Cher built the 14,000 square foot villa to resemble an Italian Renaissance mansion, hidden from the highway by numerous palms.

There are also at least two home-buying deals cooking on the Westside in the $14-million vicinity, and one is scheduled to close escrow in less than a week.  So, once more, the high-end residential real estate market is apparently staying the course with such homes as Meg Ryan's contributing to the inventory.

Ryan's home, described as a "compound" in Bel Air, has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in slightly more than 6,800 square feet.  The home was built in 1931.  It was recently restored.  It has a stenciled and beamed living room ceiling and it has a screening room with a separate entrance.  All of the main rooms have city views.

Ryan, 47, co-starred in "When Harry Met Sally" (1989), "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) and "You've Got Mail" (1998).

(LOS ANGELES, CA) - Leonardo DiCaprio is a winner on many fronts, and the awards season has just begun.

DiCaprio co-stars with Kate Winslet, his "Titanic" co-star, in the upcoming movie "Revolutionary Road", which is already being described as an Oscar contender and still hasn't been released.

Time magazine named DiCaprio on of the "most influential" people in the world, but Forbes magazine simply called him "the fifth highest paid actor in Hollywood".

DiCaprio is asking a shade under $9 million for one of his several Malibu properties.  That property has a main house with two bedrooms and two bathrooms in slightly more than 2,300 square feet.  It also has a steam shower and a separate guest house with two one-bedroom suites.  Its most outstanding feature is its location, on a bluff overlooking the ocean with a stairway to a secret cove.  The home has great views of the Pacific and yet it has a grassy yard and a sense of privacy. 

Other DiCaprio movies include "Romeo & Juliet" (1996), "Catch Me If You Can" (2002) "Gangs of New York" (2002), "Blood Diamond" (2006 and "Body of Lies" (2008).

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