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Former Trump property aims to be Palm Beach's most expensive ever

New York

PALM Beach real estate is on a hot streak attributed variously to Covid-19, the state and local tax, and Florida's own zero per cent income tax rate.

Now, the thin barrier island's boom market will face its greatest test yet: on Monday, the Palm Beach Post reported, a fully furnished spec home at 535 North County Road hit the market for US$140 million.

If it sells at ask, it would be the most expensive real estate transaction in Palm Beach history.

To date, the record is held by a 70,000-square-foot home on 2.42ha, which sold in 2019 for US$111 million. This new listing, represented by broker Lawrence Moens, sits on 0.81ha and has about 21,000 square feet of interior space.

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The premium, Corcoran broker Paulette Koch says, comes from the home's newness. "This is a property where you can move into it tomorrow. There's a value to that. Buyers in that price category like ease."

The property has set records before. US President Donald Trump bought a 2.42ha lot at a bankruptcy auction in 2004 for around US$41 million, and then in 2008 flipped it to the Russian fertiliser billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who purchased the land for an unprecedented US$95 million.

After holding onto the property for nine years, Mr Rybolovlev subdivided it and sold the 0.81ha lot in question for what the Palm Beach Daily News reported as US$37 million to Mark Pulte, a real estate developer in Boca Raton.

After multiple setbacks from Palm Beach's notoriously strict architectural board, Mr Pulte was given the green light for construction of a home designed by architect Bill Boyle.

The completed house has nine bedrooms, 12 baths, and seven half-baths. The house sits on the ocean, with 45.7m of shoreline. It has a large pool, manicured hedges, and a trim green lawn that leads to the beach.

The house is not just furnished - it is stocked, similar to mega-mansions that recently flooded the Los Angeles market, for a ready-made lifestyle. BLOOMBERG

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