Home prices may be dropping across the U.S., but at least one segment of the market seems to be doing well: mansions for the ultra-wealthy.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Russian tech billionaire Yuri Milner has paid the highest known price ever for a single-family U.S. home — a whopping $100 million. That's the same amount the Chinese gave as a gift to Costa Rica for its recently opened National Stadium.
The 25,500-square-foot Los Altos, Calif., home is certainly large enough to fit more than one family. According to the Wall Street Journal, the home has indoor and outdoor pools, a ballroom and a wine cellar. Business Insider said it sits on 11 acres in Los Altos and has five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.
Milner, 49, who heads Digital Sky Technologies, has made astute investments in Facebook and Groupon, among others. He lives in Moscow with his wife and two children. A spokesman for Milner told the Wall Street Journal that the tycoon has no plans to move into the French-style mansion in Silicon Valley.
Prices for more normal U.S. homes have been dropping for the past six months. In at least 14 major U.S. metro areas prices have slid to 2003 levels, recent data from the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller price index show.
The report showed a 20-city composite of home prices fell a full percentage point in January from December. That report follows data last week showing existing home sales fell 9.6 percent last month and new home sales dropped to the lowest levels since recordkeeping began nearly 50 years ago.
The weakness in housing could be a looming threat to the overall economic recovery.