Step inside Utah’s luxury housing market: Here are the most expensive homes for sale
Utah’s luxury market exploded amid the pandemic frenzy, real estate agents say, and they expect it to stay strong
A home in the ski destination community of Park City recently broke the record for the most expensive house sale in Utah, when Russell Weiner, billionaire founder of Rockstar Energy, bought it for $39.6 million.
But there’s another home on the Utah market that could shatter that record by nearly $10 million — if it sells for its asking price of $48 million.
Utah’s most expensive home for sale
It’s a massive, 3,387-acre estate nestled up the left fork of Hobble Creek Canyon in Springville. Named Hobble Creek Ranch, the property’s main residence is a 17,493-square-foot, French-inspired chateau.
The home sits behind two gates and is surrounded by “nearly 20 beautifully manicured acres,” according to its website. The property features seven ponds with water rights and controls access to over 10,000 acres of Forest Service lands. It’s even a seasonal home to a large elk and deer herd.
Hobble Creek Ranch has been waiting for its next buyer for quite some time, as it’s been sitting on the market for over 620 days now, according to its listing. The property’s real estate agent, Kerry Oman with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, said it takes time to find the right buyer, especially with such an unprecedented price tag in the state of Utah.
“Nothing in the state of Utah has ever sold for over $40 million,” Oman said, though the recent Park City sale came close. “What we’re trying to do is a price point that’s never been done before, and, you know, when you get into that realm it takes a very select person who can financially afford it.”
A buyer would likely need to be “worth a couple $100 million to financially justify something like that,” Oman said, so that narrows the pool of possible buyers. But they’re out there, he said, and the home has garnered interest from both in-state and out-of-state shoppers. He said some buyers are “interested, and we’re still continuing to discuss the property with them.”
“You know, everybody wants it,” Oman added. “But it’s just who can afford it, right?”
Hobble Creek Ranch was originally built in 2007 as a vacation home for its current owners, who now live in it as their primary residence, according to Oman. He told the Deseret News they wish to keep their names private.
The main residence has seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, a gourmet kitchen, an office, theater room, multiple entertainment spaces, an exercise room and an elevator. It also has an attached three-car garage. At first entry, visitors are greeted by a grand entry with marble floors, curved stairways and a crystal chandelier. Throughout the home, the French-inspired decor is full of light colors and luxurious furnishings.
The property has a 3,150-square-foot pool house with an indoor pool and hot tub. There’s also a 2,500-square-foot guest house above a detached four-car garage. The grounds feature a tennis court, ponds, fountains and bronze statues. And there’s a huge, 11-bay garage, a hay storage structure and a horse shelter with fenced pastures.
While the home is “incredible,” it’s the surrounding land that makes the property truly “spectacular,” Oman said. For a 4.5-mile radius, it’s surrounded by a “background playground” of recreational land for hiking, horseback riding or four-wheeling in the summer, or snowmobiling and backcountry skiing in the winter.
The ranch has also historically hosted several hundred head of cattle that “help preserve the land while also allowing it to qualify for the Green Belt for tax purposes.”
Inside Utah’s luxury housing market
Currently, Utah ranks 11th nationally for states with the most expensive homes currently for sale, with credit going to the Hobble Creek Ranch listing, according to a list compiled by the real estate site Point2.
The state with the most expensive home currently on the market? Surprise: California, with a home listed for $225 million in Malibu. Next in line — another shocker — is a home in Southhampton, New York, with a $175 million asking price.
The luxury housing market nationally and here in Utah is still red hot during a time when inventory remains low and prices are still sky high. But as the national economy battles inflation and the Federal Reserve pushes interest rates higher, how will that impact Utah’s luxury market?
Real estate agents specializing in multimillion-dollar homes told the Deseret News the luxury market isn’t immune to stock market fluctuations and other economic conditions — but they also say the market remains “strong,” with many buyers who typically pay cash for these multibillion-dollar properties.
Most prospective buyers aren’t affected by interest rates because they’re usually cash buyers, “but they are affected by fluctuations in the stock market, which has a direct effect on rich people’s net worth,” said real estate broker Steve Jury. “If the macro trends continue, it’s going to have a direct effect on the market.”
That could definitely impact a buyer’s decision to drop, oh, $30 million, $40 million, $50 million on a home. But for the most part, Oman said if an ultra-wealthy buyer is ready to buy, they’re going to buy.
“Even with fluctuations in the market, people in this category have money in diverse places, and so it really doesn’t affect them as much,” Oman said. “You know, these are the types of buyers who are quite wealthy and can withstand any fluctuation in the market. Those people are still out there.”
Even as mortgage rates hit the highest rates seen in decades, luxury real estate agents say they still expect demand to persist — though perhaps not at the same rates seen over the past two years, after the COVID-19 pandemic set off a housing frenzy that made Americans hungry for more space. Millionaires and billionaires were not immune to that craving.
And over the past two years, the “wealthy got wealthier at a very much higher rate,” said Paul Benson, the Engel & Völkers real estate agent who closed the recent $39.6 million deal for Utah’s most expensive home sale. He said wealthy people, typically with well over $100 million in the bank, have been telling him it was “very easy through investments and stocks to make a minimum of 20% on your money or even double your money in the past few years.”
That’s why Benson doesn’t think the luxury market will slow down significantly “anytime soon” even as the economy takes a turn. Especially, he said, because there are also wealthy people out there “shorting stocks, making a fortune right now.”
“Very few wealthy people” think today’s economic turmoil — record inflation and surging gas prices and tumbling stock markets — will last, Benson said. They expect a “little bit of a roller coaster, but a little bit of a spike again at the end of this year. Just that mentality has people less scared than I’ve ever seen in a moment like this. So the money is still coming.”
Meanwhile, “Utah has become a really popular destination place for this really high-end market,” Oman said.
Utah, especially over the last two years, has been discovered for its outdoor beauty and recreation, said Jeffrey Spencer with Stein Eriksen Realty Group, which specializes in property in Utah’s ski mecca of Park City.
Park City, home to many of these luxury properties and Utah’s most cash-rich buyer market, saw an explosion in luxury sales over the past two years, Spencer told the Deseret News.
“Pre-pandemic, the Park City market would see less than five sales per year over $10 million. In the two years since the pandemic, we’ve seen 43 sales over $10 million and seven more currently under contract,” Spencer said. “It’s really been an incredible shift in buyer demand for the most exclusive homes in our market.”
Utah’s luxury market is particularly strong, Benson said, because of its thriving job market, its outdoor opportunities, its safe communities, even the newly redeveloped Salt Lake City International Airport that’s elevated Utah’s global and international accessibility.
“What’s happened specifically in Utah is a combination of the great migration meets the brand new, beautiful, awesome airport, meets continued tech job growth or high-paying job growth,” Benson said.
Combine that with the national and local housing shortage and, “as crazy as these prices sound,” Benson said, Utah’s market is still more affordable than other popular destinations like Jackson, Wyoming, or Vail, Aspen or Telluride in Colorado.
Currently for sale in Utah are a handful of other luxury properties with asking prices that exceed $25 million. Here’s a look at each one:
White Pine Ranches property in Park City — $35 million
The listing for this $35 million property at the base of White Pine Canyon in Park City describes it as a “turnkey modern sanctuary” that sits on 5.4 acres that offer “extreme privacy and stunning ski-run views.”
“Arriving at the home, you are greeted by an oversized courtyard, zen-like waterfalls, and a bridge that brings you to the front door,” the listing says. “Floor to ceiling glass allows the outside to flow inside of the home and brings in an abundance of natural light while capturing views of the surrounding mountain peaks.”
The sleek home boasts an open floor plan and a variety of materials and textures, including oak cabinets, Lagos Blue Limestone from Portugal, concrete and stone. It also features a heated saltwater pool and spa, an oversized master bedroom and bathroom, a gym, and large garages for over eight cars.
The home also caters especially to skiers, offering an easement to provide unique, easy access to the base of the Tombstone lift at Park City Mountain Resort.
New build at Bald Eagle in Park City — $29 million
When built, this future home will be “the first new construction behind Bald Eagle’s gates,” the listing says, referring to the coveted, private community in the upper Deer Valley neighborhood of Park City. It sits just above Deer Valley Resort’s Silver Lake Village.
“This plot and this home, in particular, is the last piece of dirt left in the exclusive gated community of Bald Eagle,” the listing’s broker, Steve Jury, told the Deseret News. “And, by the way, it’s one of the few lots left in Park City, period.”
The $29 million home’s 14,000-square-foot floor plan features nine bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a home office and library, a four-car garage, an indoor racquetball or pickle ball court, and a golf and race car simulator. It also boasts a gym, spa, steam and sauna rooms, and an outdoor heated lap pool.
The property has views of Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons resort, and Jordanelle Reservoir. This property also caters to skiers, offering skiing “directly off your deck to either Silver Lake Village or Snow Park.”
Wolf Creek Ranch estate in Heber City — $27.5 million
A 160-acre estate is for sale for $27.5 million at the Wolf Creek Ranch community in one of Utah’s top destination communities, Heber City. The massive, 16,000-square-foot home features seven bedrooms and “breathtaking vistas in all directions, including the scenic Mount Timpanogos,” the listing states.
The home’s real estate agent, Matthew Mullin, described the Wolf Creek Ranch property as a “modern” yet “western home” built to offer a “cozy family environment” with sprawling space.
“Each light fixture, handrail picket, and cabinet detail has been sketched, formed and finished all by hand, creating a perfectly balanced blend of modern scale and Western warmth,” the listing states.
Outside, there’s a swimmable pond with a sandy beach and dock. There are outdoor kitchens and fireplaces on the patios. The home is surrounded by acres of lawn, a “hidden children’s playhouse,” and 60 miles of private trails.
Fjell House in Deer Valley, Park City — $27.3 million
The to-be-built $27.3 million Fjell House will sit on a 2.78-acre mountainside property that’s “one of the last prime developments” in a gated estate at Deer Valley, its listing states.
“This residence is uniquely secluded, yet moments away from Forbes Five-Star amenities and service only found at Stein Eriksen Lodge,” the listing states. Stein Eriksen Lodge is one of the most prestigious and expensive hotels in Park City — and Utah as a whole.
The home’s 11,854-square-foot floor plan features seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a bunk room, executive office and library. It also features an infinity pool and hot tub, gym, sauna and massage room.
The home has a “great modern design,” the home’s agent, Jeffrey Spencer, said. The owner will also have direct access to Stein Eriksen Lodge’s exclusive amenities, including concierge, chefs and the spa.
“This residence is both a private resort for hosting rejuvenating escapes and a personal gateway to world-class skiing and year-round outdoor activities,” the listing states.
Deer Knoll Drive property in Woodland — $25.9 million
This nearly 50-acre “modern mountain” cabin estate is for sale on Deer Knoll Drive in Woodland, Summit County. It offers “the rare opportunity to live off the grid in ultimate luxury,” its listing states.
The property is powered by its own solar array, a backup battery system, six 1,000-gallon propane tanks, and over 1,000 gallons of water storage. The buyer would also be able to build additional buildings on the property.
The 12,377-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home has a cozy cabin yet modern feel, Oman, its listing agent, said. “The furnishings are just beautiful. ... It’s a special, stunning mountain contemporary look that people really like.”
Uniquely, a 160-foot tunnel “reminiscent of an old mine shaft” connects the main house to a detached garage, according to its listing. Heated floors span most of the house and the basement. The home also has dozens of security cameras, as well as a safe room with double reinforced concrete, a bathroom and fridge.
The estate also has over 4,000 square feet of deck space, a theater room, an oversized built-in hot tub in the basement, a seven-bed bunk room, a gourmet kitchen and a master suite.
The cabin was built using “trees in the very canyon in which it sits, shipped to Idaho for hand carving and then brought back on site and reassembled,” the listing states.
Manoir Du Verger in Orem — $25 million
The “Magnificent Manoir Du Verger” estate is a “timeless masterpiece” located in the Old Orchard neighborhood in Orem, according to its listing.
The massive 10-bedroom, 13-bathroom, 30,386-square-foot home sits on a 7.78-acre gated estate. It features a “magnificent grand entrance” with marble flooring and a hand-painted staircase. The home also boasts a “stunning parlor and formal dining room with custom wood mantle and walls upholstered with Thai silk coverings,” the listing states.
The dining room has an elliptical dome ceiling with gold leaf inlays and a custom table. The great room has floor-to-ceiling windows. The home also has a large office with intricate, antique doors with a full powder room nearby.
“The elegant master suite has a breathtaking sun room and French doors that lead to the private spa,” the listing states.
Upstairs, there’s a full kitchen, a game room and three bedroom suites.
On the lower level, there’s a large dance floor, a DJ booth and a full kitchen and bar. There’s also a wine cellar, a theater room, a racquetball court, an exercise room, and a gift wrap room. Outside, there’s an outdoor pool, pool house with a full kitchen, two bathrooms and dressing rooms.
“It’s one-of-a-kind,” said the home’s listing agent, Jean Tanner of Summit Realty. “There’s a few other luxury homes, but there aren’t that many in Utah County, and it’s definitely one of the best priced homes.”