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Lake Minnetonka crushes 2018 luxury home market.

Byline: Anne Bretts

The list of top home sales in Minnesota this year is a stunner.

After a decade on and off the market, the most expensive listing in the state finally became its top sale and its most expensive teardown.

In all, three of the top 10 sales are teardowns, to be replaced by one or more new homes.

Lake Minnetonka reinforced its reputation as a luxury market in a league of its own, with all but one of the top sales involving lake property.

Coldwell Banker Burnet's Wayzata office dominated the list of transactions. Veteran agent Ellen DeHaven played a role in seven of the top 10 deals -- and many that didn't make it.

"Yes, it was a record year, with $80 million in sales," said DeHaven. "I'm too busy to celebrate right now."

DeHaven said she got into the business four decades ago, when agents kept paper listing sheets in three-ring binders. Now you can take online photo tours through all the top homes just by clicking a link.

Let's start at the top.

Southways, the Lake Minnetonka estate best known as the former Pillsbury mansion, sold for more than $23 million, nearly hitting its $24 million asking price. The sale came only after the sellers agreed to level its historic 32,461-square-foot mansion and split its 12.72-acre estate into five lots. In the end, the estate at 1400 Bracketts Point Road in Orono will see three new houses, while a neighbor has bought two lots to expand his property.

"We tried our darnedest to find someone to embrace its history," said listing agent Meredith Howell of the Coldwell Banker Burnet Wayzata office, who led the effort for several years. James and Mary Jundt, who bought the property in 1992 for $5 million and invested heavily in renovations, eventually retired to Arizona. They paid more than $500,000 a year to cover taxes, utilities and operating costs. Finally, the discussion of a sale turned to redevelopment, said Howell, who brought in colleague Brian Benson to share his expertise in land development.

"The time had come," she said. "We tried our best."

Howell, Benson and DeHaven all played roles in the multiple transactions involved in the sale, some of which haven't closed and all of which are confidential.

The high prices and teardowns on the list are the most dramatic evidence of Lake Minnetonka's evolution as a luxury community, said John Wanninger of Lakes Sotheby's International Realty in Edina. Today's buyers want new construction and aren't really concerned about resale value.

"When somebody's got the money to buy that, they want what they want," he said.

Building permits don't reflect the true cost of new homes, so there are no statistics on what's being built. But Wanninger and other agents predict price tags of $10 million or higher for new construction will be seen more and more in the future.

Perhaps just as interesting as what made the list is what didn't.

St. Paul didn't make the cut. Neither did Edina. The Lake of the Isles didn't cause so much as a ripple. The only sale in Minneapolis that made the list was a $4.6 million private downtown condominium deal tied for the last slot.

"There's kind of a pause button that's been pushed on downtown condo sales," said Cynthia Froid of Keller Williams Realty's Integrity Lakes office in Minneapolis, who had a $4.23 million condo sale that just missed the list. After years without new product, the opening of The Legacy this fall put 400 new units into play. With two more projects in the works, buyers now have the upper hand and sellers are making upgrades to stay in the game, Froid said. It could take years to see which ones succeed.

Overall, luxury sales in the 16-county Twin Cities metro remain a tiny but strong part of the market. In the 12 months ending in November, sales of homes priced at $1 million or more rose 13.8 percent over the previous 12-month period, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

Luxury sales for all of 2017 totaled 638 sales, up 29.9 percent over the 491 sales in 2016. Homes priced at more than $1 million make up just 1.2 percent of all the homes in the metro area, where the median sale price for homes is $264,100. Home sales priced at more than $1 million represent 700 of the 59,510 homes sold in the 12 months ending in November, up from 615 of 61,373 homes sold the previous 12 months.


Finance & Commerce Top 10 home sales in 2018

Editor's note: These sales for the year were compiled from certificates of real estate value made public by the state or reported by the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, and

$23+ million (estimated total): 1400 Bracketts Point Road, Orono (teardown)

Description: Southways, a 12.72-acre estate with a 32,461-square-foot mansion built in 1918 for John S. Pillsbury Sr.; house demolished and estate divided into five lots; on the market for $53 million, price later dropped to $24 million in 2013. James Jundt, a retired hedge fund manager and a former Minnesota Vikings co-owner, and his wife Mary paid $5 million in 1992.

Buyer:Multiple buyers, some sales pending

Agents:Ellen DeHaven on main house, Meredith Howell on one site, Brian Benson on two sites, all of Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Seller: James and Mary Jundt, Scottsdale, Arizona

Agents: Meredith Howell, Brian K. Benson, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Listing date:Listed off and on for 10 years

Closing date:Multiple dates

$10.03 million: 555 Bushaway Road, Wayzata (teardown)

Description: A 6,001-square-foot home with seven bedrooms and nine baths, built in 1929 on 6.9 acres with 538 feet of Lake Minnetonka shoreline; to be redeveloped into multiple lots.

Buyer: Lake Properties LLC

Agent:N/A, represented by attorney

Seller:Rhino Fund LLC-R Series 2012, an entity related to the widow and surviving children of John Hawley Jr., who bought it in 1938

Agent: Matt Hermann, The Hermann Group, Edina Realty, Wayzata

Listing date:3-21-18

Closing date:6-22-18

$6.85 million: 655 Bushaway Road, Wayzata

Description: A 10,828-square foot-home with seven bedrooms and nine baths, built in 2003 on 1.24 acres

Buyer: Kenneth Ehlert

Agent:Luke Team Real Estate, Maple Grove

Seller:Carolyn Ann Taylor

Agent: Ellen DeHaven, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Listing date:8-27-18

Closing date: 10-23-18

$6.8 million: 639 Bushaway Road, Wayzata (teardown)

Description: A 5,810-square-foot home with four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, on 3 acres on Lake Minnetonka

Buyer:Bushaway Road LLC, an entity related to Cindy and Tom Redmond

Agent:Cindy Redmond, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Seller: Alan and Diane Miller

Agent: Ellen DeHaven, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Listing date: Off market

Closing date:7-24-18

$6.55 million: 3580 Northome Road, Deephaven

Description: An 8,834-square-foot home with five bedrooms and eleven bathrooms, built in 1925 on 3.58 acres with 250 feet of shoreline

Buyer: James M. and Lori M. Wehmann

Agent:Venture Real Estate Services

Seller:Trust related to Patricia Newman

Agent: Ellen DeHaven, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Listing date:1-3-18

Closing date: 10-17-18

$6.4 million: 2660 Woolsey Lane, Woodland

Description: A 13,199-square-foot home with five bedrooms and nine baths, built in 2000 on 2.7 acres with265 feet of Lake Minnetonka shoreline

Buyer:Mark A. Davis

Agent:John F. Adams, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Seller:Steven and DeAnn Liefschultz

Agents: Ellen DeHaven Real Estate Group, Jeffrey Dewing, Coldwell Banker Burnet

Listing date:10-5-17

Closing date:1-11-18

$5.5 million: 3400 Leawood Drive, Medina

Description: A 14,208-square-foot home with five bedrooms and eight baths, built in 2009 on 16 acres.

Buyer:W. Donald Larson

Agent:Tracy Larson, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Seller:Sherry G. Patterson

Agent: Katherine Onan, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata; Steve Rod, Edina Realty, Wayzata

Listing date:6-27-17

Closing date:6-14-18

$5 million: 2600 Spirit Knob Road, Woodland, (teardown)

Description: A 6,396-square-foot home with five bedrooms, seven baths, built in 1929 on 2 acres with 360 feet of Lake Minnetonka shoreline

Buyer: Richard and Nancy Hirst

Agent:Patricia Wall,BOLD Marketing Team, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Crocus Hill, St. Paul

Seller:John and Patricia Wall of Plymouth, Richard and Laura Wall of Eden Prairie, and Daniel Lee and Elizabeth Wall Lee of Sunfish Lake

Agent: Patricia Wall,BOLD Marketing Team, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Crocus Hill, St. Paul

Listing date:7-10-18

Closing date: 8-10-18

(tie) $4.6 million: 1280 Bracketts Point Road, Orono

Description: A 6,703-square-foot home with four bedrooms and six baths, built in 1987 on 1.84 acres with 300 feet of Lake Minnetonka shoreline

Buyer:Wayzata Bay LLC

Agent:Brian Benson, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Seller:Richard and Larissa Stockton

Agent: Ellen DeHaven, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata

Listing date:6-29-17

Closing date:1-29-18

(Tie) $4.6 million: Unit W71, 700 S. Second St., Minneapolis

Description: Unit W71, a two-bedroom, two-bath, 4,054-square-foot condo in the Washburn Lofts; includes three garage spaces and a storage unit

Buyer:John and Nancy Lindahl


Seller: John and Catherine Agee, Minneapolis

Agent: N/A

Listing date: Off market

Closing date:8-1-18


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Publication:Finance and Commerce
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:Dec 28, 2018
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