Even Hollywood's rich and famous can't avoid the housing downturn that's sweeping the nation. In Los Angeles, only 4,430 homes were sold in December, down 48% from the previous year. And prices fell 11% to an average $470,000.
Of course, celebrity homes cost much more than that. An entry-level house for an up-and-coming star costs at least $1.4 million in L.A., say experts. Realtor Barry Sloane of Sotheby's International Realty says it's the owners trying to sell homes in the $3 million to $6 million range that are having the most trouble.
"A lot of those people are involved, in one way or another, with the strike," says Sloane. "They're upgrading from lesser houses that they're having trouble selling because of the market, so it's like a domino effect."
Young rocker Avril Lavigne has had to reduce the price on her five-bedroom, six-bath house in Beverly Hills from $6.9 million to $5.8 million. The property is currently in escrow. The Hollywood Hills home is in a gated community just off Mulholland Drive, and includes a tennis court and pool. Since she put the house on the market in February 2007, two offers have fallen through. In the public listing, her agent calls the house "One of the best values on the market today."
When it comes to real estate, stars generally aren't treated any differently than other rich people. Mark Davis, who runs the celebrity real estate site The Real Estalker says homes generally don't demand a premium just because a celebrity was living there. At the same time, famous buyers are unlikely to get any kind of a bargain, since sellers often push famous folks to pay full price.