When the economy is still sputtering and jobs are still hard to come by, average Americans are seeing their homes lose value and rents going up. But that happens to the super rich, too. In fact, the number of homes with rents that top six figures is rising. Demand is high and supply is short in the “trophy home” market, with tenants who are willing to pay each month what many of us would like to earn in a year.
For example, in Manhattan, the wealthy can rent an apartment where composer Cole Porter once lived. It has five bedrooms and five and a half baths, and rents for $150,000 per month. It’s located in the Waldorf Hotel, so tenants also get twice-a-day maid service. Another suite on the same floor rents for just $135,000—a savings of $15,000! per month
On the West Coast, several Beverly Hills homes fit into the $100K and over category. One boasts a disco and tennis court and goes for $195,000 per month. Beverly Hills is popular with actors and musicians who are in town for short periods of time and want luxurious mansions.
Brokers who work with the tenants who can afford these rentals say their clients are often celebrities like Beyoncé, foreigners, such as Saudi royalty, or entrepreneurs who need short-term housing. They want security and privacy, along with room for their staff of chefs, nannies, personal trainers and chauffeurs.
Other mega-rich tenants have a lot in common with an increasing number of “average” renters—they simply want flexibility in their housing. Rather than owning a home that may or may not sell when they’re ready to move, renting offers them the ability to move without hassle whenever they want—to a place like the Malibu beachfront home owned by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, with a $150,000 monthly rent.