The housing correction is toxic for Britney Spears

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Britney Spears just sold her luxurious Calabasas, Calif., home for $10.1 million a mere eight months after buying it. It shows that the 41-year-old singer, once deemed the Princess of Pop, isn’t immune to the housing market’s correction, taking a $1.7 million loss with the sale, according to Variety’s real estate vertical, Dirt. She might well quote one of her big hits: “You’re toxic, I’m slippin’ under.” But a closer look at this transaction reveals a lot about housing prices in the luxury segment, in southern California, and in the country as a whole.

Spears purchased her former home for $11.8 million last summer after marrying trainer Sam Asghari, nearly a year after her decade-plus-long conservatorship was brought to an end, meaning this was one of the first major purchases she was able to make without court oversight. At the time of Spears’ initial purchase of the home, a source told People that it was important to Spears to have a “home that she picked up without having to ask for approval.”

The seven-bedroom mansion is located in the Estate at the Oaks neighborhood and sits on 1.6 acres, with a guest cottage, a pool with waterfalls, and a movie theater. Spears reportedly sold the home due to privacy concerns, according to Elle Decor. But she’s still living large in her nearby mansion in Thousand Oaks, which she purchased under conservatorship back in 2015. 

Nonetheless, the economic environment is not exactly lending itself to luxury home buyers, or sellers for that matter. The housing market is correcting itself after mortgage rates surged in 2022 following home prices skyrocketing during the Pandemic Housing Boom, and it’s been particularly hard in western markets that are experiencing near-double-digit home price declines. Not to mention that the luxury segment is also correcting, with fewer buyers choosing to spend big—and Spears’ former home falls into both camps. 

Luxury home sales fell 38.1% year over year during the three months ending with Nov. 30 of last year, according to Redfin. That’s the biggest decline since at least 2012, which is how far back Redfin’s records go. Coastal markets, mostly those in California, led the decline. San Diego saw a 60.4% decline during the same period, while San Jose, Riverside, and Anaheim all saw market declines of more than 55%. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis (see chart below), home values in greater Los Angeles are down 3.4% from their 2022 peak, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. Without seasonal adjustment, greater Los Angeles home values are down 8.2%. (Nationally, U.S. home prices are down 2.7% from their 2022 peak.)

The Calabasas home was listed by Bryce Pennel, director of luxury real estate at Compass, who did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment. The buyer, according to Dirt, is Ezekiel Tyson Jr., a Dallas-based attorney and veteran real estate investor.

Pennel told Fox News that the primary goal was to sell the home as quickly and painlessly as possible, because homes in the neighborhood typically sit on the market for over a year and go through price reduction before finally selling. 

“I sourced a buyer in under seven days and negotiated a non-contingent all-cash offer that closed in three business days,” Pennel told Fox. “It was discussed and mutually agreed upon that we would rather take the slam dunk than risk selling even lower one year from now, after months of accrued carrying costs and expenses.”

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