Lachlan Murdoch Reportedly Buys $150 Million Bel Air Mansion

(Updated: 11:31 a.m. EST, 12/12/2019)

Topline: The Bel Air, French chateau-style mansion and estate made famous by TV’s The Beverly Hillbillies sold for $150 million, setting a California price record⁠—with the new owner reported to be Lachlan Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

  • Known as the Chartwell Mansion, the property’s exterior was featured in the opening credits of The Beverly Hillbillies, which ran on CBS from 1962 to 1971.
  • The 25,000-square-foot mansion, which has 18 bedrooms, 24 bathrooms and a wine cellar that can hold up to 12,500 bottles, sits on 10 acres—and was originally listed at $350 million when it went on the market in 2017.
  • Chartwell’s property includes a 75-foot swimming pool, a guesthouse, a tennis court and elaborate gardens with fountains⁠—as well as land that was once the residence of President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan. 
  • Murdoch will face one of the area’s highest annual property tax bills at $1.3 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Wall Street Journal first reported that Murdoch was the Chartwell buyer, but he did not respond to the Journal’s story.
  • According to the Journal, Chartwell was last renovated in 1986 and could require another update that would cost in the tens of millions.

Big number: Chartwell’s sale might be the second most-expensive real estate deal in the U.S. In first place is the $238 million, 24,000-square-foot Manhattan apartment purchased by billionaire Ken Griffin in January. (Forbes estimates Griffin’s net worth to be $13 billion.)

Key background: Chartwell’s previous owner was Jerry Perenchio, the billionaire chairman of Univision. Before his death in May 2017, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.8 billion. Los Angeles, where Chartwell is located, has seen at least six real estate sales at $100 million or more since 2016. Prior to Chartwell’s sale, a 56,000-square-foot Holmby Hills property called The Manor sold for $119 million in July, which the Los Angeles Times reported to be a county record. 

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