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The boom in $100 million home sales

In the megahome market, $100 million is the new $50 million.

It wasn't that long ago that a $50 million home sale was big news. Now, $100 million home sales are becoming a monthly occurrence.

Three homes have already sold this year for more than $100 million. The latest, according to the New York Post, is an 18-acre oceanfront estate in the Hamptons that sold for $147 million. The buyer was reported to be hedge funder Barry Rosenstein of Jana Partners.


This 18-acre beachfront property in East Hampton reportedly sold for $147 million, breaking a record set two weeks ago for the most expensive residential property sold in the U.S.
Source: Splash News | Corbis
This 18-acre beachfront property in East Hampton reportedly sold for $147 million, breaking a record set two weeks ago for the most expensive residential property sold in the U.S.

The deal came just a few weeks after the sale of Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut. The 51-acre waterfront estate sold for a reported $120 million, although the buyer hasn't been identified. That followed close behind the $102 million sale of the Fleur de Lys estate in Los Angeles. While the buyer in that deal also hasn't been identified, several have reported that it's a "secretive French billionaire."

Read More$237M apartment sale sets record

The sales may signify nothing more than three different properties finding just the right buyer at the right time. But prior to the Big Three, there were only two existing-home sales in the U.S. believed to sell for more than $100 million. The first was the Palo Alto Loire Chateau in Los Altos Hills, Calfornia, purchased for $100 million in 2011 by Russian tech tycoon Yuri Milner.

The second was a home in nearby Woodside that was purchased last year for a reported $117 million. The buyer was reported to be billionaire Masayoshi Son of Softbank.

Other properties that sold for nine-figures were mostly land—like Ron Baron's 2007 purchase of 40 acres of land in the Hamptons for $103 million. That land is also on Further Lane, where Rosenstein reportedly made his purchase of the $147 million property.

Read MoreConnecticut estate sells for a record $120 million

Yet the recent sales show that the rise of the $100 million home is no longer fantasy in the real-estate world.

"The trophy property phenomenon is not abating," said Jonathan Miller of real-estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. "And this is a global trend, this is not unique to the U.S."

Indeed, nine-figure real-estate deals are part of a worldwide surge in megahome prices, driven by a jump in the number of billionaires looking for safer places to put their mounting piles of cash.

A 16,000-square-foot apartment in London just sold for $236 million, believed to be one of the highest—if not the highest— price ever paid for a piece of residential real estate.

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Just a few years ago, sales of more than $80 million or even $50 million were big news in certain cities. Now, "those sales of $80 million or $90 million prices look quaint," Miller said. And once one billionaire pays $100 million for a house, it's easier for others to justify it—to the public and to themselves.

"It's like they get the green light," Miller said.

The most surprising fact about the $100 million home boom is that none of the sales was in New York City. While plenty of publications predicted a $100 million sale in New York City, the Big Apple has yet to see a confirmed sale at that price.

—By CNBC's Robert Frank.

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