Housing Slump Hits Hollywood Hard

If the overleveraged, golden-parachute-wearing bank execs who brought down the financial system didn’t elicit enough derision, here’s another high-profile subject to invite to the party: the real-estate-devalued Hollywood celebrity. According to an article last month in Forbes, celebs such as Avril Lavigne (now there’s a name you probably haven’t thought about for a long time), G&R guitarist Slash, TV personality Ed McMahon, and “That ‘70s Show” star Wilmer Valderrama have been hit hard by the burst of the real estate bubble.

Pop princess in disguise Lavigne had to downgrade the asking price on her 5bd/6ba Beverly Hills pad from $6.9 million to $5.8 million. Slash bought a Spanish-style Hollywood Hills house in January 2006 for $6.2 million but sold it last December for only $5.7 million. He is now suing his former real estate agent for misleading him about the merits of the property. Welcome to the jungle, Slash.

The stories are the same for McMahon and Valderrama, just change the numbers and locations—but not by much. According to the article, it’s the homes in the $3 million to $6 million range that are having trouble finding buyers, and a famous former inhabitant generally does little to induce bids. Not surprisingly, celebs are also pressured to pay full price when they’re buying because, well, they’re celebrities.

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