Michael Jackson’s famous Neverland Ranch is back up for sale, just as a new controversial documentary has thrust the late singer and his property back into the spotlight.
The Santa Barbara County, Calif., property — which was rebranded as the Sycamore Valley Ranch — is now back on the market for $31 million (USD). That’s 70 per cent lower than its original list price of $100 million in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports.
This is the second time the 2,700-acre property has lowered its asking price. The first time was in 2017 when the price was slashed to $67 million.
Suzanne Perkins, one of the real estate agents, credits the high price tag as the reason why Neverland Ranch has yet to be sold.
The timing of the new listing oddly coincides with the release of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland.”
The new two-part documentary focuses on Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both allege that Jackson molested them as children.
Robson and Safechuck met Jackson when they were five and eight, respectively. They were invited to stay at Neverland Ranch when they were kids, which is where they both say they were sexually abused by the late singer.
Jackson, who died in 2009, denied all child sexual abuse allegations against him when he was alive. And in 2005, a jury found him not guilty of child molestation charges.
Despite the odd timing for the relisting, an attorney for Jackson’s estate said it’s unrelated to the release of HBO’s documentary, Newser reports. Real estate agent Kyle Forsyth also noted that “the timing is right” for the property to sell now, “with the drought ending and the Santa Ynez Valley in full bloom.”
Jackson bought the now-famous property in 1987 for $19.5 million and named it after the fantasy land in J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. The late pop star lived in the main house at Neverland Ranch for 15 years and moved out following his 2005 molestation trial.
The property is now owned by both Jackson’s estate and a fund managed by Colony Capital.
According to Wayne S. Natale, a real estate broker at Village Properties, Santa Ynez Valley listings that are priced at $3 million or more tend to be on the market for two to three years, which could explain why the Neverland Ranch is still up for sale.
Additionally, the luxury market has slowed down. “The uber-luxury high-end market is not anywhere near where it was three, four, five years ago,” Brendon DeSimone, a real estate expert at Zillow.com, told Bloomberg. “There are only so many billionaires who can afford to buy these homes.”