What Is 'White-Boxing'?

May 3, 2018
White boxes
Photo: Unsplash/Neonbrand

An increasing number of sellers on the luxury market are stripping the furnishings and finishes from their homes to create a clean slate, known as "white-boxing," attracting buyers not wanting to pay a professional to do that work after buying.

Jade Mills, with Coldwell Banker of Beverly Hills, says, "A lot of times people will buy something totally done, beautiful and they'll still rip everything out and start over. This trend is more, buy it, do whatever you want." Josh Greer of Hilton & Hyland began work marketing a full-floor, white-boxed penthouse with Mills, tells CNBC, "There is no appetite for 'off-the-rack' with this demographic; it's all about uber-customization," adding, "now there's increasing recognition that 'designer-ready' is exceedingly more attractive than 'move-in ready' to the ultra-wealthy."

Thirty-two stories above West Hollywood, California, there is a big, empty space. A sweeping, 7,000-square-foot penthouse in the storied, iconic Sierra Towers that has been stripped down to the bare concrete bones. Listed at $58 million, with sweeping 360-degree terrace views of Los Angeles, the fact that it is empty apparently makes it more valuable. The new strategy, which is becoming increasingly popular in luxury real estate markets like New York and Los Angeles, is called "white-boxing." 

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