Saleroom has a problem with a house

While the sub-prime crisis rumbles on, at the other end of the housing market there are problems too. Richard Neutra’s house for Edgar Kaufmann in Palm Springs (above) found a buyer at Christie’s contemporary sale on 13 May —but only for a week. The auction house had included the five-bedroom house in its evening sale of contemporary art, between works by Richard Prince and Damien Hirst.

The consigners were Beth and Brent Harris who had owned and restored the house since 1993 and are now divorcing. An anonymous bidder paid $16.8m (est $15m-$25m) but a week later changed his mind. “The Kaufmann House contract has been terminated by the seller by reason of a breach of its terms by the buyer,” said Milena Sales, Christie’s spokes-woman. Christie’s press office declined to elaborate on the possible future sale of the house and calls to the consignors’ attorney in Los Angeles were not returned.

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