In 2010 we did this post on the Most Expensive Homes in the World. Since then, the value of the super-rich has increased many times over inflation. Business news site CNBC in the U.S states that in 1985 there were the 13 billionaires in America; today, there are over 1000. The famed 1% of individuals in terms of wealth control more wealth than the first 90% combined.
All this is fuelling a property boom for the mega-rich, while the rest of us have to make do with stagnant or falling house prices. The Daily Mail last year reported on how bankers bonuses and the high pay culture of the City has fuelled a property boom in London, driving house prices up and out of reach of many home buyers.
All this has prompted us to review the Top 5 most expensive properties in the world again, to see if there were any new entries into the Top 5, and to see if there was an increase in the average house price as compared to 2010. It turns out the average home in the Top 5 has increased from a price of £297m in 2010 to £1.7b in 2012. There are three new entries onto this year’s list, plus 2 more that are still there from 2010.
Here are the top 5 most expensive homes for 2012 starting at number 5:
5) Hearst Mansion, Beverly Hills, California – Valued at £102 million
So called due to the fact that publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst bought the H-shaped Beverly Hills mansion for $120,000 in 1947. The home is now considered the most expensive private residence in the U.S., valued at $165m (£102m). The property was originally built in 1926. The house has a cinematic history – it was the location for the famous “horse’s head in the bed” scene from the film The Godfather, made in 1972. If you buy this property you become a resident of the famous Platinum Triangle neighbourhood in Beverly Hills, and you will have famous neighbours such as Tom Cruise, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, plus the Beckhams.
For the record, The Hearst Mansion has:
2 tennis courts
A private cinema
4) The Penthouse at One Hyde Park, London – £123 million
The website for One Hyde Park describes the property as “a residential scheme whose beauty, luxury and service place it in a class of its own on a global scale.” High praise indeed – specially coming from them! Undoubtedly a fabulous property, the Penthouse at One Hyde Park is an extra special place to live. Not nearly as big as some of its “Most Expensive” competitors, this home relies primarily on the luxury of its interiors, as well as it’s exclusive address.
Features of the One Hyde Park Penthouse include bullet proof glass, 24 hour service and concierge from the nearby Mandarin Oriental Hotel, housekeeping, a discreet SAS-trained security team, golf simulator, wine cellar and a 24hr gym. Some owners of apartments at the complex have seen substantial increases in the value of their properties since the complex was completed in 2010.Although the asking price of a One Hyde Park penthouse is over £120 million, if you can afford to go for it you might get a bargain: one of the penthouses was reportedly sold for £31 million to One Hyde Park Developer Christian Candy, some £100 million under the asking price (though as the builder he was going to get a discount!).
3) Villa Leopold, Cote D’Azur, France – £310m
This vast home came in at number 2 in our 2010 list, at a value of £250 million; it has, in 2 years, increased in value by 60 million pounds – at good investment at by any assessment! This is the sort of above inflation valuation that the mega-rich enjoy – whether on property, cars or yachts.
Villa Leopold was built, in its current incarnation, in 1929 by an American architect on an estate once owned by King Leopold II of Belgium (hence it’s name). King Leopold had made it a present for his mistress, and in WW1 it was used as a military hospital. It is regarded in France as a “monument historique”, and is the most valuable villa in the world.
Built on 29,000 sq ft in the millionaire’s playground of the French Riviera, the villa has 11 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, vast formal gardens, swimming pool, private beach front and olive tree grove. Current owners are rumoured to be a Russian Oligarch or Bill Gates.
2) Antilla, Mumbai, India – £620m
Antilla, famed for being the first $1 billion residential property in the world, has sensationally been displaced as the most expensive home 2012 – it only comes in at number 2. Before we get to number one, let’s take another look at the hyper-luxurious Antilla, located in the heart of Mumbai.
Antilla belongs to India’s richest man and one of the world’s richest men, Mukesh Ambani. Ambani is Chairman and CEO of Indian Petrochemical giant Reliance Industries. There are 600 full time staff to maintain the property, and has been described as a “Taj Mahal for the 21st Century” by the BBC.
Antilla would house Ambani. his wife, mother and three children, if they ever move in – it was reported in October last year in the Daily Mail website that the Ambanis had not moved into their new property, for fear that the home had offended Hindu feng-shui type laws, such as not having enough sunlight on the Eastern side of the home, where the sun rises. This is deemed to bring bad luck. You might have thought that they would have thought about that before they spent over £600 million on building the thing! Oh well…
Many of Antilla’s spec is already known from 2010 but is worth recapping: the property occupies 27 stories, has multiple garages to house the 168 cars in Ambani’s collection, three helipads, a hanging garden, a swimming pool, and ballroom. Let’s see if all these features are used by Ambani; or if sold, whether the home fetches a similar or greater price on the open market.
1) exclusiveHAUS, Switzerland – £7.4 billion
Yes, you read that right, this Swiss property is the number one most expensive residential property in the world at the moment (May 2012), and has been valued at a staggering £7.4 billion of your Great British Pounds. On the face of it, it seems to be a lovely, plush but not exceptional mountainside home; so why the price tag? Well, according to press reports, it’s due to the bling in it. The home was built with the collaboration of bling master Stuart Hughes whose specialty is custom built luxury, extravagantly expensive items from billion dollar yachts to million dollar ipads. The home is took five and a half years to complete, and lies in a secret location in Switzerland.
The home contains eight bedrooms, a 400 m sq terrace, and over 200,000 of solid gold and platinum fixtures and fittings. The exclusivity bar is raised further with the use of meteoric stone with shavings of T-Rex dinosaur bone embedded in each tile. These account for the expense of the property.
But before you finish “wowing” at this multi billion pound home, be aware – I read from a couple of sources that this property was a fake, a publicity stunt. So…
So that’s it, the round up of the most expensive properties in the world 2012. We have seen the properties that we saw in 2010’s list go up in value, plus some (questionable?) hugely expensive new properties to the list. Let’s see how the list looks in 2014….