In recent years, a surprising number of properties have achieved values of $100 million to $200 million, but above that figure, the field narrows to just a precious handful.
The world’s most valuable residence is thought to be Buckingham Palace, home of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, worth $1.55 billion; the Queen doesn’t own the palace—it’s held in trust.
Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms, including 52 bedrooms for the royals and their guests, 188 bedrooms for staff, 78 bathrooms and 92 offices. That’s in addition to 19 staterooms—among them a state dining room, a music room and, an obvious necessity for any sitting monarch, a throne room. The ballroom is a more recent addition, built by Queen Victoria in time to celebrate the end of the Crimean War in 1856. The palace’s gardens cover some 40 acres.
Antilia, in Mumbai, valued at $1 billion, is the world’s priciest private home, versus Buckingham Palace, which is open to the public. It’s owned by the chairman of Reliance Industries, the richest person in India.
According to The Guardian, its amenities include three helipads, a 50-seat movie theater and six floors of parking space that can accommodate 168 cars. To maintain all that, Ambani employs a staff reported to number 600.
Situated on the French Riviera, Villa Leopolda, in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, is worth $750 million; once owned by King Leopold II of Belgium, it’s now owned by Lily Safra, widow of billionaire banker Edmond Safra.
The 29,000-square-foot main house reportedly has 11 bedrooms and 14 baths. There are also two guest houses, a pool, and some 20 acres of trees and gardens said to keep 50 gardeners busy fulltime. Its recent value has been estimated at $750 million.
In the swanky Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air, a mansion dubbed the One is going up that could soon be the most expensive ever built in the United States.
When finished, it will consist of a 74,000-square-foot main house plus three smaller ones, for a total of more than 100,000 square feet, according to a recent Associated Press account. The master bedroom alone will reportedly take up some 5,000 square feet, making it larger than many four-bedroom homes.
“The house will have almost every amenity available in the world,” the AP quoted its developer as writing in an e-mail. The asking price, he added, will be $500 million.
It will come complete with a four-lane bowling alley, a home cinema which makes your local Odeon look like a school film club and four separate swimming pools… well, five – if you count the moat.
The neighbours are interesting too: you’ve got Jennifer Aniston just down the road, and Elon Musk’s bachelor pad is close enough that you won’t need one of his rockets if you want to pop in and borrow some sugar.
If the Bel Air manse sells for that amount, or anywhere close, it will join a rarefied list of homes worth $300 million or more.
The architect behind the project is Paul McClean, a Hollywood designer whose recent clients include modern-day princes and princesses of Bel Air, Bitcoin billionaires like the Winklevoss twins and style icons like Calvin Klein.
But he’s outdone himself on The One. It’s a home unlike any other and that’s precisely the point.
The developer, a flash property tycoon called Niles Niami, knows he’s taken a punt by building such an opulent pad.
He splashed $28m on the land alone, swooping in before LA tightened its property regulations – making it unlikely that the city will see another giga-mansion on this scale.
But house hunters with $500m burning a hole in their pocket are hard to come by, even in the meandering hills of Bel Air, where a home with an eight-digit price tag counts as affordable.
You can probably picture a typical buyer for a house like this: a slick billionaire at the top of their game, probably a juggernaut in the tech or oil sector – or a property tycoon looking to expand the portfolio.
However, The One’s 30-car garage, full-size staff quarters and in-house casino will probably be a bit much for all but the top 0.1 per cent of the top 0.1 per cent.
Witanhurst, in London, worth $450 million, will become the second most valuable mansion in London when it’s completed.
Its interior space is expected to total some 90,000 square feet, bringing its value to an estimated $450 million.
Built in the early twentieth century by the heir to a soap fortune, the original house had 25 bedrooms. New owners have since added a second three-story villa and dug out some 40,000 square feet of basement, a space that The New Yorker recently said: “amounts to an underground village.”
Just who those new owners are has been something of a mystery. The New Yorker article, titled “House of Secrets: Who Owns London’s Most Expensive Mansion?” made the case that the owners were a publicity-shy Russian family who built its fortune in fertilizer
The world’s most-expensive apartment will likely be the in-the-works penthouse atop the Odeon Tower in Monaco, worth $400 million.
The five-story penthouse will have 35,500 square feet of interior space, including a master bedroom The Guardian describes as “the size of two and a half tennis courts.” Perhaps its most distinctive feature will be the open-air pool and curved, two-story waterslide notched into the building’s upper floors.
Checkout the Video above for other extravagant surreal mansions.