Saturday, November 29, 2008

World's Most Expensive Homes (Sigh - I Wish)

Forbes has released this year's list of the Top-10 most expensive homes in the world (based on their criteria).

Property investment experts around the globe are saying that it's going to be very ugly in 2009, and sellers of the world's highest-priced properties will not be immune.

According to Forbes - "Last month, investor Marty Zweig pulled the plug on his $US70 million Pierre Hotel penthouse listing after four years on the market. Financier Leonard Ross, who had asked $165 million for the Hearst Mansion in Beverly Hills, California, de-listed it in September. That means a $125 million Holmby Hills estate, sandwiched between Beverly Hills and Bel Air, rises from No. 2 to first on our list. The property known as Fleur de Lys doesn't disappoint with its 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms and Versailles-style accoutrements. It's also a sign of the times; the last time a $125 million home nabbed the top honor was in 2005."

In May this year, Donald Trump's sold his "Maison de L'Amitie" in Palm Beach Florida, to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev for a cool $100 million. Not a bad profit for Mr Trump, given that he bought the home just four years ago for $41.4 million.

Making The Top 10 (by Matt Woolsey of Forbes):

"Our list comes from property listings, high-end brokerages and conversations with real estate agents. The list is made up of homes on the market and not pricey properties that sold this year. We include only publicly listed properties; in Europe, especially, estates and luxury residences that might qualify are shopped privately for undisclosed prices.

"In general, the most expensive estates in France are private mansions inside Paris called 'hotels particulieurs' with prices which can be above 100 million euros ($125 million)," says Thierry Journiac of Terra Cognita, a French brokerage.

This practice makes it difficult to gauge the top of the market. In August, an unlisted Belle Epoque mansion on 20 acres of the French Riviera that once belonged to King Leopold II of Belgium sold to an unnamed Russian for $750 million. Not putting a public price tag on properties can give sellers more leeway to demand a high price. It also saves them the Trump-like embarrassment of having to publicly mark down a house $25 million if the market softens.

The Riviera sale shows that those flush with cash are still looking for prime properties. After all, to a billionaire looking for a fourth or fifth trophy property, the emotional connection can often drive the decision, either because the homes are impossible-to-duplicate works of art or because billionaires keep score with one another when it comes to fine possessions."


Lake Tahoe, Nevada. $100 million: This 210-acre property main house has 20,000 square feet of living space and a 3,500-bottle wine cellar. An indoor swimming pool and atrium, as well as a 19-seat movie theatre.

Windlesham, Surrey $110 million: Larger than either Buckingham or Hampton Court palace, this 103-room home has 58 acres of gardens, making it the idyllic English country home for those flush with cash.

Moscow, Russia $100m: This property consists of a 11,700-square-foot manor house, two 4,000-square-foot guest houses and a recreation centre, pool, Turkish and Russian baths, a gym, sauna and lounges

Southampton, N.Y. $80 million: This features nine bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, four powder rooms and a movie theatre and is situated on waterfront

Pagosa Springs, Colorado. $88m BootJack Ranch includes 3,100 acres of land with the main house 13,800 square feet with four bedrooms and four bathrooms

Fleur de Lys in Beverly Hills is modelled after Louis XIV's palace at Versailles

Côte d'Azur $88 million: On the French Riviera, this 11-bedroom, 14-bathroom mansion has 29,000 square feet of interior space, manicured lawns and swimming pool.

Greenwich, Conn. $125 m: On 40 acres of rolling hills, this Jacobean manor has 21,897 square feet, 14 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms and 52-foot-long indoor swimming pool.

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