The most ex­pen­sive homes on the planet

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

One of the big­gest houses in the United States is tak­ing shape on a Los An­ge­les hill­top – a 100,000 sq ft res­i­dence com­plete with a 5,000 sq ft mas­ter bed­room and a “jel­ly­fish room” with tanks on three walls. With an out­ra­geous ask­ing price of $500mil­lion (£327mil­lion), its de­vel­oper, Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Nile Ni­ami, hopes it will be the most ex­pen­sive home ever sold. But ac­tu­ally, it has some com­pe­ti­tion.

An­tilia in Mumbai may be a 27-storey sky­scraper, but the world’s fifth rich­est man, Mukesh Am­bani, and his fam­ily call it home. Should they ever de­cide to sell, it’s said it will fetch $2bil­lion.

Un­til then, the prize for the world’s priciest home on the mar­ket could (the su­per-prime mar­ket is no­to­ri­ously se­cre­tive) be Wag­goner Ranch in Dal­las. At first glance, the Texan house may lack LA-style bling, but it has a few other fea­tures to ex­plain its $725mil­lion (£475mil­lion) price tag. The 510,000-acre es­tate comes with 500 Amer­i­can Quar­ter horses, 7,500 Here­ford cows and – a luxury you don’t get in Kens­ing­ton – 20 cow­boy camps. But cru­cially, there’s what lies be­neath – oil. The es­tate – which has never been on the mar­ket be­fore, hav­ing been owned by the Wag­goner fam­ily for 160 years – sits on one of Texas’s first oil­fields and 450,000 of its acres have yet to be drilled. “It’s the largest ranch in the US un­der one fence,” says Bernard Uechtritz, an ad­viser to es­tate agents Briggs Free­man Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Re­alty (001 214 876 1321; sothe­bysre­alty.com).

For those Texas ty­coons who miss out, there’s Wal­nut Place, a short drive from down­town Dal­las, priced at $100mil­lion (£65mil­lion). The Thir­ties-built es­tate has been re­mod­elled to in­clude a four-storey house with a “recre­ation cen­tre”, home cinema and guest­house.

Back in LA, the Mediter­raneanstyl­e Palazzo di Amore – a 35,000 sq ft house on a 25-acre Bev­erly Hills es­tate – is one of the most ex­pen­sive prop­er­ties in the US. Its owner, bil­lion­aire in­vestor Jeff Greene, whose prop­erty em­pire in­cludes 3,500 apart­ments, bought it from its pre­vi­ous own­ers for $35mil­lion in 2007 and has car­ried out a lav­ish build­ing project. The house now has 12 bed­rooms, 23 bath­rooms, park­ing for 150 cars and a vine­yard. It’s priced at £128mil­lion through Hamp­tons In­ter­na­tional (020 3151 7276; hamp­tons-in­ter­na­tional.com).

Also ap­peal­ing to Bev­erly Hills bil­lion­aires is “The Leg­endary Bev­erly House” – pub­lish­ing mag­nate Wil­liam Ran­dolph Hearst’s home on North Bev­erly Drive. Priced at $135mil­lion (001 972 380 7750; christies­realestate. com), it has one of LA’s long­est drives, which leads to a man­sion with wa­ter­falls and in­tri­cately carved ceil­ings.

In Europe, the place to look for tro­phy homes is the Cote d’Azur, where a villa in Ville­franche-sur-Mer is be­ing mar­keted for €395mil­lion while far­ther along the coast in Theoule-sur-Mer an­other es­tate is dis­creetly on sale for €200mil­lion. Both fig­ure in the world’s top five $100mil­lion-plus list­ings re­vealed by Christie’s In­ter­na­tional Real Es­tate.

In Lon­don, there are a num­ber of £100mil­lion+ prop­er­ties on the mar­ket – but you’d never know. Luxury buy­ing agents such as Ru­pert Colling­wood from The Lon­don Search Com­pany do though. He points to Park House, which sits on half an acre in South Kens­ing­ton, priced at £105mil­lion. Or there’s Cam­bridge House – bet­ter known as the In and Out Club in Pic­cadilly – avail­able for a re­puted £200mil­lion. “I don’t think it will get that, though. It’s in a high-pro­file lo­ca­tion on a busy road,” says Colling­wood. Trump­ing the lot, how­ever, is a Re­gency man­sion de­signed by John Nash on Carl­ton House Ter­race in Lon­don, avail­able for £250mil­lion. For se­cu­rity rea­sons, the cur­rent owner isn’t keen on hav­ing pho­tos taken, so any in­ter­ested par­ties will have to make do with the 1890s orig­i­nals and be pre­pared to add mod cons. But when you’re spend­ing quar­ter of a bil­lion pounds on a home, what’s a few mil­lion on its re­furb?

Su­per-prime: Wal­nut Place, Dal­las, on the mar­ket for $100m

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