If you’re about to take your next step on the property ladder and need some inspiration, then you’re in the right place. Well, you are if you have a few hundred million dollars tucked away in your bank account. If you don’t, then look away now… the properties we’ll be looking at today are for the very wealthy only. Anyone wondering whether the gap between the extremely rich and the extremely poor is really as big as they say should take a quick glance at the valuation of our listed properties… if that’s not enough to convince you, I don’t know what is. Values do vary according to who you speak to, of course, with estimations sometimes varying by as much as half a mil. We’ve plowed the data from numerous sources such as Forbes (as well as Just Richest) to come up with the best list we could:
20. Kensington Palace Gardens, UK. Value: $90 million
Owned by Indian Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, Kensington Palace Gardens just scrapes into our top 20 with an estimated worth of $90 million. Located on the aptly titled “Billionaire’s Row” in London, the 55000 square foot mansion (which was previously owned by Formula One icon Bernie Ecclestone) has received a complete makeover under the hands of Mittal; the newly christened “Taj Mittal” boasts 12 huge bedrooms, a mammoth pool, and marble mined from the very same quarry as the one used to decorate the actual Taj Mahal. The sum total of Mittal’s efforts amounts to a hefty $90 million.
19. Broken O Ranch, US. Value: $90-135 million
Real estate and sports magnate Stanley Kroenke has plowed huge amounts of his $8.8 B fortune into the Broken O Ranch in Augusta, Montana, and it shows. Stretching across 124,00 acres, the property is an all-singing, all-dancing agricultural showpiece, housing thousands of livestock and producing over 700,000 bushels of crops a year. Described as one of the “most grand and significant ranches of the Rocky Mountain West”, the Broken O Ranch is just one of Kroenke’s properties: along with his wife Ann Walton-Kroenke (the niece of Walton founder Sam Walton), Kroenke owns three more ranches and hundreds of other properties (both commercial and residential) scattered around the US.
18. Maison de L’Amitie, US. Value: $85 million
In 2008, a Russian billionaire and a future US president made a deal. The end result saw Donald Trump’s bank balance grow by $95 million, and the Russian billionaire’s (investor Dmitry Rybolovlev) property portfolio grow to include the delightful Maison de L’Amitie. Replete with a 475-foot-long private beach, enough parking space to accommodate 50 cards, 18 ensuite bedrooms, and more gold and diamond trims than you’d usually find in a world-class jeweler, the property is one of the most extravagant on Palm Beach.
17. Silicon Valley Mansion, US. Value: $100 million
Another high-end property owned by a Russian billionaire is the Los Altos Hill residence, Silicon Valley Mansion. The owner in this case is one Yuri Milner, a venture capitalist, and physicist estimated by Forbes to be worth $3.5 billion. With that kind of wealth, the comparatively paltry $100 million he laid down on this 25,000 square foot mansion (which, amongst other things, boasts 14 bathrooms, 2 dining rooms, a game room, both an indoor and outdoor pool, a ballroom and its very own theatre), must have seemed pretty insignificant by comparison.
16. Fleur de Lys Mansion, US. Value: $102 million
Occupying a 4.6 acre plot in Holmy Hills, California, the Fleur de Lys estate may have a vague ownership (after original owners David and Suzanne Saperstein separated, Suzanne sold the property to an unknown French billionaire), but its value is in no doubt: at the time of its sale, it was the highest-priced property to ever be sold in LA. A quick glance through its interior gives you some idea of why it reached its $102 million retail value: with 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, a ballroom, a tennis court, a pool, a 9 car garage, and a cinema big enough to put most Odeon’s to shame, it’s one of the largest and most luxurious properties for miles.
15. Further Lane de Menil: Value: $103 million
The opulent Further Lane de Menil is currently owned by the president and CEO of Del-One FCU, Ron Baron, a buy-and-hold investor whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be in the region of $2.2 billion. Baron purchased the 50 acres of undeveloped land back in 2007 for the sum of $103 million, with the intention of building his dream Hampton’s residence.
14. Mountain Home Road, US. Value: $117.5 million
Featuring a pool with an 1170 square-foot portico, a library, a leisure building and some of the most stunning landscaped gardens you’ll find anywhere else in the surrounding town of Woodside, California, there’s no doubt Mountain Home Road is worth every cent of its $117.5 million value. The property is currently owned by Japanese billionaire businessman Masayoshi Son, a man who Forbes believes is worth a massive $22.1B, making him the 2nd richest person in Japan.
13. Copper Beech Farm, US. Value: $120 million
The 129-year-old Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut, is a masterpiece in restrained sophistication. Since the previous owner, John Rudey, sold the mansion in 2014 in a concealed sale, the new owner has been keen to keep their identity a secret… although perhaps they’re just too busy having fun on one of the property’s two islands, 8 bathrooms, grass tennis court, Olympic sized pool, wood-paneled library or 12 bedrooms to bother revealing their name to the press.
12. Xanadu 2.0, US. Value: $121 million
Who would have guessed the home of the 2nd richest man in the world would make it to a list of the world’s most expensive properties? These days, Microsoft founder Bill Gates may spend more time giving away money than making it, but that doesn’t stop him enjoying a little luxury. And luxury he most certainly has at the extraordinary “Xanadu 2.0” in Seattle. Featuring a pool with an underwater sound system, a gym with over 2500 square feet, 2100 square feet of library space and a mammoth 6300 square foot garage, there’s certainly no doubt that Bill Gates is a man of both wealth and taste.
11. Upper Phillimore Gardens, UK. Value: $126 million
The 2nd London entry to make our list is the expansive Upper Phillimore Gardens in Kensington. The Victorian mansion is currently owned by Ukrainian oligarch and philanthropist, Victor Pinchuk, a man whose extreme wealth has earned him the position of 1605th richest man in the world. Further to extensive renovations, the villa features an underground pool, a spa, a gym, a cinema, 10 bedrooms, and, just in case a guest gets a little anxious during their stay, a state-of-the-art panic room.
10. Blossom Estate, US. Value: $130 million
Just creeping into the top ten is the charming Palm Beach residence, Blossom Estate. Currently owned by the obscenely wealthy Ken Griffin (an American investor, hedge fund manager and philanthropist who’s best known as the founding CEO of global investment firm, Citadel), the sprawling oceanfront property spreads across 8 acres and boasts all the usual pools, gyms, multiple bedrooms and luxurious bathrooms you’d expect of a $130 million-dollar residence.
9. Kensington Palace Gardens, UK. Value: $140 million
Billionaire’s Row in Kensington makes its second appearance on our list thanks to Roman Abramovich’s palatial residence. With plans to incorporate a health center, an underground tennis court, and even a museum into its grounds, it’s easy to see where this Russian oligarch’s $12.4 billion fortune will be going over the next few years.
8. The Pinnacle, US. Value: $155 million
There’re not many private residences in the world with their very own skiing slope, but then again, there’re not many private residences in the world like The Pinnacle, period. Owned by billionaire Tim Blixseth, the magnificent 10-bedroom sprawling property in Big Sur, Montana has the distinction of being the largest house in the Yellowstone Club. With access to its own private skiing and golfing facilities, a ski lift, a mammoth wine cellar (stacked, no doubt, with some of the finest wines from around the globe), a gym, heated flooring and several pools, it’s easy to understand why its value stands at a stonking $155 million.
7. Ellison Estate, US. Value: $200 million
Next on our list is the Ellison Estate, a stunning abode that’s currently home to Larry Ellison, co-founder of software giant Oracle and, as of 2019, 7th richest man in the world. It’s easy to see where Ellison has been spending the $65.7 billion Forbes reckons he owns: the estate, which consists of 10 separate buildings, stretches across 23 acres and features numerous exquisite, Japanese-inspired structures, including 2 man-made lakes (one dedicated to Koi and the other, we’d assume, to leisure), a gorgeous Asian style tearoom, a horse farm, and a bath house.
6. One Hyde Park Penthouse, UK. Value: $221 million
Since 2011, the sale of the 86-residences homed within One Hyde Park has bought in its owner, Rinat Akhmetov, around $3.37 (which may explain why Forbes. The property’s penthouse is valued at around $221 million, which may seem an extortionate amount for an apartment, but when you consider the amenities (16000 square foot of space, bulletproof glass windows, and doors, armed guards (security is clearly no laughing matter when you’ve got the cash to splash on one of these babies), a cavernous basement garage, a premium spa, a golf course, valet services… the list doesn’t stop there, but to avoid enticing the green-eyed monster, I will instead.
5. 18 -19 Kensington Palace Gardens, UK. Value: $222 million
Another property to have fallen into the hands of Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal on Billionaire’s Row is 18 -19 Kensington Palace Gardens. These days, the property may come with enough luxurious touches to tempt the world’s richest (previous owners include the Rothschild family and Bernie Ecclestone), but rewind 70 years or so, and the palace was a hive of the industry after being commandeered by the British government as office space during the second world war. These days, it’s a paean to opulence, featuring marble floors, Turkish baths, swimming pools and all the other sumptuous elements befitting of one of the most expensive houses in the world.
4. Four Fairfield Pond, US. Value: $249 million
Just missing out on a place in the top three is Four Fairfield Pond, a hulking mansion occupying a prime, oceanfront position in Sagaponack, New York. With 39 bathrooms, 29 bedrooms, multiple squash, tennis, baseball courts and bowling alleys, 3 swimming pools and a giant 31-foot long formal dining room, the sprawling estate is considered to be the largest residential properties in the entire US (although with its own power plant on site, the line between residential and commercial may have been slightly crossed in this case).
3. Villa La Leopolda, France. Value: $750 million
Big enough to warrant its own Wikipedia entry, Villa La Leopolda is, as Wiki helpfully explains, a “large detached villa in Villefranche-sur-Mer, in the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera”. Officially registered as a “monument historique” (or heritage site, for the non-French speakers among us) the stunning site has been used as the backdrop for numerous films over the years, including Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 classic To Catch a Thief. Currently owned by Brazilian billionaire and philanthropist, Lily Safra, the Villa features 19-bedrooms, numerous sports courts, a private cinema, a bowling alley, and many unique pieces of period art.
2. Antilia, India. Value: $1 billion
Just missing out on a place at the top of our list is the extraordinary Antilia residence in Mumbai, India. The property, which is currently owned by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India and 13th richest in the world, occupies a vast 40000 square feet of space, has 27 stories (and hopefully, an elevator), a spa, landscaped gardens, three helipads, an ice-room complete with artificial snow, a yoga studio, a ballroom, and its very own Hindu temple.
1. Buckingham Palace UK. Value: $1.5 billion
As the official residence of the Queen of the United Kingdom, Buckingham Palace may technically be funded by the long-suffering British taxpayer, but as one of the most touristic attractions in the UK, it brings in enough overseas cash to pretty much pay for itself these days. A quick glance through its interior will tell you everything you need to know about why it commands such a mammoth value: with 775 rooms consisting of 78 bathrooms, 92 offices, 19 staterooms, 52 imperial visitor rooms, and 188 staff quarters, along with a balcony that’s been the scene of some of the most photographed moments of the last 168 years (ever since Queen Victoria stepped out onto it doing the opening celebrations of the Great Exhibition), its easy to see why it ranks as the most expensive property in the world.