The U.S. housing market is on its way to recovery since its collapse in 2008, but it’s the highest end of the luxury real estate that is leading the way. The super wealthy are spending on the trophy properties around the U.S., though high-end New York City real estate including Manhattan condos is where the billionaires are rushing to invest in, and cities like San Francisco, Miami and Malibu too have lured ultra wealthy buyers spending to own a luxury property. We have earlier seen the most expensive homes owned by the billionaires across the globe, and here we take a look at the biggest deals of the year 2012. The year started off with a bang with Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the daughter of Russian fertilizer king Dmitry Rybolovlev spending $88 million on a New York apartment, then David Geffen bought the most expensive Manhattan Co-Op for $54 million, and later Gianni Versace's home Casa Casuarina got listed for whopping $125 million. And throughout the year world’s richest celebrities and business moguls have snapped up multi-million dollar luxury estates and penthouses in the world's most expensive U.S. zip codes, which notably includes addresses in Manhattan, California, Miami-Beach, Florida, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Buyer: Anonymous, speculated to be Russian
Purchase Price: $90 million
Location: One 57, 157 West 57th Street, Manhattan, New York
The penthouse is intended to be used as a residential apartment. However, all the details pertaining to the deal remains shrouded in mystery. The One57, which is NYC’s tallest residential building, offers mesmerizing views of Central Park. It packs within itself a Park Hyatt, which stands directly underneath the condominium units.
Buyer: Russian Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev's daughter, Ekatarina
Purchase Price: $88 million
Location: 15, Central Park West, Manhattan, New York
With 7 walk-in closets, 10 bedrooms, wrap-around terrace, a den with its bar in the apartment, this 6,744 sq ft penthouse with color-matched granite marble stands on the top floor of the building, with supreme panoramic views of the central park of the city.
The balconies are known to occupy around 2,077 sq ft of space overlooking the Manhattan city skyline, with Central Park being the prime view.
Buyer: David Geffen - American record executive, film producer, theatrical producer, and philanthropist.
Purchase Price: $54 million
Location: Central Park penthouse on 785 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York
The wealthy socialite Denis Rich’s ultra-lavish 5th Avenue penthouse, in which even the Prime Minister of Qatar showed his buying interest was bought by billionaire media mogul David Geffen.
This 12,000-square foot lavish spread was originally listed for $65 million back in January 2012.
David Geffen’s new penthouse which occupies the top 2 floors of Fifth Avenues white-glove Parc Cinq Cooperative, comes complete with 11ft ceilings, custom mahogany doors, and currently boasts 7 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, a wood paneled library with wet bar, private roof-top garden and staff quarters.
Full-floor apartments in One57 New York
Buyer: Canadian billionaire fashion mogul Lawrence Stroll and his Hong Kong business partner Silas Chou
Purchase Price: $50 million
Location: NYC’s tallest apartment building One57, located between 6th and 7th Avenues, Manhattan, New York
The Canadian billionaire fashion mogul Lawrence Stroll and his Hong Kong business partner Silas Chou bought $50 million pads at One57, which is an iconic transformation of the New York skyline, and is designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winning architect Christian De Portzamparc.
Both the buyers bought the homes above the 80th floor in the NYC’s tallest apartment building.
Buyer: Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani - Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar
Purchase Price: $47 Million
Location: 22 East 71st Street, Manhattan, New York City. In the neighborhood of Breakfast at Tiffany’s 169 East 71st Street townhouse which got sold for just $6 million.
Built back in 1922, Qatar prime minister’s new 45-feet-wide, 22,000 sq ft. five floor neo-Italian Renaissance Manhattan mansion boasts of a grand marble arched entryway and curved main staircase.
The deal was reportedly done with huge secrecy and without a broker.
The seller, real estate tycoon in New York Aby Rosen originally listed home in 2008, to become one of the New York City's most expensive listing, but dropped the price to $50 million after refusing two offers of over $60 million.
Buyer: Anonymous Russian multi-millionaire
Purchase Price: $47 million
Location: 3 INDIAN CREEK DR, Indian Creek, Florida, 33154, USA.
Situated near Miami’s Biscayne Bay, this lavish and grand 30,000 sq. ft mansion boasting 10-bedrooms and 14-bathrooms is comprised of a series of pavilions which are interconnected by beautifully crafted stone walkways and lush garden walls, and grants truly a unique level of privacy and security.
South Florida’s most expensive property, the 3 Indian Creek Island estate was constructed across a series of limestone pavilions divided by water ways with koi ponds, in a ‘conceptual’ style by acclaimed architect Rene Gonzalez.
Indian Creek Island mansion
Buyer: Edward S. ‘Eddie’ Lampert - Hedge fund billionaire
Purchase Price: $38.4 million
Location: Indian Creek Island, Florida
The chairman of Sears Holdings Corporation and ESL Investments, the America businessman and investor Eddie Lampert purchased Indian Creek Island mansion which sits on 2.7 acres of land, and includes the main 17,000 square foot mansion which has most modern amenities including a private reflective pool.
The earlier owners spent an almost equal amount of the final price trying to redo the place. And, over a period of a few years, they managed to get the mansion bought down and redone in an Italian avatar, which is known to its intricate craftsmanship and unique setting.
Buyer: Larry Ellison – Oracle CEO
Purchase Price: $37 million
Location: Malibu’s ‘Billionaire’s Beach’, U.S.
Larry Ellison, who already owns numerous homes along the coveted Carbon Beach, has bought this fabulous Malibu house from former Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel.
This three-quarter-acre lot was originally listed for $50 million, and includes three structures; the home, a lavish guest house and a barrel-ceiling screened room. The property has 9 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and 10,317 sq. ft of space, along with 151 feet of beach frontage.
One of San Francisco’s most expensive Home in Billionaire Row
Buyer: Sir Jonathan Paul ‘Jony’ Ive - Apple's Design Head
Purchase Price: $17 million
Location: Located on one of the city’s most exclusive and desirable blocks at 2808 Broadway Street, San Francisco.
Known as the world’s smartest designer, the soft-spoken, thoughtful Brit who recently received Knighthood for his role as Deign Head at Apple Inc., Jonathan Ive bought the $17 million home in San Francisco’s ultra-exclusive Gold Coast ‘Billionaire Row’.
Completed back in 1927, this Willis Polk & Co. designed five-level brick house (7,274 sq. ft) is extremely well-maintained throughout history, and catches the eye with its timeless brick design, signature slate roof, and deep portico entry.
The house also boasts sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay that stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge, across Russian Hill, and to Alcatraz Island.
Scott Storch’s old Miami Beach palm Island mansion
Buyer: Bryan William 'Birdman' - American rapper, businessman and record producer, who has been described as the Frankenstein of conspicuous consumption
Purchase Price: $14.5 Million
Location: Private residence is situated in the exclusive Pal Island area, Miami Beach, United States.
Co-founder of Cash Money Records, the hip-hop icon Birdman who loves to wear at least $1 million a day, and spends money as if it’s going out of style, bought this gigantic Palm Island mansion from the Rockstar Energy Drinks co-owner Russel Weiner, who impressively made a profit of $7.75 million on his investment.
The residence features a 70-foot custom bar, 9 bedrooms, 17 baths, and 100 feet of waterfront area, private dock with ocean access, along with an impressive pool area.
Montana Broken O Ranch
Purchase Price: $132 million
Buyer: Billionaire Stan Kroenke – Louis Rams owner
Location: Montana, Western United States.
11-months after it hit the market for $132 million, the Montana's Broken O Ranch which covers 123,000 acres of land touching three counties in Montana, and more than 20 miles of the Sun River flow through the property was bought by Stan Kroenke. Previosly belonged to the late founders of Kelley-Moore Paint Company, the ranch came with 4,500 cows, including heifers and range bulls, as well as Montana's largest block of irrigated land.
Gianni Versace's home - Casa Casuarina
Seller: Peter Loftin, a telecom magnate,
List Price: $125 million
Location: Miami, U.S.
Truly a work of art, the famous designer Gianni Versace’s home Casa Casuarina which is now a boutique hotel boasts 10 bedrooms, each artistically decorated to a fantasy theme, frescoes on the ceiling and walls, statues, a large open-air courtyard and an impressive mosaic inlaid 54-foot pool lined in 24-karat gold.
It was on the steps on this very Miami mansion that Andrew Cunanan assassinated Gianni Versace. A breathtaking example of architectural marvel, the 23,400-square-foot Miami mansion packs onto itself ten bedrooms, and eleven bathrooms.
Trophy penthouse atop CitySpire condominium
Seller: Steven Klar - Long Island based real-estate developer
List Price: $100 million
Location: Atop CitySpire condominium, at 150 West 56th Street, Manhattan, New York City, United States.
Originally bought by Steven Klar in 1993 for $4.5 million, an octagon-shaped trophy penthouse was listed for $100 million to become the most expensive New York estate. Soaring over 70 stories above Manhattan’s culturally rich and vibrant Midtown neighborhood, this ultimate private getaway with 3,000 of wraparound terrace space and 135 windows offers breathtaking 360 degree views of the New York City.
Spread over three full floors numbering 73rd, 74th and 75th, this Steven Klar's penthouse apartment touts 8,000 sq. ft of interior space including six full bedrooms, nine full bathrooms, a media room, a 20-person dining room, a formal gallery and a conference room.
New York's legendary Sherry Netherland co-op apartment
Seller: Gilbert Haroche
Listed for $95 million
Location: The Sherry Netherland is located at 781 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 59th Street in Manhattan, New York City.
A full-floor residence, a co-op spanning the 18th floor of the iconic Sherry-Netherland hotel owned by Gilbert Haroche hit the market with a bang for $95 million.
Surrounded with terraces, flooded with light, and gifted with unrivaled and breathtaking views of Central Park and NYC views, this full-floor fifteen room lavish apartment in triple mint condition is certainly a once in a lifetime residence, as rarely does this kind of residence becomes available in the best in midtown NYC’s legendary Sherry Netherland.
Seller: Gerald DeBlois - A longtime resident of West Tisbury.
List Price: $92 million
Location: Located in West Tisbury, Martha Wineyard, an island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, known for being an affluent summer colony.
Known for being an exclusive and affluent summer colony that develops a fever in the hearts of its visitors from which they never recover, the Martha’s Vineyard has not only been host to world-wide elites, but also to the current President of the U.S. Barack Obama and his family for not just once, but thrice. All the elites, avid-vacationers, and uber-rich owners of private vineyards stand a lifetime chance to own 266-acre compound of gorgeous Martha’s Vineyard. Located in West Tisbury, this south-shore compound actually comprises of five separate parcels of waterfront land that also includes Big Homer’s Pond.
List Price: $78 million
Location: 172, Bliss Canyon Road, Bradbury, California 91008
The estate boasts of the best canyon, city skyline and oceanic views, and incidentally one of the most expensive codes in the US. The main house of the estate is known to be in excess of 32,000 sq ft in size, and boasts design features like long arches, manicured lawns, rare fabrication, and breathtaking infinity pool side area.
Within the main house, there are 7 massive suite bedrooms, along with 10 bathrooms, which will have French limestone finishing entirely. Besides, there is a detached 6,700 sq ft car garage that can accommodate in excess of 10 vehicles at a time, and 3-D theater.
Seller: Christopher Jeffries - Millennium Partners co-founder
Selling Price: $77.5M
Location: 50, Central Park South, New York
A part of the 12 such glorious examples sitting atop the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York, this property is known to be spread over spread over 2 floors of 30th and 31st floors of what was the St. Moritz Hotel Grand ball room, with amenities such as media room, library, display room, dining room, kitchen, and breakfast room.
The condo’s prime location close to Central Park with attached services of the hotel makes it a top notch category listing too.
The upper floor of the condo also happened to be the grand ball room of the St. Moritz Hotel, for its massive spread and high ceilings.
The Rosenthal Malibu Wine Estate
Seller: George Rosenthal - Chairman of Raleigh Enterprises
Selling Price: $59.5 million
Location: Nestled among the hills of Malibu
This 235-acre George Rosenthal’s vacation retreat which has its own GPS-scrambling private street was impressively developed over the course of 35 years.
Notably, 25-acres are dedicated to vineyards that yield wine grapes for the real estate magnate’s boutique wine label, Rosenthal.
Swain’s Neck’ new England Estate on Nantucket Island
List Price: $59 million
Seller: R.E. Phelon & Co.
Location: Nantucket Island, on a private peninsula which also has vast open private spaces for the compound.
3-sides open to the ocean; this 69-acre retreat estate has 4 different kinds of accommodations; the 2-bedroom guest, 4-bedroom owner’s house, octagonal office building, and also a boathouse.
Besides, there are 64-acres of total private space which includes generous greenery apart from a 4-bedroom classic owner’s mansion, the 2-bedroom guest villa, and also the generously pathways leading up to the buildings. The estate was bought in 1997 by Russell Dale Phelon for $7.15 million, and now it is now listed for $59 million, to become the most expensive property in New England.
World-famed Hala Ranch ‘Aspen estate’
Seller: Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud
Selling Price: $49 million
Location: This beautiful Aspen estate was located in the exclusive Starwood community, a gated residential neighborhood on the slopes of Red Mountain.
This lavish estate which includes a 56,000 Sq. ft main house that boasts 15 full bedrooms, 16-bathrooms, along with other noted amenities, was once the most expensive property ever listed in the United States in year 2006 for $135 million.
Seller: Alex Rodriguez ‘A-Rod’ - New York Yankees slugger who’s also one of the best all-round baseball players of all time
List Price: $38 million
Location: 4358 North Bay Road, Miami Beach, Florida 33140 United States.
Described to be an extraordinary new modern masterpiece, this enormous two-storey estate sitting over an acre of lush green grounds on prestigious N Bay Road in Miami Beach, is one of the best properties one could buy in Miami.
The impressive Miami Beach mega mansion boasts uninterrupted, panoramic views of the Miami Skyline and oceanfront living, along with a 2,200 sq. ft of master suite comes complete with atrium, sitting area, his and hers baths and oversized closets.
Calvin Klein's Former New York City Duplex Penthouse
Seller: Ex-record executive Steve Gottlieb
Listed for: $35M
Location: Fifty-Five Corporation, 55 Central Park West, PH19/20 - Lincoln Square, New York City
Featured in the movies Superman and Ghostbusters, a grand and rarely lived-in duplex with two terraces, which was created with an extensive amount of architectural planning, design, and over $5 million of improvements, was listed for $35M. This class-apart empty 12-room architectural masterpiece at the iconic Art-Deco co-op. was last home to renowned fashion designer Calvin Klein who lived there in the 1990s and interestingly tore down all the interior walls in an act of minimalism and installed a hot tub on the roof.
With over 300 linear feet fronting Central Park, this residence boasting spectacular views of Central Park and Manhattan skyline, now comes with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, double height tower room, and a glass-enclosed garden room ‘pavilion’ facing the expansive east-side terrace.
Seller: Doug Engmann - Former chairman of the Pacific Stock Exchange
List Price: $30 million
Location: Sited in San Francisco’s pinnacle Pacific Heights on almost two-thirds of an acre with a 142-foor frontage and a rear perimeter of 191 feet.
Described as one of San Francisco’s largest private residential parcels, this gigantic 1894 built 13,500 sq. ft Queen Anne style mansion sitting on a lot totaling 26,000 sq. ft, boasts breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay, Angel Island State Park, downtown financial centers and Alcatraz Island. This legendary estate is so huge that it can easily accommodate over 500 guests, and has been the host to many fabulous events, both large-scale and intimate family-friendly.
It was originally designed by architect E.A. Hermann for Captain Hermann Meyer and his wife and 8 children. This house beautifully wrapped by glorious formal gardens and terraces which also notably served as the 1984 Decorator’s Showcase.
Rhode Island Estate comes with a private dock
Seller: Dorrance ‘Dodo’ Hamilton - Campbell’s Soup Heiress
List Price: $15.8 million
Location: This oceanic front property is located in Newport, Rhode Island 02840, United States.
Sited on the most sought-after and dramatic stretch of Ocean Drive at affluent price’s Neck Cove, this single family shingle-style colonial home was actually designed by the collaborative duo of Irving Gill and Frederick law Olmstead in 1902.
Widely known by the name of ‘Wildacre’, this 8,200 sq ft. luxurious residence has been meticulously restored from both outside and inside.
Seller: Patricia Gucci - Granddaughter of Guccio Gucci, and the only child of Italian fashion mogul Aldo Gucci.
List Price: $9 Million
Location: Boasting breathtaking panoramic canyon, city and mountain views, this restorative, magical retreat located at 57425 Palm Seco Circle.
Now based in Switzerland, the Gucci heiress who was once appointed to the board of Gucci is selling the estate because she lives too far away to enjoy the home. As she said, "My life and family are in Europe now, and I no longer have time to enjoy this little corner of paradise."
Sited on 23 acres in the hills above Palm Desert, this exceptional estate includes an 11,000 sq/ft Moroccan-style main house which boasts 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a library, fully-equipped kitchen, and a movie theater.
Seller: Steve Chen - YouTube Cofounder
List Price: $8,000,000
Location: The Ritz Carlton Club and Residences, San Francisco, CA 94104 United States
Taiwanese-born American internet entrepreneur and YouTube’s co-founder Steve Chen has listed his penthouse perched in the Financial District’s sky bringing iconic City-by-the-Bay vistas into full panorama, at the Ritz Carlton Residences.
Steve Chen bought this luxurious 3,063 square feet duplex for $4.58 million, and spent 21 months working closely with noted architect Joel Snader to turn it into a technology enthusiasts' dream residence. Chen is selling it as he had a second child, and wanted to move to the suburbs of the South Bay with his beloved wife.
Heath Hall ‘Britain’s most expensive home’
Seller: Property magnate Andreas Panayiotou
List Price: $158 million
Location: The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead ‘Billionaire Row’, United Kingdom
The outlandish Heath Hall on London’s ultra-exclusive The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead, which was originally built back in 1910 for a renowned sugar magnate William Park Lyle of the Tate & Lyle, was listed for $158 million, to become the most expensive home for sale in UK.
Notably, the current owner Mr. Panayiotou reportedly employed a team of 120 tradesmen for the glorious and extensive renovation, adding a further of 8,000 sq. ft to the already substantial 19,000 square feet. Set in 2.5 acres of meticulously manicured gardens, the home is one of the largest private properties in whole of London, and will come with a stamp duty fee of $11.1 million.