Last year wasn’t exactly the best on record for the prime real estate marketplace, but even as a certain global pandemic extends further into its second year, things seem to be slowly bouncing back. Manhattan and other big cities made a rebound in 2021 as people slowly returned to in-office work, resulting in one of the Big Apple’s best years in terms of luxury sales in well over a decade. Some pandemic trends still persisted, though, like the slew of private islands that returned to market, aiming to capitalize on buyers’ desire to have a paradisal escape in their back pocket in case of future global crises.
One of the biggest changes to look out for next year is the return of buying internationally. As travel becomes more and more commonplace, you can expect to sales of more multi-million-dollar listings in major metropolises. As for 2021, there’s still plenty of incredible homes to choose from. Below, our list of the 25 most expensive homes currently on the market around the world.
25. Pumpkin Key, Florida Keys, Florida — $95 Million
Pumpkin Key has been a regular on this list as it’s been taken on and off the market over the years. That being said, there’s no better time to buy a private island than now, when we all wish that we’d had one last year. Located in the Florida Keys, this particular isle isn’t too far from Miami (it’s about 10 minutes by helicopter) and already has a three-bedroom main home built on it. Also included are tennis courts, two caretaker’s cottages and a series of golf cart paths. For those who’d like to explore the surrounding waters, the on-site marina is large enough to accommodate a megayacht. You’ll likely want to add a few more structures to the 26-acre parcel though, so best start planning now if you’re interested.
24. Willow Creek Estancia, San Diego, California — $98.5 Million
Willow Creek Estancia will appeal to many different lifestyles, but it has the most perks for equestrians, who will be drawn to its 27-stall main barn, additional eight-stall barn and sand arenas. Altogether it’s a 77-acre parcel and includes a 15-acre lake filled with bass. Also included with purchase is a bevy of sportier amenities such as a tennis court, a 25-foot lap pool and a two-lane bowling alley. The main home is 15,000 square feet and comes with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, if you’d rather just kick back and relax inside.
23. Stonewall Farm, Westchester County, New York — $100 Million
Stonewall Farm, which was featured on our list last year, still hasn’t found a buyer willing to shell out $100 million. The epic, 740-acre equestrian estate is Westchester County’s largest, and has produced the winning horses of 40 stakes races. The owner, Calvin Klein cofounder Barry Schwartz, developed the property for about 40 years to create room for 88 steeds. Just an hour from Belmont Park, the grounds also sport a turf race track, round pens and fenced paddocks. Not to be outdone, the 24,000-square-foot Colonial manor house, which was designed by New York-based architect Rebecca Rasmussen, offers eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms and one of the most impressive libraries we’ve seen. There’s also a 60-foot pool, gardens and a butterfly house in case you get sick of the horses.
22. Padaro Lane, Santa Barbara, California — $100 Million
Padaro Lane’s biggest perk is its private beach. Situated in the oceanside town of Carpinteria, which is part of Santa Barbara County, it’s a location that already feels relatively quiet and secluded. The existing 2,500-square-foot home here isn’t the grandest ever, so it’s really the land and location that you’re paying for. The residence sits on 4.2 acres, and the property is zoned to stable up to nine horses, which is great for the equestrian who wants to start building stables right away. Of course, you can just lounge by your own personal beach instead—that’s the more relaxing option anyway.
21. Little Pipe Cay, Exumas, Bahamas — $100 Million
The Covid-19 pandemic has generated significant interest in private islands as of late. That momentum sparked Little Pipe Cay to relist, this time for $15 million more than it originally asked in 2018. The big draw here is that, unlike many other isles on the market, this one already has all of the necessary infrastructure in place, so you can move in right away. It’s a 40-acre piece of land altogether, with a 5,300-square-foot main residence that comes fully furnished. Since it’s situated in the Exumas archipelago it’s not too far off from Miami either, should you want to return to the city for a spell. However, like any private island, operational costs are a factor here—you’ll have to cough up about $1.5 million per year to keep it up and running. Build it out into a resort, though, and the place may just pay for itself.
20. The Atherton Estate, Atherton, California — $100 Million
Atherton, California, consistently ranks No. 1 on Property Shark’s annual Most Expensive US Zip Codes list, so it makes sense that it appears on our tally of the world’s priciest homes. The $100 million listing was for many years the summer home of Doris and Donald Fisher, the founders of clothing retailer the Gap, Inc. Over the years additional parcels have been added to the main property, so it’s eight acres of land altogether—a rarity for the area. There are two homes on the property, plus a pool, pool house and tennis court, but the beauty of having this much space is that you can develop it into whatever you want. Add an oversized garage if you’re a car collector or build another guest house for visitors. Your call.
19. Villa Theoule Sur Mer, Cannes, France — $101.6 Million
Another year and Villa Theoule Sur Mer still hasn’t found a buyer willing to dive in. The Cannes estate, which is characterized by a jaw-dropping 164-foot infinity pool, now wears a price tag of about $101.6 million. Instead of a single sprawling mansion, there are four houses at about 3,000 square feet surrounding the pool, along with two 800-square-foot apartments. Each abode carries its own theme—water and light, for example—which is reflected in the design and furnishings. On top of that, the lush grounds offer 240-degree views of the coast, as well as a separate spa area and pool house. Let’s be honest, though, it’s really all about that pool.
18. El Rancho Tajiguas, Santa Barbara, California — $110 Million
There’s nothing better than a twofer, especially in the world of luxury real estate. Enter El Rancho Tajiguas. The $110 million ranch, which comprises 3,500 acres on Santa Barbara’s Gaviota Coast, comes with not one but two homes. Villa Della Costa and Villa Del Mare both span more than 10,000 square feet and collectively offer 10 beds, 22 baths, two pools, wine cellars, bars and theaters. The real draw is the acreage, though, which features avocado groves, persimmon orchards and plenty of cattle ranges. With barns, crop storage areas and water storage reservoirs, you’ll have all you need to support about 200 animals, plus a visitor or two.
17. Steve Wynn Mansion, Los Angeles, California — $115 Million
Casino mogul Steve Wynn relisted his Beverly Hills digs this year at a price cut—it was originally put on the market for $135 million in 2020. Nevertheless, the property is a significant piece of real estate, with a 27,000-square-foot home and 2.7 acres of land. Wynn’s shopping it for significantly more than he originally paid: a mere $47.8 million in 2015. Like the former executive’s glitzy Las Vegas properties, the residence feels a bit like a resort, complete with a tennis court, swimming pool and pool house. It’s not the only home that he’s shopping at the moment either: Wynn also relisted his Vegas pad this year for $24.5 million. Care to roll the dice and make him an offer?
16. Green Gables, Woodside, California — $135 Million
Sometimes it pays to keep it in the family. Take Green Gables, for instance. The storied home, which was originally built by banker Mortimer Fleishhacker back in 1911, has been passed down in the family for generations, and is now priced at a hefty $135 million. Located on 74 acres of land in Woodside, the estate comprises a main home designed by architects Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, along with six other dwellings. Altogether the place has 32 bedrooms, plenty of spots for entertaining and even a Michelin-star pub. The grounds are the real star here, though. The acreage includes several bike and hiking trails, along with picturesque lakes and gardens, plus a tennis court and an outdoor pool.
15. The 79th Floor at 432 Park Ave, Manhattan, New York — $135 Million
It’s been an eventful year for 432 Park Ave. The supertall has always garnered criticism for its design—architect Rafael Viñoly was inspired by a metal garbage can, after all—but this time, the ire came from within the building itself. In a February New York Times report, residents spoke out about structural issues that made the 1,396-foot tower feel less-than-luxurious; complaints included flooding, stuck elevators and noise. In September, the condo board sued the developers over these problems.
It should come as no surprise, then, that some owners are calling it quits. One example is on the 79th floor, where a unit listed this year for a whopping $135 million. Unlike other overpriced apartments in this building (see No. 12 on this list), there’s some case to be made for the asking of this full-floor offering. It’s designed by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, and represents his first interiors project in New York City. The photographer sourced many of the materials used for the wabi-sabi style home from Japan, such as ancient cedar planks from Yakushima Island and stone tiles from Kyoto tram stations. What’s most notable is the permanent art installation that comes with the 8,055-square-foot residence. Dubbed Ukitsobo, or Floating Inner Garden, it’s comprised of two bonsai trees standing opposite one another.
14. Le Palais Venitien, Cannes, France — $135 Million
When a property is called “the Palace,” you know it’s going to be royally good. That’s certainly the case with Le Palais in Cannes. Located on nearly six acres that overlook the Mediterranean, the palatial, 32,000-square-foot mansion was inspired by the city of Venice and its historic architecture; think monumental columns, stately arches and fountains aplenty. Inside, the manse offers nine suites, 12 bathrooms, numerous reception rooms and an impressive wine cellar. You can also expect lavish furnishings characteristic of Venetian design. Outside, meanwhile, there’s an expansive pool, tennis court and a secluded woodland with its own lake. Who needs the Grand Canal?
13. Vatuvara Private Islands, Fiji — $155 Million
A mansion is great, but your own resort is better. Priced at $155 million, the Vatuvara Isles comes with a set of luxury hotel villas, along with a private Twin Otter aircraft to get you to and from the far-flung Fijian island. You can choose to continue running the three villas as is, or relinquish managerial duties and turn them into an exclusive oasis for yourself. In addition to this main island, the purchase also includes three other isles that are much less developed. That means there is scope to create more seaside escapes for you and your crew. It’s social distancing at its finest.
12. The Sanctuary, Santa Barbara, California — $160 Million
The Sanctuary at Loon Point certainly lives up to its moniker. Priced at $160 million, the crown jewel of the West Coast combines the natural beauty of California with exclusive luxury living. Roughly seven miles south of Santa Barbara, the 22-acre oceanfront estate includes five individual land parcels that are connected by a private, gated road. The brainchild of hedge funder and philanthropist Bruce Kovner, the Sanctuary currently offers two mansions that span 8,000 square feet each, but the future owner can also opt to build additional homes. Not that you will need to, of course—right now there’s a total of 10 bedrooms and 21 bathrooms on the property, along with a spa, pool and adjoining cabana. You even have your very own citrus grove.
11. The Penthouse at 432 Park Ave, Manhattan, New York — $169 Million
Sure, living on the uppermost floor of a nearly 1,400-foot tower is great, but $169 million is asking a lot. The price is almost double what the owner, real-estate developer Fawaz Alhokair, paid for it in 2016. On top of that, 432 Park Ave has had plenty of negative buzz this year (for more on that, see No. 16 on this list). Still, it’s not without its perks: The 8,225-square-foot penthouse is a full-floor unit with 24 windows, so the home certainly takes advantage of its lofty location. All of the furniture is part of the deal, too, including pieces from Hermès, Fendi and Bentley, plus a custom piano that has a brass plate printed with “Penthouse 96” on the side. What’s it like to live here? Alhokair wouldn’t know, as he never actually moved in. You’ll have to see for yourself.
10. Mylestone at Meadow Lane, Southampton, New York — $175 Million
It’s hard to pick a highlight of the Hamptons, but this waterfront estate could be it. Priced at $175 million, Mylestone at Meadow Lane offers more than 500 feet of ocean frontage, between the Atlantic Ocean and Shinnecock Bay, along with eight lush acres. The modern Tudor-style mansion, which spans a little over 15,000 square feet, comprises 11 bedrooms, 12 full baths and four half baths, as well as a separate caretaker’s cottage. You can expect custom millwork and water views throughout, along with all the modern amenities. Outside, there’s ample room for entertaining, plus a pool, hot tub, five-car garage and a deepwater bayside dock for boating.
9. Mesa Vista Ranch, Pampa, Texas — $200 Million
Mesa Vista Ranch has been on the market since 2017, but it hasn’t managed to attract one lone ranger, even with a few price cuts. That’s not to say it’s by any means unappealing. Now asking $200 million, the sprawling estate consists of a whopping 65,000 acres in the Eastern Texas Panhandle. The handiwork of the late financier T. Boone Pickens, who spent about half a century developing the property, the ranch comes complete with a giant 33,000-square-foot main residence and its very own two-story pub. Fit for nature lovers, the acreage has been equipped with manmade streams and a set of new conservation practices to preserve the wildlife. There’s plenty of room for four-wheeling, trail riding and the like—if you can tear yourself away from the pub, that is.
8. Sloane House, London, England — $200 Million
It’s no easy feat to turn a historic 18th-century Georgian estate into a luxurious modern abode, but Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone has managed to do exactly that with Sloane House. The British billionaire decided to keep the shell of the property, which is located in the tony neighborhood of Chelsea, but rebuilt pretty much everything else in just shy of five years. One highlight is the new basement, which includes a pool, gym, spa, hammam and squash courts, along with a salon, a kid’s playhouse and a screening room. Valued in excess of $200 million, the revamped property is now one of London’s hottest off-market offerings.
7. Tarpon Island, Palm Beach, Florida — $210 Million
Yes, it’s an island, but don’t expect some far-flung hideaway in the Caribbean here. Tarpon Island is situated in the Billionaire’s Row sector of Palm Beach, a stretch of land that’s a veritable who’s who of real estate moguls: Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who set the record for most expensive home sold in the US when he dropped $240 million on a New York City penthouse nearly three years back, owns property here. Tarpon may net a similarly sky-high asking—it already traded hands earlier this year, in fact, when developer Todd Michael Glaser snapped it up for $85 million. Glaser is now selling the man-made isle for $210 million with the promise of renovating and expanding the circa-1930s home there for the prospective buyer. If you’d rather have it as is, then he’s willing to part with it for just $125 million. The planned renovation would add 18,000 square feet of living space, a six-car garage and two pools. Stuck-in-the-past home aside, it’s a 2.2-acre parcel altogether—a sizable piece of land for Palm Beach—with a lighted tennis court. And even though it’s not exactly the most private of islands, it’s only accessible via a small bridge or by boat, so you’ll still feel away from it all.
6. Casa Encantada, Los Angeles, California — $225 Million
The real estate world expects big things of Casa Encantada. The last two times the historic Bel Air estate changed hands—in 1979 and 2000, respectively—it set the record for highest residential sale in the nation. The third time hasn’t been the charm, though. The 40,000-square-foot Georgian-style mansion, which was once owned by hotelier Conrad Hilton, has been on the market since October 2019 and still no bites. Originally built in 1937 by architect James Dolena, the sprawling 60-room abode sits on eight acres above the Bel Air Country Club and comes complete with manicured gardens, a tennis court and koi pond. Now owned by financier and philanthropist Gary Winnick, Casa Encantada is patiently waiting to make history again.
5. One Hyde Park Penthouse, London, England — $247 Million
London’s most expensive penthouse brings a whole new meaning to the word “exclusive.” The lavish 18,000-square-foot apartment is being offered for sale as a whisper listing, meaning brokers only share details with prospective buyers. (Luckily, we’re in the know.) On top of that, the two-floor condo is located in the ultra-affluent neighborhood of Knightsbridge, right by a Rolex boutique and McLaren dealership. The crowning glory of supertall One Hyde Park, Penthouse B is priced at approximately $247 million, which works out to be more than $13,700 per square foot. Owned by London real estate developer Nick Candy, the fully furnished five-bedder is full to the brim with suitably glitzy features, such as a Swarovski crystal chandelier and a hidden Champagne room. It also sports wraparound terraces that deliver postcard-like views of London’s famous Hyde Park.
4. Royal Style Mansion, Caesarea, Israel — $250 Million
If you’ve ever visited a royal castle or mansion and subsequently wanted to buy one of your own, well, now’s your chance. This massive, 63,130-square-foot home was inspired by Baroque and Rococo architecture, and it shows. The interiors showcase marble and onyx mosaics and 14-karat gold moldings, and from the moment you walk in you’re greeted by an enormous crystal chandelier, sets of marble columns and a sweeping staircase that leads to the upper levels. And if all of that’s not enough, there are not one but two fountains in the home featuring Roman-style sculptures. Residents have access to a private spa and fitness room, two pools (one indoor and one outdoor) and saunas. It’s located not in Versailles but Caesarea, a town in Israel on the Mediterranean coast. All in all the mansion an architectural look that may not be for everyone, but it’s nothing if not impressive.
3. Cedarbrook Drive, Los Angeles, California — $250 Million
The next entry on our list promises to be the largest property ever permitted in Los Angeles—once it’s complete. It’s still under construction at the moment. When the dust settles the compound will be a whopping 78,000 square feet, a number rivaled only by Nile Niami’s embattled the One, which went into receivership earlier this year. Cedarbrook Drive will have many of the same over-the-top amenities (though a nightclub isn’t on the list so far), including a bowling lane, gym, cigar lounge, wine cellar and tasting room and a 36-person movie theater. For car collectors, there will be a five-car garage with two turn tables for displaying prized marques. Since it’s mapped out as a compound, there will be a separate guest house for visiting friends and family. Obviously, this is California, so an outdoor pool with a lounge area is also included in the renderings. Those who want to buy early can get a deal on the place, as it’s only $92 million to snap up once the foundation is complete. If you’d rather wait until everything is finished, well, that’ll be $250 million, please.
2. 24 Middle Gap Road, Hong Kong, China — $487 Million
This particular Hong Kong property is a regular on our Most Expensive Homes for Sale list. Built in the early ‘90s, the two-story home at 24 Middle Gap Road spans a relatively modest 6,200 square feet. It offers four bedrooms, four full baths, one half bath and a circular swimming pool in the back. At first blush, it doesn’t seem worth the exorbitant price tag, but what you’re really buying into is location. This third of an acre is located in Hong Kong’s ritzy Peak neighborhood. It’s one of the city’s most sought-after enclaves, with one home even hitting the $657 million mark back in 2015. Maybe location really is everything.
1. Villa Aurora, Rome, Italy — $532 Million
The most expensive home in the world is a real buy one get one: Snag a priceless painting, receive a fixer-upper free. That’s the story with Villa Aurora anyway, which is priced at an eye-popping $532 million not for its plethora of amenities or top-of-the-line appliances, but for its artworks. The approximately 30,000-square-foot mansion is the site of the only Caravaggio ceiling fresco in existence—that alone is worth an estimated $350 million. The six-floor home contains numerous other valuable works, including rooms with frescoes by Guercino and a statue in the driveway that’s attributed to Michelangelo. The catch, of course, is that the 500-year-old villa is showing its age. The current owner, Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi, spent years restoring the place, but millions still need to be spent on renovating the old home. Who knows, while you’re at it you may even discover another priceless painting hidden somewhere in the walls.