Money walks in these neighbourhoods  

by Pool Builders on 04-16-2008 in Articles

Property prices have risen so drastically that it's nigh impossible for a young couple starting out in the world to afford even a simple starter home. While some people dream of one day being able to afford 2-beds, a bath and lock-up garage, the reality for others is far more opulent. These are people with money to burn, and burn it does, to the tune of 115 million.

That's what the most expensive home in the world has just been sold for, 115 million ($226.5 million, or R1.764 billion). Too most of us regular folk, a sum like that is inconceivable. But according to, the people who are willing to pay such exorbitant prices are globetrotters buying their second, third, or fourth home. To these people, 115 million is clearly pocket change, particularly if it's your fourth home.

For that kind of money one would expect rolling gardens, mountain and sea views, at least three swimming pools (one heated) and a private movie theatre. But in this particular instance, the new owner will be getting a flat (one of six), that hasn't been built yet. It's in St James's Square, London, so there are not mountain or sea views. What you do get are a lift to take vehicles to the basement garage, cycle racks and boasting privileges for being equidistant from the Prime Minister and the Queen.

This price is far above anything else paid for a property anywhere else in the world. The next highest completed sale was 80 million ($157.5 million or R1.227 billion) for a house in Phillimore Gardens, Kensington.

Forbes listed the most expensive properties for 2007, and most of them don't come anywhere near the St. James Square flat.

The most expensive property in 2007 was a mansion in Beverly Hills, California at $165 million (83.7 million or R1.299 billion). It does have rolling gardens, six and a half acres of them, as well as the requisite three swimming pools (no word on any being heated though) and a movie theatre.

Next, at $140 million (70.9 million or R1.1 billion) is Bran Castle on Brasov, Romania. It was the home of the infamous Prince Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Dracula, and sprawls across 20 acres. It has 17 bedrooms and infinite mountainous vistas, but probably no movie theatre. Considering its relative low price, however, one could probably be installed.

Right at the bottom of the list, at a lowly $65 million (32.9 million or R512 million) is Cap Ferrat in Cote d'Azur, France. It has a main house and three guest villas. It's situated on a mountain with a beautiful ocean view as well as views of Monaco and Beaulieu. The bathrooms outnumber the bedrooms and there are 10 reception rooms. Only one infinity-pool though.

There are many people, no doubt, who would settle for only one pool if they could see Monaco from their backyard. There are also many who wouldn't; people who pay more for a flat in London than the gdp of most African countries, for instance. Meanwhile we regular folk will continue to dream of more humble properties, probably without any pools, that will one day (after years of mortgage payments) be our own.

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