The world’s most costly property is in London, and it is, predictably, owned by the Queen of England! A larger-than-life mansion, in this case a palace, may cost up to $1 billion. Consider it ironic or weirder than fiction, but the second most expensive mansion in the world belongs to Mukesh Ambani, whose 27-story Antilia on Mumbai’s Cumballa Hill was completed in 2010 at an estimated cost of $1-2 billion. Because Buckingham Palace is Crown property, Ambani’s Antilia is the world’s most costly private residential residence. A few ultra-wealthy purchasers, such as Brazilian-born philanthropist Lily Safra, buy old properties and refurbish them to their liking, similar to creating their own personal helipad. Some, however, go a step farther and construct a palace for themselves—from the ground up, such as the Villa Les Cèdres on the French Riviera, which was erected for the King of Belgium. We compile a list of the world’s most costly mansions, some of which are so large that they demand their own zip code. Still don’t trust us? Take a peek at the top ten most expensive residences in the world below.
Buckingham Palace | London, United Kingdom
The Queen of England is the real estate queen. Buckingham Palace is formally a Crown property and has 775 rooms, 188 staff rooms, including 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 baths, and 19 staterooms, making it not just the costliest house in the world but also the ‘roomiest’.
Antilia is located in Mumbai, India
The 400,000-square-foot Antilia on Mumbai’s Cumballa Hills is owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, and is located on one of the world’s most expensive addresses—Altamount Road. The building, designed by Chicago-based architects Perkins and Will and built by the Australian-based construction company Leighton Holdings, has 27 stories and extra-high ceilings. Every floor is comparable to the floor of a typical two-story structure. In fact, Antilia can withstand an earthquake of a magnitude of 8 on the Richter scale. The most expensive residence in India also has six storeys dedicated to automobiles, including Ambani’s INR 5 crore Mercedes Maybach.
Villa Leopolda | Cote D’Azure, France:
Gianni and Marella Agnelli, Izaak and Dorothy J. Killam, and, since 1987, Lily Safra, who inherited the villa following her husband’s death, are among the estate’s prominent owners. Her 50-acre estate features a big greenhouse, a swimming pool and pool house, an outdoor kitchen, helipad, and a guest house. She is a Brazilian philanthropist and the widow of Lebanese financier William Safra. The mansion was even utilised as a backdrop in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece To Catch a Thief.
Villa Les Cèdres | French Riviera:
The $410 million Villa Les Cèdres on the French Riviera is fit for a king, possibly because it was erected for the King of Belgium in 1830. The 18,000-square-foot mansion has 14 bedrooms, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a wood-panelled library with 3,000 books on flora and naturalism (including a 1640 edition of a botanical codex), an Amazonian lily pad pond, a bronze statue of Athena, a chandelier-lit ballroom, a stable large enough for 30 horses, grand sitting rooms, and 19th century portraits in ornate frames. With an asking price of €350 million ($410 million), the owner, the Italian distiller Davide Campari-Milano Spa, is betting that the house’s combination of history, elegance, and a prime location would be enough to make it the most expensive residential sale in history.
Four Fairfield Pond | Sagaponack, New York:
This 63-acre estate is owned by Ira Renner, head of the Renco Group, a holding business with assets in car manufacturing and smelting. It includes 29 beds and a power plant of its own. The house also has 39 bathrooms, a basketball court, a bowling alley, squash courts, tennis courts, three swimming pools, and a massive 91-foot dining room.
Ellison Estate is located in Woodside, California:
Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, owns this 23-acre property. The property consists of ten buildings, as well as a man-made lake, koi pond, tea house, and bath house. Despite the fact that his acquisition of the Hawaiian island of Lanai in 2012 was by far his greatest total investment, Ellison has made a number of spectacular purchases during the previous two decades.
Beverly Hills, California | Palazzo di Amore:
This 53,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style home was owned by Jeff Greene, a real estate entrepreneur and American politician. This gigantic house not only has 12 bedrooms, 23 bathrooms, tennis courts, swimming pools, a theatre, waterfalls, reflecting pools, and a garage that can handle 27 automobiles, but it is also a party pad with a spinning dance floor and ballroom. In 2017, the property was re-listed for sale at a price of $129 million.
Seven Big Sky, Montana’s The Pinnacle:
Edra and timber baron Tim Blixseth own the property, which is part of the massive Yellowstone Club, a private ski and golf enclave for the super-rich. The home boasts heated floors, a gym, a wine cellar, and its own ski lift.
Medina, Washington | Xanadu 2.0:
You’d think that one of the world’s wealthiest men would be on the list of those who possess the costliest residences in the world. Not surprisingly, the house of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, Xanadu 2.0 in Medina, Washington, ranks tenth on our list of the world’s most expensive residences. Gates spent seven years and $63 million to develop the 66,000-square-foot mansion. Xanadu 2.0 is an ‘earth-sheltered’ house, which implies it is constructed into the ground to better manage temperature. A separate 3,900-square-foot structure houses the 60-foot pool. Aside from that, the home boasts a 2,100-square-foot library with a dome ceiling and two secret bookshelves, one of which uncovers a hidden bar. And there’s more. With the press of a button, the artwork on the walls may be altered. That’s how you do high-tech.
18-19 No. 10 Kensington Palace Gardens | London was planned by Philip:
Hardwick for Sutherland Hall Sutherland, with civil engineer James Meadows Rendel as the first tenant, who apparently arrived in early 1852 and died there in 1856. Princess Haya of Jordan lives at Kensington Palace Gardens. The house has 12 bedrooms, Turkish baths, an indoor pool, and space for 20 vehicles. The de Rothschild family (early 1900s); The Free Poles (1939–45); art dealer David Khalili (1995–2001); Formula One president Bernie Ecclestone (2001–2004); and Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal have all previously owned this most costly residence in the world.