Did you know that there are properties around the world that are so expensive, most people can’t even afford to take a look at it?
The so-called “Billionaires’ Row,” or residences populated by the extremely wealthy, can be found in many countries. These properties are not only made exclusive by their hefty price tags, but also by their stringent security and rigid requirements that include substantial bank accounts. For those lucky enough to live or even see such a home, however, the fuss is all worth it.
Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most luxurious residential areas. These properties not only offer the most extravagant amenities in the world, but they also promise stable investments to the capable buyer. While most of us may not be able to experience living in these properties, we may at least understand why they are made so exclusive.
Perhaps the most popular version of the Billionaires’ Row can be found in Manhattan, New York City. Located at the southern end of Central Park, this area hosts some of the most expensive homes ever sold, which includes the $238 million penthouse sold to Citadel hedge fund founder Ken Griffin. These apartments are mostly housed in skyscrapers which push the limits of engineering and architecture, earning them the moniker the “pencil towers.” Examples of properties which belong to the Row include One57, Central Park Tower and 111 West 57th Street.
These ultra-luxury homes are not only bought by those wishing to live the high life, but also by those wishing to ensure asset protection.
Matthew Soules, a professor at the University of British Columbia explains, “You could own a unit in a building like 432 Park and almost never visit it, or maybe never go there, and you can be reasonably assured that it’s going to be not problematized by some unpredictable public usage (theb1m.com).”
Owners wouldn’t have to worry about roofs leaking or pesky vandals, for example, because security and exclusivity are quite tight in these properties. In today’s pandemic era wherein economies are yet to gain their stabilities, this provides the wealthy a legal and safe way of protecting their assets.
The Bishops Avenue, London
Consisting of 66 houses, the Bishops Avenue in London is the British version of the Billionaires’ Row. Homes on this street sold as much as £50 million in 2008, making them some of the most expensive residences in the world. The Avenue runs from the North side of Hampstead Lane to East Finchley. The area was formerly owned by the Bishop of London, hence the name.
Having an address at Bishops Avenue automatically implied wealth and power. Recent news, however, reveal that approximately one-third of the estates in the area are unoccupied. This is because many owners use the homes to “park their money,” so to speak, viewing the properties as investments rather than residences.
While the UK government have made moves to increase taxes on vacant luxury properties in an effort to encourage residency, many owners argue that they have the right to do what they want with their assets. Nevertheless, apartments are gradually being built in the area, aiming to breathe life and vibrancy in the posh neighborhood.
Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
While still in the works, Palm Jumeirah’s Frond G strip is already being dubbed as the Middle East’s Billionaires’ Row with its exclusive villas. The frond is just one of 17 strips consisting the manmade Palm Jumeirah, but it is set to become the most expensive estate in Dubai.
The Frond is set to accommodate 13 signature villas, with six now being developed by luxury real estate firm Alpago Properties. The homes are predicted to cost from AED120 to AED300 million ($33 million to $82 million). Riva Del Lusso, the first villa to be completed, features an eight-car basement parking, a private beach, five bedrooms and seven bathrooms. The home also provides its residents breathtaking waterfront views, which include Atlantis the Royal Hotel.
The Bund, Shanghai
While unanimous concession has yet to be achieved regarding Shanghai’s status as the home of the extreme elite, this Chinese city certainly has its fair share of posh homes. In fact, some properties in the area require authentic bank certificates that prove that potential buyers have the capacity to buy the property with liquid assets. This requirement is just a prerequisite for viewing—one could only imagine what more it takes to actually purchase the property.
The Bund or Waitan in Central Shanghai contains many of these upscale homes. A protected historical district, the area is home to a variety of architectural gems of the Gothic Revival and Art Deco style. Some of its most exclusive estates are COFCO-The New Bund Seascape One, Hua Fa Mansion, Oceanwide International Residences, and Zhongzhou Junting. These properties require bank certificates ranging from RMB 2 million to RMB 10 million.
Overall, homes on different versions of the Billionaires’ Row are highly expensive due to their exceptional locations, fantastic architecture, and promising investment returns. While many would contest the elitist nature of these homes, the fact of the matter is that these homes were not made for all. They were made specifically for those who could afford the ultra rich lifestyle.
Despite their exclusivity, they nevertheless form part of the landscape of many of the world’s most vibrant cities. These luxury homes continue to be the most tangible symbol of wealth and power in many societies, and are therefore still in-demand among those aspiring for better living.
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The article was originally published in Inquirer.NET and written by Ar. Vittoria Mawis-Aliston.