The just-completed One Hyde Park apartment complex in London is notable for more than its A-list architecture and posh park views. At as much as $225 million a unit, it sets a real-estate record: a jaw-dropping $9,500 per square foot, making it the most expensive real estate in the world.
By way of comparison, the closest competitor in the States is the beachfront cottage in Carpenteria, Calif., that we wrote about last fall. At $5.3 million for a snug 641 square feet, it comes out to a paltry $7,000 per square foot.
So what does $225 million get you? In the case of One Hyde Park--whose buyers are mostly Russian, Chinese, and Arab citizens, as well as British property millionaires looking to trade up--it gets you custom-designed interiors, squash courts, and a private wine-tasting facility. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the penthouses are bulletproof, and if that's not enough to make the owners feel secure, there's also a panic room. (Check out the video below).
When it comes to luxury real estate, the U.S. is a relative bargain. The average price per square foot in the States tops out at about $1,400 in Malibu, Calif.; in New York, it's around $1,300. Compare that with the world's most expensive city, Monte Carlo, where a luxury property will set you back almost $4,500 a square foot, and Moscow, where that deluxe dacha will cost nearly $2,000 a square foot.
But even One Hyde Park can't hold a candle to the world's most over-the-top urban digs--the billion-dollar house in Mumbai, India, that the fourth-richest man on Forbes's list of the world's wealthiest calls home. All 27 stories of it.