Britain has the most expensive luxury real estate in the world. On average, high-end London homes cost £2,200 to a square foot, a level that is twice that seen on New York’s storied Billionaires’ Row.
Yet, averages can be misleading. When it comes to absolute explosive pricing for individual homes, it’s hard to best New York. Britain’s most expensive homes top out at about £50 million (read more about it from GPees.co.uk). In New York, on the other hand, the condominiums in some of the latest luxury high-rises make it all the way to the £92 million level. And these prices are rising.
New York’s luxury condos attract the most attention in the world of any real estate market. Getting to live in one of New York’s top addresses isn’t just about the experience. It’s also about being able to show the world that you’ve arrived with an Upper East Side skyscraper address. If you’d like to know how far luxury prices rise in Manhattan, here goes.
£92 million – 520, Park Avenue
While many of the new Big Apple skyscrapers are modern designs covered end-to-end in glass curtain, there are many super-rich people out there who would be happier with beauty over modernity. If you’re rich and you want what you want, 520 is the building for you. Built to the New Classical style, the exterior is fashioned out of limestone, rather than metal and glass.
The Central Park South tower, when it is completed in 2017, will only be 51 floors. Nevertheless, it will tower above every other apartment and condo in the city in value. Each home will cover 12,000 ft.², and come with a terrace that measures 1,200 ft.². The home does have cheaper units, though. At £11 million a 4,600 ft.² condo on one of the lower floors will go for a little more than a tenth the price.
£85 million — the older buildings of Woolworth and River House
Not every one of the outrageously expensive homes in New York is in a new tower. Woolworth’s, the 1913 classic, is one of the most expensive. It’s top floors have been converted into luxury homes. They are for those who simply want to be able to drop an old money address. The River House building that overlooks the East River is the same. It’s a classic, and the building’s promoters believe that the price tag is affordable enough for billionaires to consider it great value.
£70 million – City Spire, 150 W 56th St.
The CitySpire Center was designed in Midtown Manhattan by Helmut John in 1987. At 75 floors and 814 feet, it is in the top five when it comes to residential buildings on the island. It’s the penthouse that goes for £70 million. The 6,000 ft.² home has six bedrooms and nine bathrooms, and as with most other homes in the building, offers beautiful views over Central Park. The building’s distinctive look comes from the unusually shaped dome that crowns it. Inspired by Arab architectural values, the dome got into trouble in the beginning for an unusual reason — wind passing through created unbearably loud whistling. It was corrected through a redesign.
£70 million – 157, 157 West 57th St.
One57 is the second tallest residential skyscraper in all of New York (and the US), and the ninth tallest in the world. Known as the Billionaire Building, One57 is one of the new pencil towers — a very tall skyscraper with tiny cross-sectional measurements. Known for its distinctive, mottled blue glass curtain, the building’s thinness makes it appear even taller than it is. It’s one of the hottest properties in the city. The 11,000 ft.² condo that goes for £70 million sits on the 19th floor. All residents of the building have access to the amenities of the Park Hyatt Hotel, which takes up the first 40 or so floors of the building. Even at £70 million, the penthouse is considered a great investment. Prices are only expected to climb.
£65 million — 432, Park Avenue
At 1,396 feet, 432 does more than to just beat out the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. It is the tallest residential tower in the world. That tag does not come cheap. While the 104 condos in the building start at £5 million, the most prized ones are £65 million. For these prices, you get private elevator landings, vast expenses of glass and access to a spa.
The London and New York luxury home markets are very different ones. London’s top properties obtain their value through their location. In New York, real estate value tends to be not as prominent a factor. The new pencil towers, for instance, often occupy lots that measure no more than 50 feet to a side. It can be extremely expensive to construct towers that tall on footprints as small, though. For the well-heeled investor, both markets are fine destinations.
Elijah Bridges works in real estate and has been travelling to New York for both business and pleasure for several years. During the long hours spent travelling between London and NY, Elijah spends his time writing for property related blogs.