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The World’s Most Expensive Home

Villa Les Cèdres has come to market for US$1.1 billion, set to shake up the ranks of the most expensive neighbourhoods.

Villa Les Cedres (c) Getty

The global property markets may be mired in uncertainty, but on the world’s most expensive streets, prices keep going up... and up.

This week, the world’s most expensive home ever came to market, with a reported listing price of US$1.1 billion (€1 billion). La Villa Les Cèdres (translated as The Cedars), is situated on the elite Gallic peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, which Billionaire ranked the world’s fifth most expensive street last year. The exclusive neighbourhood, situated between Nice and Monaco, is known for its magnificent villas owned by billionaires and tycoons, including the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, and late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

The mansion has 10 bedrooms, a ballroom and a chapel, a 50m swimming pool built into the rocks, a winter garden, concierge, 35 acres of manicured lawns and a stable for 30 horses, according to French media. It was built around 1830 and was once home to Belgium’s King Leopold II.

If La Villa Les Cèdres is bought for its asking price, it could propel Cap Ferrat to the position of world’s most expensive neighbourhood, knocking Hong Kong’s Peak Road off its perch. Last year, prices on Peak Road averaged an eye-watering US$114,000 per square metre, nearly double the US$67,000 per square metre on the most expensive road in Cap Ferrat, according to estate agent Savills.

In August 2014, a 650-square-metre house on Chemin du Sémaphore, the road that runs down the middle of the peninsula, sold for €37 million. “We are seeing more Middle Eastern, northern European and UK buyers coming back to the market,” said Jean-Claude Caputo of Savills, in last year’s ranking.

The owner of the property is reportedly Suzanne Marnier-Lapostolle of the Grand Marnier family, who is looking to downsize to a more modest abode. The property has been in the family, which is known for producing cognacs and liqueurs, for nearly a century.

The sale of a home such as this is also extremely rare. “A top property on one of the world’s most expensive streets may come to market only once in a generation,” said Yolande Barnes, head of residential research at Savills. “The owners of these homes are unlikely to need the money and tend to hang on to such prized real estate.”