The surge in buyer demand coupled with a decrease in luxury housing inventory resulted in record-breaking prices in the high-end real estate market in 2021. Numerous sales in the United States surpassed the $100-million threshold as affluent individuals sought additional homes to expand their portfolios and create comfortable long-term living spaces amidst the ongoing pandemic.
While oceanfront estates in Malibu, Palm Beach, and the Hamptons dominated the list of highest sales, a condominium tower in New York City also made its way into the ranks of the most expensive properties. Buyers were not solely interested in glamorous locations and expansive square footage; these mega-purchases boasted extravagant amenities such as a retinal scanner for master bedroom access and a funicular that provided direct access to the beach.
Unsurprisingly, billionaires were at the forefront of the acquisition game when it came to trophy homes. Joe Tsai, the owner of the Brooklyn Nets, outpaced Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison to secure a spot among the top twelve buyers. Although Ellison’s purchase of a Palm Beach mansion for $80 million fell slightly short of the highest sales recorded last year, it remains an impressive acquisition based on available public records and published reports.
Despite prolonged lockdown conditions in both countries, Australia and Hong Kong saw some of the most expensive real estate transactions globally. In Hong Kong’s exclusive Peak neighborhood, the largest sale took place at the Mount Nicholson development, where an undisclosed buyer acquired two units for approximately HKD 1.2 billion (equivalent to $150 million). Meanwhile, Australia’s highest transaction of 2021 occurred in Sydney’s Financial District with the reported sale of the Boyd Penthouse atop the ANZ building, fetching AUD 60 million (approximately US $42.5 million).