If money were no object, where would you like to live? Many people still dream of winning a million pounds and buying a nice place in the country, but to the mega rich, things look very different. What’s more, many of them got that way through investment and they see property as another thing they can invest in. If you thought that you did well by making £20,000 off your last place when you fixed it up and sold it, then wait until you learn what people are making from flipping homes in these fabulous locations.
Monaco is not only the world’s most expensive city to live in, popular with royalty and A-list film stars, but it’s also the site of the world’s most expensive penthouse, a glass and steel construction that sold for £298m in 2015. Property averages over £46,000 per square metre, and many properties in the Mediterranean city state are bought primarily as investments and used only as holiday homes.
London has been in the top ten most expensive cities to buy property in for the past decade, but the dip in the value of the pound after the 2016 Brexit referendum saw a still more eager flood of investment as foreign buyers took the opportunity to snap up prime pieces of real estate. Prices run as high as £160m and are expected to rise in the long term no matter what happens next. Many are owned by corporations, which can afford to wait.
With its thriving economy and key position at the centre of multiple trade routes, Hong Kong is another area that seems destined to keep growing at an impressive pace. Properties here can fetch as much as £3.45m, but it’s the land itself, rather than what’s built on it, where the real value is. As a result, many investors buy older homes in order to knock them down and build flashier modern ones.
The Côte d’Azur has always been a favourite haunt of the super-rich, and nowhere more so than Saint-Tropez, where the steady growth of an already impressive luxury property market has attracted numerous investors along with stars such as Giorgio Armani and Brigitte Bardot. A wide variety of property types are bought and resold here, including beautiful coastal villas with prices in the £70m range.
With one of the strongest economies in the Middle East, the Kuwaiti capital sees properties trade hands at very high prices. Fajr Al-Rajaan, daughter of the banker Fahad Al-Rajaan, recently bought a house there for £6.45m – almost twice what it cost when last sold in 2015, with the seller’s profit much higher than the cost of the upgrade. With new political stability seeing investor confidence in the country grow, Al-Rajaan’s profit on selling may be even higher.
New York City
There’s huge variation in the cost of homes in the Big Apple, but Manhattan apartments, especially if they have Central Park views, can fetch as much as £218m. This is highly attractive to investors, who can make a lot of money from fixing up the city’s older buildings as the enclave of the wealthy gradually expands outwards. As the location of choice for many of the world’s wealthiest corporations, this is a city with lasting appeal.
A high-end apartment in Tokyo, known locally as an “okushon”, can sell for as much as £3.85m, and despite the difficulties that the city has had since the 2013 tsunami, these prices have only continued to rise. With real estate prices under pressure right across Japan, this shows no sign of slowing down. The absence of any restrictions of foreign ownership of Japanese properties makes the city all the more attractive to investors.
For some investors, the risk of things going wrong is part of the attraction. Properties in San Francisco tend to change hands quickly because, after all, nobody knows when the big earthquake will come, and coastal erosion has resulted in some very expensive homes simply crumbling into the sea. Nevertheless, they still reach prices as high as £35m, and refurbished older buildings with all the trimmings are among the most attractive to the public.
House flipping in locations like this can make more money than most of us will earn in a lifetime. If you get the chance to visit them, then you’ll understand why – and you’ll have the chance to see some of the amazing properties that investors get so excited about, at least from the outside.