International briefs

October 01, 2010 07:00AM

Inside the Monaco penthouse

$308 million Monaco penthouse sale sets new record?

A $308 million penthouse in Monaco reportedly sold last month, marking the world’s most expensive apartment sale ever and destroying the previous record — a $220 million penthouse in London that sold in July, Luxist reported last month.

The Monaco property, called La Belle Epoque, was formerly the home of Edmond Safra, a billionaire banker and philanthropist who died there in a 1999 fire set by a nurse. (The nurse, Ted Maher, was later convicted in Monaco and served a prison sentence, according to press reports.)

The buyer’s identity has not yet been confirmed; however, rumors suggest it was either an Arab sheikh or a Greek billionaire, according to the Economic Times. The penthouse was sold by British developers Christian and Nick Candy, who acquired the space for only $15 million from widow Lily Safra following the fire, and who carried out around $40 million in renovations. The three-bedroom, 17,500-square-foot duplex penthouse includes roof terraces, an infinity pool, a library and a panic room. Other amenities in the apartment include a spa, a media room and an entertainment center with billiard tables and arcade games.

Costa Rica buyers partner up to buy second homes

In the wake of the housing collapse, more investors in Costa Rica looking to acquire second homes are forming private partnerships to buy the properties. Barry Strudwick, developer of Del Pacifico at Esterillos, a planned community on the Costa Rican coast, told the International Property Journal that he “[sees] private partnerships as a more viable idea that ends with higher-quality owners.” In recent months, he has seen several instances of buyers, usually four or five, coming together as a limited partnership to purchase a vacation property. Prices in Del Pacifico typically range from $275,000 for a furnished one-bedroom to more than $1 million for a custom home. In the boom years, a large portion of Strudwick’s buyers were using low-interest home equity loans to buy second homes.

Compiled by Yaffi Spodek