Being all about “location, location, location” might seem like the ultimate real estate cliché, but try to tell that to the elite few who reside on the streets that The Wealth Bulletin declared the world’s priciest per square foot, and they might strongly disagree. The estates that line the streets are coveted not only for their exclusivity but also for their proximity to the world’s best shopping, dining, art galleries, and natural wonders. As the owners can attest, these streets provide so much more than just a prestigious address. The locations are the most coveted in the world, and the price of real estate reflects the typical rule of supply and demand.
#1 Avenue Princess Grace, Monaco
When an avenue is named after one of the most beautiful women in recent history, its homes are expected to portray a similar kind of beauty. Avenue Princess Grace does not disappoint, and the prices reflect this. Homes are valued at $17,750 per square foot, which cements the avenue’s place at the top of this list. The street is lined with beautiful palm trees and monumental estates, some of which the world’s top celebrities call home. Ringo Starr, Helena Christensen, Roger Moore, and Andrea Bocelli are among the residents of Avenue Princess Grace, as are several Monaco royals. The avenue lies in close proximity to the country’s famed Monte Carlo casino, the harbor, and the Cercle d’Or in the heart of Monaco, which is lined with numerous boutiques boasting prestigious brands like Hermés, Valentino, Prada, and Christian Dior.
#2 Severn Road, Hong Kong
In stark contrast to Hong Kong’s dense population, the homes on Severn Road provide a tranquil retreat. Located on Victoria Peak, homes on Severn overlook Hong Kong’s impressive skyline, a view that contributes to the $11,200-per-square-foot price tag. From Severn Road’s exclusive perch, residents have the best and most breathtaking views of the island of Hong Kong, the mainland of China, Kowloon, the green mountains of the New Territories, and other surrounding islands.
#3 Fifth Avenue, New York
Whether looking for a frock from one of the couture houses or a closet to keep it in, Fifth Avenue has it available…for a price. Here, homes go for an average of $7,500 per square foot. “Fifth Avenue has a lot of cache,” says Felise Gross, vice president and director of Brown Harris Stevens. With the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, and Central Park at arm’s reach, those who reside on Fifth Avenue are in extremely close proximity to both culture and nature. Five-star restaurants and designer boutiques line the street, which is also home to Bryant Park, the heart of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Currently, Gross is listing a $6.5 million, five-bedroom residence on Fifth Avenue’s Upper East Side, and Brown Harris Stevens has several additional homes listed on the country’s most fashionable street.
#4 Kensington Palace Gardens, London
Known as “Billionaires Row,” Kensington Palace Gardens is the most exclusive address in London. It was built on part of the Kensington Palace grounds and is therefore still owned by the Crown Estate. Homes on this street are primarily owned by foreign embassies, although a few have been sold to private buyers, such as Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, who is listed by Forbes as the world’s fourth wealthiest individual. Homes on Kensington Palace Gardens sell for $7,196 per square foot, and for good reason. Kensington Palace Gardens comes complete with a fortress-like level of protection, thanks to guard gates and checkpoints on both ends of the street.
#5 Avenue Montaigne, Paris
Known as La Grande Dame of Paris, Avenue Montaigne is located in the Champs Élyssées quarter. Home to several designer boutiques, such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, and Bulgari, Avenue Montaigne is the epitome of très, très chic. To live amidst the fashion, be prepared to spend $5,046 per square foot. Lined with trees and triple-wide sidewalks, Avenue Montaigne boasts an air of privileged leisure, which is also present in the Théâtre des Champs Élyssées and Hotel Plaza Athénée.
#6 Ostozhenka, Moscow
Ostozhenka, Moscow’s Golden Mile, is a street filled with history and prestige. While today it is lined with several boutiques, art galleries, and Moscow’s finest restaurants, Ostozhenka still portrays the city’s rich historical integrity. According to Anya Levitov of Evans Property Services, “Ostozhenka did not suffer greatly during the Soviet years. Several of the beautiful 19th and early 20th century homes still stand, and while some new buildings have been reconstructed in a modern style, they are built with respect to the area’s heritage.” On Ostozhenka, homes (priced at $3,738 per square foot) overlook several of Moscow’s prominent sites, including The Kremlin, Gorky Park, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and the embankment of the Moscow River.
#7 Via Suvretta, St. Moritz
Known as the toniest winter resort of choice for global jetsetters, St. Moritz is a pristine enclave of beauty, class, and winter wonder. The allure of the city’s priciest addresses is not created by rows of designer boutiques or wealthy residents, but rather by the natural beauty of the majestic Alps. Some of the world’s top billionaires retreat to their private winter residences on St. Moritz’s Via Survetta, including Luca Bassani, owner of Wally Yachts; Lakshmi Mittal (the same gent who has a home on Kensington Palace Gardens); and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Hotel Survetta House and the Ritz-Carlton St. Moritz also are housed on Via Survetta’s coveted real estate, which is priced at $3,551 per square foot.
#8 Carolwood Drive, Los Angeles
When one envisions Beverly Hills, they often conjure up images of rows upon rows of celebrity estates. Carolwood Drive is the epitome of that vision. Celebrity mansions line the street that begins on Sunset Boulevard and ends at Brooklawn Drive. The area’s natural beauty has called to the likes of Walt Disney, Barbara Streisand, Rod Stewart, Elvis Presley, and Mick Jagger, which has driven the price up to $2,803 per square foot.
The famed estate Fleur de Lys, currently on the market for $125 million, boasts a Carolwood Drive address. The estate will be appearing in the upcoming book The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills by Jeffrey Hyland, president of Hilton & Hyland. Rod Stewart’s former home on Carolwood Drive (pictured above) is also included in the book, which is priced at $250 per copy and set for release this November by Rizzoli publishers.
#9 Wolseley Road, Sydney
Running through Point Piper, a small harborside, eastern suburb of Sydney, Australia, Wolseley Road contains 16 of the top 100 most expensive residences in the city. With a long-standing reputation for being the country’s ultimate address, Wolseley Road’s estates garner $2,616 per square foot. Homes are situated so that only the garages are visible from the street, while the houses look out to the water. Thus, the homes enjoy arguably the best harbor views of any city in the world, with the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in full view. Craig-y-Mor, a non-waterfront, six-bedroom, nine-car garage home on Wolseley Road, sold this year for a reported $32.4 million, while Russell Crowe was recently spotted inspecting Altona, the second most expensive home in Point Piper, estimated at more than $42 million.
#10 Altamont Road, Mumbai
The beauty of Mumbai’s Altamont Road has long appealed to many Bollywood stars, who aren’t deterred by the $2,335 per square foot price tag associated with the sophisticated real estate. But Mukesh Ambani’s $2 billion personal skyscraper currently being erected on the thoroughfare definitely helped cement South Mumbai’s Altamont Road on the list of the world’s most expensive addresses. At completion in January 2009, the 27-story mansion will have a larger floor area than the Palace of Versailles and will be the most expensive residence in the world.