In September 2012, British news outlets publicized the private sale of a London mansion that, if bought for its 300 million pound ($484.51 million) asking price, would become the most expensive real estate transaction in the history of England [source: Hammond]. The 60,000-square-foot (18,288-square-meter) property, which overlooks London's Hyde Park, was built by former Lebanese prime minister and self-made billionaire Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in a Beirut bomb attack in 2005. Born the son of a humble Lebanese vegetable vendor, Hariri made his fortune in Saudi Arabia, where he developed ambitious real estate projects for the Saudi royal family [source: Sachs].
The seven-story home has 45 bedrooms, and though it appears conservative and stately from the outside, inside reports claim the mansion contains millions of dollars of gold leaf, an industrial-sized kitchen, swimming pool and bullet-proof windows [source: Hammond]. Hariri built the mansion as four separate family houses, but it's being sold as a single-family home, the largest such home in London next to Buckingham Palace [source: Pollock]. The London market for extravagant real estate has boomed in recent years, with prices in the top 5 percent of the market jumping 49 percent since 2009 [source: Hammond]. The 300 million pound asking price makes the Hyde Park mansion 815 times more expensive than the average London home, but that is likely to make the home even more desirable to the foreign billionaires who are seeking these trophy properties [source: Pollock].
Does it get any more luxurious than this? Yes. Learn who owns the most expensive house in the world -- and what that house includes -- on the next page.