In a world of superlatives, just what is a prime or super-prime property?
Christie’s International Real Estate defines a prime home as one costing $1m or more, while many property advisers label homes worth upwards of $10m as super-prime.
The latter seems like a useful rule of thumb. Ten million dollars will buy you a San Francisco penthouse with spectacular views or a 20,000 sq ft luxury villa in Dubai. Yet prime seems less apt for the 45 sq m apartment that $1m buys you in an unfashionable Hong Kong neighbourhood, or the diminutive two-bedroom terraced house it stretches to in one of London’s better suburbs.
Christie’s concedes that definitions vary: in Palm Springs, homes labelled high-end by agents start at around $1m; in Monaco, that figure is $10m.
Take London, where residential property holds the most appeal for the world’s super-rich, according to the recent Alpha Cities index. Here, the best super-prime homes are limited to a few so-called golden postcodes neighbouring the city’s Hyde Park. “As the wealthiest investors narrow their search, there is greater pressure for super-prime properties to include panoramic views of park, river or cityscape, making only a finite number of areas capable of achieving super-prime values,” reports CBRE, the property services company.
Top-end prices are growing faster in Shanghai than in any other city. Values rose 27.4 per cent in 2016, according to Knight Frank, the estate agents.
But nowhere does super-prime get more pricey than in Monaco, says Knight Frank. A cool million won’t get you very far at all, unless you are keen on a pad the size of a parking space.
Related article: Monaco to London: how far will $1m go when buying prime property?
Additional reporting by Judith Evans
Photographs: Dreamstime; Sotheby’s International Realty, John Taylor