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London home crowned world's most expensive at US$1.58 billion

17 Upper Phillimore Gardens in London is pictured on Google Streetview.

While luxury real estate agents speculate about the potential US$525 million price tag for the illustrious Villa La Fiorentina overlooking the French Riviera – if and when it goes on sale this year – 17 Upper Phillimore Gardens in London’s millionaire-have Kensington, still tops the list for most expensive properties, according to CompareCamp.com.

Olena Pinchuk, an AIDS philanthropist and the daughter of a former Ukranian president, bought the luxury property for more than US$127 million just as the recession hit the U.K. in 2008.

After turning heads with the high profile purchase, Pinchuk’s husband Viktor said the goal wasn’t to buy the most expensive house so much invest in real estate. Nice investment, bud.

The former Victorian prep-school harbours 10 bedrooms, an underground swimming pool, sauna, gym, cinema and panic room – a vital flourish as someone who can afford a place like this should probably have a panic room.

Today, the Kensington residence is worth US$1.58 billion.

Next up on the list is the current residence of Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, the wee Prince George, oh, and the various staff and members of the British monarch filling Buckingham Palace’s 755 rooms.

Though we can’t really see the palace listed on Craigslist anytime soon, the 300-year-old townhouse is valued at US$1.55 billion.

In third place is Antilia, in Mumbai, India worth US$1 billion. The 27-storey home to Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani requires 600 staff to keep it running. With three levels of parking underneath, at this point it might make more sense to convert it into a hotel.

Villa Leopolda, a former waterside home for Belgian King Leopold II’s mistress, and current home to Brazilian philanthropist Lily Safra holds forth place.

Worth $750 million, the Cote D’Azure, France mansion, was also the target of a pre-recession acquisition by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

When he backed out of the deal with Safra, Prokhorov ended up having to pay a US$62 million deposit which would more than cover a down payment on the fifth most expensive home in the world, Four Fairfield Pond in Sagaponack, New York.

Valued at US$248.5 million, the 29 bedroom home to American investor Ira Rennert has it’s own power plant. That’s right, if the infrastructure of the world as we know it collapses, head to Rennert’s place.

The 63-acre property and home has a basketball court, squash courts, a bowling alley, three swimming pools and 39 baths. Enough for everyone seated at the 91-foot table that graces the dining room to take a bath post-dinner – because why not?

See the other mansions that graced the list here.