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Coming to America: Foreign Billionaires' Trophy Homes

Foreign Billionaires have been snapping up US properties

Published: Mar 24, 2014 06:18:46 AM IST
Updated: Mar 20, 2014 01:36:22 PM IST

Foreign billionaires are parking their money in the US at an accelerated rate, snapping up landmark properties from commercial towers like New York’s General Motors Building to trophy residences in New York, California and Florida. A few of their most recent home purchases:

Coming to America: Foreign Billionaires' Trophy Homes

Michael Ashley

$30 Million (June ’13)
Property records indicate that the reclusive British founder of retailer Sports Direct and owner of soccer team Newcastle United purchased this gold-leaf-accented estate, which has 349 feet of Biscayne Bay frontage, enough for parking a yacht or two.

François Pinault
Los Angeles

$16.5 Million (December ’12)
The French luxury-goods tycoon acquired the Singleton House in Bel Air, home of the late Vidal Sassoon. The modernist four-bedroom home sits on 5 acres with a pool.

Coming to America: Foreign Billionaires' Trophy Homes

Masayoshi Son
Woodside, California

$117.5 Million (November ’12)
Japan’s Softbank chief purchased this hilltop estate in a horsey neighbourhood from Tully Friedman, a San Francisco private equity chief, and is widely thought to have overpaid. The 9,000-squarefoot home has 360-degree views of the 9-acre property.

Coming to America: Foreign Billionaires' Trophy Homes

Roman Abramovich
New York City

$75 Million (pending)
The Russian oligarch was reported to be in contract at the end of last year to close on this Fifth Avenue town house on Central Park, but the deal fell through. Sources now say it’s back on and will be completed in the near future.

Nicolas Berggruen
West Hollywood

$3.3 Million (August ’12)
He didn’t spend a vast sum, but the purchase was a dramatic change for the “homeless billionaire”, known for living out of hotels for the past decade. He also bought a pad in New York City and says he’s happy to be shedding that nickname.

Coming to America: Foreign Billionaires' Trophy Homes

Zhang Xin
New York City

$26 Million (November ’13)
The co-founder and CEO of one of China’s largest property developers picked up a town house on East 74th Street; together with Brazilian billionaire Moise Safra, she also purchased a 40 percent stake in New York’s General Motors building for $700 million.

95 Number of $10 million-plus homes sold in New York City in the 12 months ended June 2013, 72 ahead of second-ranked Los Angeles.

Images - Zin: Thomas Loof; Abramovich: Edenpictures; Son: Google Maps; Christina Horsten / DPA / Picture-Alliance / Newscom (Bottom)

(This story appears in the 04 April, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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