The most expensive houses in the world
USA £123.7m ($200m)
Oceanfront land, Amagansett, New York
It is the most expensive (potentially) residential property currently on the open market and it doesn't even come with a house. This oceanfront parcel in the Hamptons consists of four lots (two 1.9-acres ones and two 2.8-acre ones) for a total of 9.4 acres. Of these, 5.4 face the water and the rest overlook the sea. The land, which is being sold as a single package at the frightening average of about £14m ($22m) per acre, has scope to build an oceanfront house, a pool, a tennis court and a guest cottage-all with extraordinary views across the Atlantic. For sale through Knight Frank (020-7629 8171; www.knightfrank.com).
USA £107m ($175m)
Jackson Land & Cattle Ranch, Wyoming
Land is also the name of the game at the Jackson Land and Cattle Ranch, a 1,750-acre property situated next to the town of Jackson Hole, in Wyoming. The main house is a relatively small affair with only three bedrooms (although additional accommodation is available in a four-bedroom guest house and two staff apartments). But the acres are a sight to behold. They are a seemingly endless sequence of hay meadows and rolling hills covered with aspens and evergreens, dotted with fishing ponds and crossed by a spring creek. The open views to the soaring peaks of the Teton Range, part of the Rocky Mountains, are genuinely breathtaking. Part of the land is taken up by a state-of-the-art equestrian centre designed by Western architect Jonathan Foote and complete with 52 boxes and indoor and outdoor schools. With riding, fishing, skiing and many opportunities for American-style hunting on its doorstep, Jackson Land & Cattle Ranch is the perfect sporting estate. For sale through John Pierce at Hall and Hall (00 1 307 733 0989; www.hallhall.com).
France £93m (€105m)
Hôtel particulier, Paris
Situated in Place des Etats Unis, in the coveted 16th arrondissement, this late-19th-century hôtel parti-culier has everything you'd expect from a grand Parisian mansion (including the price). Its 40 rooms, of which 15 are bedrooms, are a triumph of period opulence, with frescoed walls and ceilings, a huge staircase, a gilded salon and even parking for a fleet of 20 cars. According to French newspaper Le Figaro, if the property sold for the asking price of £93m (€105m), it would earn the crown of Paris's most expensive sale, beating the Soyecourt palace, which is thought to have exchanged hands for £85m (€98m) in 2006. For sale through Christie's International Real Estate associate Daniel Féau (00 33 1 53 23 81 81; www.christiesrealestate.com)
France £87.9m (€100m)
Palais Montmorency, Paris
This grand hôtel particulier on the avenue Foch, near the Place de l'Etoile, was built in 1912 by architect Henri-Paul Nenot for the Duchess of Montmorency. On her death in 1927, it became home to Antenor Patiño Rodríguez, a Bolivian tin tycoon and an avid collector of Grand Siècle art. The 12-bedroom, 3,100sq m house has all the opulence that befits such personages: soaring ceilings, chandeliers, Corinthian columns and a lavish staircase. Its details are of notable historical interest, including the fireplaces, some of which came from the Palace of Paar in Austria, where Marie Antoinette married (by proxy) Louis XVI. But the most beguiling feature of all is the ceiling fresco by Henri Rousseau in the grand dining room. Through Christie's International Real Estate associate Daniel Féau (00 33 1 53 23 81 81; www.christiesrealestate.com).
Bahamas £69m ($110m)
Cave Cay, Exuma Cays
For sun worshippers and keen yachtsmen, few places can get closer to paradise than Cave Cay. Ringed by the Caribbean's turquoise waters, this private island has pristine white beaches, tropical plants and a sheltered deep-water harbour and marina with 35 dock slips, plus a landing strip for private aeroplanes. The luxurious main house enjoys 360˚ views over sand and sea. There are plans for 38 buildings-the island has planning consent for a marina, hotel and club house, some of which are under construction. The owners are including machinery and building materials in the sale, so the complex could be fully operational in six months, according to selling agents. However, buyers with an eye for privacy may prefer to use it as a family retreat. Through HGChristie (00 1 242 322 1041; www.hgchristie.com).
France £66m (€75m)
Les Rochers, Cap Martin
Les Rochers is an extraordinary example of the Côte d'Azur's Belle Epoque architecture. It was built in 1905 by Danish architect Hans-Georg Tersling, who numbered three empresses (of France, Russia and Austria), several politicians and many Riviera notables among his clients. The façade has Egyptian elements woven into it, particularly in the window frames and the feature frieze. The current owners have modernised the 10-bedroom, 850sq m house to suit contemporary needs, but have kept the original style intact, and every room is full of period charm. Many have antiques, exquisite ceilings and elegant mouldings. Some of the bedrooms have toile wallpapers that match the fabrics of the canopied beds. Outside, a huge terrace overlooks the Mediterranean, ending in a large pool. Below it, terraced gardens teeming with pines, rare cacti and Mediterranean plants slope down to the rocky shore. A meandering path links the villa to the beach. For sale though Burger Sotheby's International Realty (00 33 4 93 38 50 33; www.burger-sothebysrealty.com).
Turkey £71m ($115m)
Zeki Pasha waterside mansion, Istanbul
French Ottoman architect Alexandre Vallaury was the darling of 19th-century Istanbul high society, so it was only to be expected that Zeki Pasha, Field Marshal of the Ottoman army for the devastating defeat of Kumanovo in 1912, would appoint him to build him an exquisite mansion on the Bosphorus. Vallaury's signature style was a blend of Ottoman and French, and the 3,000sq m, 23-bedroom house has a strong Baroque flavour. The interiors have ornate ceilings, hardwood floors, chandeliers and huge windows. Outside is a 427ft-long pier, one of the longest on the Bosphorus. The mansion is close to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge that links Europe with Asia-just as Vallaury's architecture once did. Through Sotheby's International Realty (00 90 530 280 99 46; www.sothebysrealty.com)
This round-up includes only properties on the open market, whose prices were disclosed to Country Life and were correct at the time of going to press.