Penthouse Living | The High Life


Gregg Lynn jokingly calls himself the penthouse whisperer.  But as the man behind a $28 million condominium sale that set a record in San Francisco, California, the moniker may be truer than it is funny for the Sotheby’s International Realty agent. It’s also a sign of the niche market’s strength and just how high buyers will go to nab sky high residences.

Penthouses are a floor apart and a world away. Buyers covet them. There are even magazines devoted to them. They’re more than the floor of a building. They represent a “tectonic shift of how people live luxuriously,” says Lynn. Layouts are typically more sprawling, finishes are more lavish and the views are as good as they get.

imagereader.aspx-15$3,500,000 USD | San Francisco, California | Sotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage

It wasn’t always this way. A century ago top-floor units were cramped quarters with low ceilings usually designated for servants. These days, however, Lynn says, “the number one benefit on being on the penthouse level is higher ceilings.” They’re about a foot and half higher than those of standard units. In penthouses with floor-to-ceiling windows, the effect of those bonus 18 inches is all the more extraordinary.

The size of the penthouse, the pedigree of the building and the landmarks within its view dictate price. A rooftop residence that looks out onto the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia or Alcatraz Island in San Francisco is guaranteed to turn heads and boost prices.

imagereader.aspx-16$2,795,000 USD | San Francisco, California | Sotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage

Oversized penthouses are also an attractive option for empty nesters coming out of large private residences, according to Mary Lin of Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty. Sellers are “getting record prices” for their homes and opting for a low maintenance “lock up-and-go lifestyle,” she says. Sydney’s “uberluxe” market is not limited to affluent Australians. The city is making a showing alongside real estate powerhouses like London, New York, Hong Kong with the “prestige” market buoyed by international buyers looking to purchase in Sydney’s blue chip developments.

imagereader.aspx-17Price Upon Request | Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty 

For some buyers, investing in such exclusive residences is part of a long-term wealth management strategy.

From Skiing to Yachting, LIVE the life you’ve always dreamed

Penthouses represent a specific market niche. Rarity sells. Their limited availability and one-of-a-kind layouts are the reason these trophy assets have fetched newsworthy prices. In the arms race of ultra luxury condominiums, where amenities include wine rooms, private roof decks, libraries and more, penthouses have topped the nine-figure mark.

imagereader.aspx-18Price Upon Request | Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty

Along with the cache of perks is the cachet that goes along with a residence in the clouds. Just pressing the PH elevator button—no unit number required—has the subtle but powerful impact of pulling out a Black Card from one’s wallet.

Penthouse buyers are a demographic unto themselves. Fifty percent would never consider living on a floor other than the top level, says Lynn. “They only want to live on the best blocks in the best buildings and have the best units in those buildings.”

Experience Penthouses for sale from around the world on

Article provided by Iyna Bort Caruso exclusively for 

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: First Week in October 2017

Highlights from this week’s top news stories on luxury and global real estate, art, collectibles and home.


$15,800,000 USD | Honolulu, Hawaii | LIST Sotheby’s International Realty

“It’s always vacation time at this house on the eastern shores of Oahu, Hawaii. Here, every single day you’ll wake up to endless ocean views capped by the volcanic cone, Diamond Head, that largely defines that landscape of the island.”

An Open and Airy Abode on One of Hawaii’s Most Beautiful Beaches – Mansion Global

Elie Tahari Asks $45 Million for Hamptons Home – Wall Street Journal

An Amenity-Rich Home in Melbourne’s Toniest Suburb – Mansion Global

Seven Great Houses for Entertaining – Financial Times

Estée Lauder Chairman Buys $23.5 Million Co-op – The New York Times

7 Stunning Homes for Sale in Maine – Coastal Living

Property of the Week: A Converted Railway Loft in San Francisco – The Spaces

Wooden it be Lovely – Five Cabin Homes – Financial Times

Sculptural Smart Estate Designed by Guy Dreier Going for Nearly $45 Million – Robb Report

One57 Condo of Ferrari-Collecting Canadian Billionaire Asks $70M – Curbed

House Hunting in… Victoria, British Columbia – The New York Times

Penthouses in São Paulo: A World Away from the City’s Intensity – Financial Times

Montreal Real Estate Gets Fancy – Wall Street Journal

House Hunting in… Johannesburg – The New York Times

Portland Offers a Run For Your Money – Financial Times

10 Homes That Are Modern-Living Goals – Inside and Out – Elle Decor

Cartier Tutti Frutti Bracelet Highlights Sotheby’s Hong Kong Auction – Forbes

Sotheby’s London | A Grand Canyon Experience: David Hockney & Bill Bryson

Immerse yourself in David Hockney’s majestic panorama of the Grand Canyon and let the words of best-selling writer Bill Bryson wash over you as he reads from his book “The Lost Continent”. David Hockney’s 15 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon is a highlight of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London later today.

Experience more from Sotheby’s on the Extraordinary Living blog

Video of the Week: Striking Modern Home in Rancho Santa Fe, California

$44,975,000 USD | Rancho Santa Fe, California | Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Sophisticated and modern, this world-class estate was designed by renowned architect Guy Dreier. Truly unique, breathtaking luxury and uncompromising quality are intrinsic in this contemporary residence, seven years in the making. Experience masterful modern accomplishment located in the exclusive covenant of beautiful Rancho Santa Fe, up a long, gated drive, on a hill with sweeping views of the grounds, majestic mountains and valley vistas beyond.

Discover luxury home tours around the world

New & Notable Luxury Properties for Sale | September 2017


From a sprawling historic ranch in Hawaii to a historic palazzo in Rome, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale feature homes from some of the world’s finest locales.

Hawaii$260,000,000 USD | Maunaloa, Hawaii | Carvill Sotheby’s International Realty

The Island of Molokai, central to the main Hawaiian Islands, has for generations been an oasis for Hawaiian royalty, tycoons and naturalists alike. Comprising approximately 55,575 acres and 35% of the island, Molokai Ranch is the most significant offering in the state of Hawaii. The successful new owner will be among the top five private landowners in the state.

California$25,000,000 USD | Redondo Beach, California | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

With over 62,000 square-feet of beachfront property on two parcels, this dramatic compound is almost impossible to duplicate. The main house comprises over 10,000 square-feet of exquisite living area, and the “companion house” has over 5,500 square-feet. Both homes are located behind gated entrances, both with direct access to the sand, a spectacular pool with spa, a private sand volleyball court, and a large yard. The views span from Palos Verdes through the beach cities, including the entire Santa Monica Bay.

Bahamas$39,000,000 USD | Nassau, Bahamas | Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

Magnificent and one-of-a-kind, this grand 20,000-square-foot home is bespoke, sits on approximately one-and-one-half acres, with 246 linear feet of gorgeous sandy beach. Its southern border backs the 16th hole of the Ocean Club Estates Golf Course. This beachfront estate is equipped with resort-style amenities including an infinity-edged pool, pool deck, outdoor shower and professional tennis court with an air-conditioned pavilion.

New York$34,950,000 USD | New York City, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

With 140 feet of Park Views on two levels, this incomparable Penthouse is one of the most significant to come to market; a renovation that took several years has transformed the home into an oasis above the Park. The Penthouse has a large terrace with a clear glass parapet wall on Central Park, spanning the entire 21st floor with access from magnificent French doors. The Penthouse offers approximately 3,974 square-feet of interior living 480 square-feet of terrace space.

ItalyPrice Upon Request | Rome, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Palazzo Sacchetti is a late Renaissance building among the most beautiful of Rome. Its construction was carried out in 1542 by Sangallo, the architect of Palazzo Farnese and coadjutor of Raffaello in the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica. Sangallo built it for himself, dedicating the last years of his life to make it the “perfect building.” In 1608, it was bought by the Archbishop of Naples, who built the chapel frescoed by Agostino Ciampelli. Later, in the second half of the 17th century It was purchased by the Marquis Sacchetti of Florence. Palazzo Sacchetti is a pearl in the heart of Rome; not surprisingly it has been used as a set for some scenes in the Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty, of which the eternal city is the real protagonist.

Discover New & Notable homes from around the world on

Virtual Reality Tour of the Month: Bright Timeless Estate in Wellesley, Massachusetts


Explore homes from around the world from the comfort of yours with our virtual reality tour of the month.

$4,395,000 USD | Wellesley, Massachusetts | Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

This exquisite, light-filled five-bed, five-and-one-half-bath home is sited on a rare three-acre plot. Meticulously designed to blend the home’s elegance with its natural setting, the residence features a Chef’s kitchen with a dining area, Rocky Mountain alderwood cabinetry and a Pennsylvania River Rock fireplace. Additional features include an expansive lower level gym, rec room, au-pair suite, and expansive meadow views.

Discover luxury home tours from around the world on the Extraordinary Living Blog

Video of the Week: 22-Acre Historic Horse Farm in Smithfield, Virginia

$2,400,000 USD | Smithfield, Virginia | Atlantic Sotheby’s International Realty

Welcome to Mokete’s Village; stately and sophisticated, this 22-acre historic horse farm is incomparable, featuring ornate features throughout. Tidewater Colonial by design, the inspiring renovation in 2013 expanded two wings to the circa 1809 Main Home (Davis Day House), for the final formation of today.

Discover luxury home tours around the world

Art & Home | Speaking Volumes

SEC 0_17_09 Life_Cover_Art&Home_B copy

(Cover photo) Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty


From the September 2017 edition of Art & Home, Iyna Bort Caruso shows us that a library can be a true reflection of your best self.

Walk into a personal library and you enter a realm, not just a room. No other space offers as much insight into a homeowner’s preferences, style and intellectual curiosity. They can feel intimate and consequential.

Rhode Island$2,500,000 USD | Newport, Rhode Island | Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty 

In Newport, Rhode Island, the centerpiece of one sprawling condominium is a massive library with vaulted cedar-shingled ceilings, cherry and mahogany millwork and an imposing fireplace. Although it looks authentic to the home, the library was a meticulous 21st century reimagining by its current owners out of a space where coachmen once met. The condo, joined together from three units, is in a former carriage house built in 1852 that was once part of an estate owned by John Jacob Astor. Kate Kirby Greenman of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty in Newport calls the library “remarkable.”

Utah$5,900,000 USD | Salt Lake City, Utah | Summit Sotheby’s International Realty 

The 30 by 30-foot room, accessed by stairs or elevator, also has an adjoining butler’s pantry and wet bar which makes it ideal for entertaining as well as for quiet contemplation, notes Greenman. “People enter the library and are just awestruck,” she says. “It’s very peaceful, very beautiful and it just takes your breath away.”

Florida$165,000,000 USD | Manalapan, Florida | Sotheby’s International Realty – Palm Beach Brokerage

In a digital world, the idea of a space given over to actual hard-covered books might seem anachronistic if it wasn’t still so alluring. Even die-hard texters, tweeters and e-reader enthusiasts easily get swept up in rooms dedicated to stories, history and ideas. But without question libraries have evolved. Today, they’re a backdrop for entertainment and a showcase for art and design.

Arizona$16,950,000 USD | Paradise Valley, Arizona | Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty 

“I love the way you can manipulate space with books,” says architect Susan Bower of Mitchell Wall Architect and Design in St. Louis, Missouri. Line a room with books and they can give the impression of wallpaper. Build freestanding bookcases and they become sculptural pieces. “They lend a presence and a depth to any room,” Bower says. “In a library, you have all these ideas captured between bindings. It’s just a wonderful repository of human thought.”

From glass houses to homes with captivating recording studios and music rooms, experience amenities and lifestyles in previous editions of Art & Home

Viva Las Vegas


This week we’re at the Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2017 Sotheby’s International Realty Global Networking Event; a showcase of bright lights, top-class cuisine, show-stopping performances, and some of the world’s most desirable resort amenities, let’s explore Las Vegas through the lens of these four remarkable homes.

Vegas1$6,500,000 USD | Las Vegas, Nevada | Synergy Sotheby’s International Realty

This one-of-a-kind mansion is the home of Phyllis McGuire, one of the three sisters in the famed musical trio the McGuire Sisters; it encompasses an astounding 28,000 square-feet of living space. This amazing property is replete with grand ballrooms, a cabaret lounge, and numerous bars and sitting rooms. Renovated in the 1960s to McGuire’s liking, this home has not only a history of famous entertainers as guests, but also defines the exclusivity and extravagant lifestyle of a time when Las Vegas was the playground for many of Hollywood’s most famous and distinguished celebrities.

Vegas2$4,950,000 USD | Las Vegas, Nevada | Synergy Sotheby’s International Realty

Inspired by the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Highland House at The Ridges was designed by Edward P. Delorenzo. This modern estate has sweeping horizontal lines and a wide-open floor plan. Every amenity has been considered and every detail meticulously included- a true achievement in classic styling and contemporary comforts. Located inside one of the most prestigious communities Las Vegas has to offer, residents of The Ridges enjoy numerous exclusive amenities including a 9,000-square-foot state-of-the-art clubhouse with professional fitness center, five lighted tennis courts, a resort-style pool, heated lap pool, tennis lounge, locker and steam rooms.

The 2016 Global Networking Event was one to remember – relive last year’s event on the Extraordinary Living blog

Vegas3$3,600,000 USD | Las Vegas, Nevada | Synergy Sotheby’s International Realty

The stately, modern condominium at Tower Two of Turnberry Place embodies both elegance and exclusivity in one of the premier high-rise properties in Las Vegas. Entering through floor-to-ceiling Macassar ebony veneer walls and front doors, witness the breathtaking custom chandelier, accented by recessed lighting in the floors. Among the home’s featured finishes are marble floors sources from the same quarry as Michaelangelo’s David, Gaggenau and Miele kitchen appliances, and a German-made Walter Knoll desk.

Vegas4$3,499,000 USD | Las Vegas, Nevada | Synergy Sotheby’s International Realty

A palace in the skies, this turnkey residence enjoys royal, elegant design. The private foyer opens into a remarkable living room, bar, and dining room. A spacious kitchen, master suite, home theater and verandas that feature incredible views are among the residence’s offerings. This private escape in the heart of Las Vegas is furnished by renowned designer Phyllis Morris Designs.

Experience homes throughout Las Vegas on

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Fourth Week in September 2017

Highlights from this week’s top news stories on luxury and global real estate, art, collectibles and home.


Price Upon Request | Venice, Italy | Venice Sotheby’s International Realty

“The highly decorative apartment boasts a main floor filled with extensive and grand reception rooms that house several 18th-century murals painted by Rococo pastelist Pietro Antonio Perotti”

A Private Venice Palazzo is an Art Lover’s Dream – Mansion Global

Woolworth Building Penthouse Hits the Market for $110 Million – Wall Street Journal

Meet the New COO of Sotheby’s International Realty – Inman News

Seven Homes Built for Lateral Living – Financial Times

The Luxurious Monaco Properties to Invest in Now – Boat International

Veteran Jazz Bassist Moonlights as a Landlord in Studio City – Los Angeles Times

5 Homes That Will Make Die-Hard Sports Fans Cheer – Robb Report

House Hunting in… Helsinki, Finland – The New York Times

The Ibizan Scene Grows Up – Financial Times

Pelham, NY: Close to the City, but With a Friendly Vibe – The New York Times

Someone Bought a House in Texas Using Bitcoin – EconoTimes

10 Vineyard Homes You Can Actually Move Into – Elle Decor

Sotheby’s to Auction 90 Years of Little Black Dresses – WWD

Sotheby’s Upcoming Diamond Auction to Feature Rare Stones – South China Morning Post