The Playboy Mansion sold for a princely $100 million – but it didn’t quite top the list… Photography: Jim Bartsch, via The Agency

In times of global and economic uncertainty, many chose to take stock and hold off on making major financial decisions. Like, say, dropping millions of dollars on a mansion with its own helipad. Many, but not all. In fact, 2016 was a record breaking year when it comes to the most expensive homes sold. Here is a list of the six most eye-watering residential property deals over the last 12 months – with octogenarian lodgers and all.

1. Taohuayuan, Hong Kong
Sold for $154m

Most expensive homes 2016 Taohuayuan

The sale of this 72,441 sq ft mansion to Chinese real estate tycoon Hongtian Chen back in July smashed records right, left and centre. ‘Peach Blossom Land’ or ‘Utopia’, as it translates, is the most expensive home ever sold in Hong Kong – and for that matter, in mainland China. It has 32 bedrooms, a lake-side swimming pool, wine cellar, and several courtyards and gardens, one of which was modelled on a UNESCO world heritage site.

2. The Playboy Mansion, California
Sold for $100m

Most expensive homes 2016 playboy mansion
Photography: Jim Bartsch, via The Agency

While no one would fork out the full $200m asking price to live in the world’s most famous bunny palace, it still fetched an impressive $100m back in August. This bought the new owner Daren Metropoulos a home theatre, separate guest house, a zoo license and an on-site octogenarian – as terms of the sale included a caveat that the silk pyjama-wearing Hugh Heffner gets to live in the property until he dies.

3. 301 N Carolwood Drive, California
Sold for $100m

Listing agent Ginger Glass, Coldwell Banker Beverley Hills North. Photography: via Coldwell Banker

Another big ticket deal for California, this 30,000 sq ft LA property, was sold to billionaire Tom Gores in October. Not bad for 10 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms, a basketball court, a 10 car garage and a $50m drop on the original asking price.

4. Crespi Hicks Estate, Texas
Sold for $100m

With sweeping lines inside and out and a monochrome marble entrance hall, this was the deep south sale of the year. The 28,000 sq ft Dallas mansion was snapped up by founder of Beal Bank, Andrew Beal in January. Don’t be fooled by the fact it only has seven bedrooms. It also boasts a separate two-storey guest house. And a helipad.

5. The Penthouse, 432 Park Avenue, New York
Sold for $87.7m

Most expensive homes sold in 2016 penthouse 432 park avenue
Photography: DBOX for DIM Group and Macklowe Properties

Another record breaker, this sale marked the biggest closed in New York City this year. The 8,255 sq ft penthouse at the top of the world’s tallest residential tower, designed by Rafael Viñoly, was purchased by Saudi billionaire Fawaz Al Hokair in a deal reported to have closed in September.

6. Crow Mansion, Texas
Sold for $59.9m

Most expensive properties Crow Mansion Texas
Photography: via Dallas News

This was Andrew Beal’s second huge play of the year. To accompany his $100m Crepsi Hicks purchase the tycoon also bought Crow mansion, Dallas in March securing the top two spots for the most expensive real estate purchases in Dallas’ history.

Read next: Rent Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio’s Modernist home in Palm Springs

Emily Wright is Features and Global Editor of Estates Gazette, as well as a freelance writer for GQ and The Sunday Times

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