Most Expensive Home in the U.K. (and Possibly Anywhere) Sells for $220 Million

If real estate brokers in the U.S. are feeling upbeat about a recent run of good sales in the luxury end of the market, then their colleagues in London must be positively giddy over the recent sale of a $220 million penthouse in the city -- the highest-priced residential property ever sold in the U.K., or just about anywhere it appears. Ever.

The mystery buyer, believed to be (take your pick) a Russian oligarch, a Middle Eastern sheik, or a Nigerian oil mogul living it up on rising oil prices, will be the proud owner of a two-story, six-bedroom spread at One Hyde Park, a new development with park views, bulletproof windows, a panic room and, according to the developer's website, "ultimate perfection," when it comes to amenities and decor.

Even compared to some recent eye-popping sales in New York -- recall Mexican uber-billionaire Carlos Slim's $44-million contract for a Fifth Avenue townhouse -- the London price is a whopper, and reflects a return of super-rich buyers looking for trophy homes, brokers there say, while the overall market remains wobbly.

Sounds like a familiar story if you look at real estate on this side of the pond.