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Homes for sale for a life at sea

Instead of buying a house on terra firma, many of the world's moderately wealthy are buying homes on board the luxury floating village known as The World.

Sat, 11 Feb 2017

Instead of buying a house on terra firma many of the world’s moderately wealthy are buying homes on board the luxury floating village known as The World.

There is global demand for the onboard homes as The World is on a permanent cruise year round. This year the ship will sail about 44,000 nautical miles and visit 120 ports. Residents decide the itinerary.

Homes on board sell for between $US2 million for a studio to $US15 million for a three bedroom units. The bigger one bedrooms are so popular there is a waiting list, according to the company.

Although prices have increased year-on-year, The World is not promoted as an investment opportunity – more as an investment in a lifestyle, the company says.

Many residents have previously owned their own yachts (or still own their own yachts) and are attracted by the hassle-free lifestyle.

More than 140 families from 19 countries around the world own the 165 homes and this includes a number of New Zealand residents.

The most popular homes are the two and three-bedroom residences as they include a full-size kitchen, large living areas with floor to ceiling verandas.

While the original inventory of residences sold out in June 2006 there is a small number available for resale every year.

Numbers for sale fluctuate from year to year. However, on average, it is about 10% of the 165 homes.

A number of homes changed hands when the ship travelled through Europe last year and the company says it attracted a lot of attention when visiting Australia in December/January and more recently New Zealand.

It is rare for owners to live on the ship year-round. The average stay is three to four months. There are still homeowners who bought their residences when the ship launched in 2002, but the average length of ownership is five years.

Homeowners do move around the ship – some buying a studio initially and upgrading to a bigger home later on.

When the ship was first launched the homes’ interiors were designed by four of the world’s top designers. Only a few of the original interiors are left.

Homeowners can refit their residences to suit their tastes and there are now a vast array of interior designs.

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Homes for sale for a life at sea