List of Interesting Real Estate Facts and Building Construction Trivia

Real estate facts
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Following is a list of interesting real estate facts and building construction facts compiled from various sources.

The list of interesting real estate includes data, information, and trivia on any type of property, from residential to commercial real estate. It also includes facts and information related to land ownership.

List of Interesting Real Estate Facts

  • The world’s most expensive residence is Buckingham Palace, England, with an estimated value of $1.6 billion.
  • The most expensive home ever sold in the United States is a 23,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills, California, that sold for $195 million in 2017.
  • The average American spends 25 years of their life living in a home.
  • The most popular real estate website in the United States is Zillow, with over 100 million monthly visitors.
  • The real estate market is worth trillions of dollars worldwide.
  • At one time, Sears sold entire houses in a “Do It Yourself” building kit.
  • The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge is the world’s longest bridge. It is a 102.4-mile-long viaduct on the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway in China.
  • NASA researchers are currently working on figuring out how to bring 3D printing technology to space. The idea is to send robots ahead of astronauts to construct buildings and infrastructure on lunar surfaces
  • A mysterious problem haunts the sixty-story John Hancock Tower in Boston. The building’s huge 4′ X 11′ glass panes pop out unexpectedly and shatter on the street below. Construction of the building was completed in 1972. When it was less than a month old, dozens of its windows began popping for no discernible reason. Determined to remedy the situation, the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company replaced all 10,334 windows with 400-pound sections of half-inch tempered glass. The windows kept popping out. Today the mystery remains unsolved, and windows occasionally still pop. To protect people on the street, John Hancock hired two permanent guards who do nothing but peer up and spot the cracked panes before they tumble to the sidewalk.
  • There is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to build a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York.
  • The world’s largest office building by floor size is the Pentagon in Virginia, USA, with over half of its 6,500,000 square foot floor area used as offices.
  • A bridge built in Lima, Peru, around 1610 was made of mortar that was mixed with the whites of 10,000 eggs. The bridge, appropriately called the Bridge of Eggs, still stands today.
  • The longest town name in the world is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllantysiliogogogoch. The name is frequently shortened to Llanfair PG. It is located on the island of Anglesey, on the Menai Strait, in Wales.
  • A Japanese company developed a residential earthquake-proofing system that raises a house from its foundation as far as 3 cm using air pressure. When an earthquake hits, compressors activate, forcing an immense amount of air under the home. The house will levitate until the earthquake ends and is then gently placed back on the foundation.
  • With 6.6 billion acres, Queen Elizabeth II is the world’s largest landowner, with King Abdullah as the closest runner-up, holding control over 547 million acres. Media mogul John Malone is the largest landowner in the United States.
  • Hotelier and real estate magnate Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog, Trouble.
  • In 2010, the computer company Apple wanted to buy an acre of land in North Carolina, on which they planned to build a data center for the iTunes Cloud. An elderly couple, who owned the land for more than 30 years, originally bought it for just $6000. At first, they resisted selling, but Apple gave them a blank check and said to name their price. The family decided to sell the property for $1.7 million.
  • A life-sized, fully-furnished Simpsons house replica was constructed in Henderson, Nevada, as the main prize for a Fox and Pepsi-sponsored competition in 1997. However, the winner forwent the 2,200 sq ft, four-bedroom house for the cash prize of $75,000 instead. The house was eventually stripped and sold in 2001, without its Simpson’s colors.

More Interesting Real Estate Facts

  • Before central heating existed, housewarming parties were held to get firewood from neighbors. Guests brought firewood for fireplaces as a gift.
  • In the United States, there are five times as many vacant houses as homeless people.
  • There are more than 50 streets in the greater Atlanta area which include the word Peachtree.
  • Monica’s apartment from “Friends” is estimated to cost $3,500,000.
  • The difference between an On-Broadway show and an Off-Broadway show has nothing to do with location but rather the seating capacity. Broadway shows must have seating of 500 or more, while Off-Broadway falls under any seating capacity that falls in the 100-499 range.
  • The number 4 is considered unlucky in China because it is nearly homophonous to the word “death” (pinyin sǐ). In a study of five years’ worth of real estate sales in the greater Vancouver area, researchers found that houses in Chinese neighborhoods with an address containing a four sold for an average of $8,000 less than their luckier counterparts.
  • Rather than building up, millionaires in central London are building down, creating mega-basements. They are nicknamed “iceberg homes” because there’s more square footage under the ground than above.
  • Don’t be so quick to change your brass to brushed nickel. Brass doorknobs disinfect themselves. It’s called the oligodynamic effect: the ions in the metal have a toxic effect on spores, fungi, viruses, and other germs.
  • There was a woman named Edith Macefeild who would not sell her house to make way for a commercial development project in Seattle. When she died, she willed the house to the leader of the construction project “in gratitude for the friendship he had shown her during the construction.“
  • India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani, built a $1 billion home. It has 27 habitable floors, including six parking floors for up to 168 cars. A staff of 600 maintains the home.
  • In Scotland, homeowners paint their front door red when they pay off their mortgage.
  • The Seattle Kingdome was so expensive that it wasn’t paid off until 2015, 15 years after being demolished.
  • In 2009, there were more foreclosures in the United States than marriages.
  • Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of fourteen online trades over the course of a year.
  • The famous Las Vegas strip is, for the most part, not located in the city of Las Vegas. To avoid tax, it is in a city known as Paradise, which Las Vegas completely surround.
  • The White House has been valued at $110,000 Million
  • Using prefabricated modules, some builders in China can build a 30-story skyscraper in as little as 15 days.
  • The average house generates more pollution than the average car.
  • The most common street name in the United States is “Second Street”
  • The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, took 20,000 people more than 20 years to build.
  • The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world, reaching a height of 2,716.5 feet. It is nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building.

Continue reading below for more interesting real estate facts about NYC.

New York Real Estate Facts

New York City has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world, so we compiled a list of interesting real estate facts and building construction trivia specifically related to New York.

  • In a competition to build the world’s tallest building, the architect of the Chrysler Building secretly built it with a 125-foot-long spire inside the building’s frame. After his competitor’s building was completed, the spire was pushed up through the building, making it taller by 119 feet.
  • The World Trade Center towers had so many occupants that they had their own postal zip codes, 10047 and 10048.
  • The New York Stock Exchange was originally a coffee shop.
  • In 1945, a B-25 Bomber pilot crashed his plane into the Empire State Building in New York City. The crash’s impact snapped the cable of the building’s elevator shaft with someone inside. However, by the time the elevator reached the bottom, a thousand feet of cable had piled up beneath it, acting like a spring. The cushion effect of the spring allowed the elevator’s lone occupant to escape, injured but alive.
  • In 1994, Howard Stern made headlines by running for Governor of New York on the platform of promising to limit road work to nighttime hours. He withdrew from the race, but the Howard Stern Bill was signed into law later that year, taking construction off the streets during the daytime hours.
  • When Philippe Petit walked 61 meters between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope nearly 1,300 feet above the street in 1975, he not only broke records but also broke the law. The stunt was called the “artistic crime of the century.” He planned the tightrope stunt for months. He conducted research on the buildings by dressing up like a construction worker and office employee, forging ID cards to get through security. He and his team used a bow and arrow to pass large ropes across the divide of the buildings so they could string the steel cable used for the walk. Petit was offered to be cleared of all charges in exchange for doing a public performance for children in Central Park. He performed a high-wire walk over Turtle Pond.
  • Commonly referred to as the “Ghostbusters ruling”, the case of Stambovsky vs Ackley legally requires New York property sellers to disclose information on beliefs that their property could be haunted.
  • As of 2015, there were roughly 76,000 elevator devices in New York. There are about 1,570 miles of elevator shafts (assuming a reasonable average floor height, etc.) compared to 840 miles of subway tracks. Across the city, New Yorkers take elevators on roughly 4 million rides on average every day.
  • There are actually so many businesses in the Empire State Building that the building was assigned its own zip code, 10118.
  • During the construction of New York’s Citicorp Center in 1977, the builders bolted joints together instead of welding them as originally specified. A year after completion, the building’s chief engineer discovered the change. Then, he realized the joints would be too weak to withstand hurricane-force winds, potentially leading to the building’s collapse in a dense urban neighborhood. To correct the problem, a team of workers was hired to weld two-inch-thick steel plates over each of the 200 bolted joints. Six weeks into the repair job, Hurricane Ella was off the coast of North Carolina, headed for New York. Just hours before New York City was to face emergency evacuation, the hurricane veered out to sea. The crisis was kept secret from the public for almost 20 years
  • At one time, New York City had more skyscrapers (buildings that are more than 40 floors high) than any other city in the world. However, in recent years, Hong Kong, China became the city with the most skyscrapers. Dubai is a distant third.
  • NYC has almost one billion square feet of rooftops. That’s more than 16,000 football fields of space.

Questions and Suggestions

If you have any suggestions to add to our list of interesting real estate facts or construction trivia facts, please leave a comment below. We’re always looking for new and interesting real estate facts.

Also, view more Lists of Lists and other trivia.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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