Real Estate Encyclopedia, terms -Penthouse


A luxurious apartment on the top floor of a residential building. The concept of penthouses originated from the United States. Penthouses there, are often located on the top floors of skyscrapers and have a dizzying view of the city.

Distinctive characteristics of  a penthouse include: being on the last floor, spaciousness, no neighbors, improved planning, open space, a separate entrance, a private terrace, a winter garden, a helipad, and even a rooftop pool. Some penthouses in the US include a separate elevator or a private staircase. In some cases, an elevator may include a separate button that can operate with a key or a coded chip. 

Penthouses can be located in multi-storey buildings between 24 and 26 or more levels, and in complexes of 5-7 floors. However, the most important part for penthouses is to be on the highest level, compared to other apartments in the building. In general, a penthouse can be compared to a separate dwelling, like a mansion or a villa, but as a rooftop variant. Residents of the penthouse, especially if located above 20 floors, are not disturbed by any neighbors, or sounds from the parking lot, or noisy children from the playground. They are only surrounded with a beautiful view of the city, tranquility, plenty of air and open space.

When talking about cost, then the price of a penthouse will, no doubt, be higher than ordinary apartments in the building. Usually penthouses are located in prestigious areas, that further increases their value. The penthouse is an alternative to private housing in the city center. On one hand, the penthouse provides privacy and isolation, on the other - it is located in the center of cultural and business life. 

Another feature of the penthouse is the panoramic windows facing all four sides of the premises. It is worth noting that in countries of the former Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus) there are not a lot of real penthouses yet. Sometimes developers would call ordinary apartments on the upper floors, “penthouses”, however they do not include a terrace, or a private elevator or a separate staircase. A real penthouse is an exclusive offer in the real estate market.

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