Stars Join Stampede for [Pound]2 Million-Plus Homes; How the Mega-Rich Are Fuelling Their Own Property Boom in London

By Bar-Hillel, Mira | The Evening Standard (London, England), February 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

Stars Join Stampede for [Pound]2 Million-Plus Homes; How the Mega-Rich Are Fuelling Their Own Property Boom in London


Bar-Hillel, Mira, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: MIRA BAR-HILLEL

LARGE City bonuses are fuelling house sales of [pound]2 million and more in central London as buyers scramble for family homes - and the stars are also eager to splash their cash on the capital's most expensive properties.

Treble Brit award winner Robbie Williams has dug deep to buy a [pound]2 million semi in Notting Hill, while fellow Brit victor Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie have moved into a [pound]5.7 million Georgian terrace house near Hyde Park.

Last year, Hugh Grant paid [pound]2 million for a four-bedroom house in South Kensington, within easy access of his beloved Fulham Football Club.

While house prices overall remain largely static across the capital, the top bracket is bucking the trend with [pound]2 million-plus properties being snapped up faster than ever and sold at the rate of one a day, figures from the Land Registry reveal today.

Between June and September last year, 72 houses were sold in London for more than [pound]2 million. In the last three months of 2000, in spite of the traditional Christmas slowdown, that number rose to 93 - up 30 per cent. In contrast total house sales fell by 20 per cent toward the end of last year.

Even sales between [pound]1 million and [pound]2 million fell back for the first time in years.

The rises are all due to increased sales in central London. Almost half the [pound]2 million-plus sales were in Kensington and Chelsea, where the number rose from 33 to 43. In Westminster the number rose even more sharply, from 17 to 26.

Typical of the current offerings is a [pound]2.5 million house in the Kings Road, a listed building dating from 1720. The most expensive house currently on the open market in London is a [pound]12.5 million, five-bedroom house in Tregunter Road, West Brompton.

In Camden [pound]2 million-plus sales doubled from four to eight, and in the City there were four, compared with none last summer. There were two each in Haringey, Islington, Kingston, Merton and Wandsworth and one apiece in Barnet and Ealing.

In central London house prices have almost doubled since 1996 and rose by more than 30 per cent since March 1999. …

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