- Βut which recent prime minister made the savviest property investments?
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 16, 2016|MANSION GLOBAL|
A highly sought-after London property that was home to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher for over two decades has hit the market for £30 million.
Prime ministers are no strangers to prime property and we’ve taken this opportunity to look at the real estate portfolios of individuals who have recently held the country’s top role.
The house at 73 Chester Square in London’s Belgravia where the late Mrs. Thatcher lived after she stepped down as prime minister has been put up for sale with a £30 million (about $43.5 million) price tag.
However, it is not her family who will benefit from the sale. It has come to the market through estate agent Savills on behalf of Leconfield, a Belgravia development and construction company, which purchased the property in 2013 and spent 18 months refurbishing it.
Leconfield only paid £4.16 million (about $6 million) for the property because of the short lease, which they have now extended. While many believe the previous owner to be the Thatcher estate, it is unclear from the property deeds.
73 Chester Square in London’s Belgravia.
Belgravia is home to some of London’s most prestigious and desirable addresses including Chester Square, Eaton Square and Belgrave Square and has long been a favored enclave for the most discerning buyers from around the world.
The neighborhood is covered in opulent white stucco homes and other celebrities who have lived in Belgravia include TV chef Nigella Lawson, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, actress Vivien Leigh and actor Sean Connery.
But despite being one of the most desirable areas to live in the world, house prices in Belgravia fell by 0.2% in 2015 as the higher stamp duty rates introduced by the government in December 2014 dampened demand.
Nat Wilde, Manager of Hamptons International Sloane Square, said: “Much like the whole of Prime Central London, Belgravia has felt the impact of the increased stamp duty rates. Prices within the locality have petered since the peak of Easter 2014.”
ALSO ON THE MARKET IN BELGRAVIA
PRICE: $52.9 million
LOCATION: Wilton Mews, Belgravia
Located just off of Belgravia Square on Wilton Mews, this six-bedroom, six-bathroom home spans nearly 10,000 square feet and includes an indoor swimming pool, a rooftop terrace and private parking.
David Cameron, the current prime minister, kept his London home in fashionable Notting Hill despite moving into 10 Downing Street with his family when he landed the top job back in 2010.
Unlike former prime minister Tony Blair, who sold his main London home when his party won the general election, Cameron has been renting out his property. It was reported recently that he has made £500,000 (about $725,000) from renting it since 2010.
It seems keeping hold of his home was a wise investment move. At an average of £2.79 million (about $4.04 million), house prices in Notting Hill, home to the eponymous annual carnival and Portobello Market, are 280 times higher than they were in the 1960s.
The West London area was very run down in the 1950s, but has since attracted lots of celebrities including musician Annie Lennox. It is also a popular location for movies and is where ‘Notting Hill,’ starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, was filmed.
Arthur Lintell, an agent at Knight Frank’s Notting Hill branch, said: “I would say Notting Hill is the UK equivalent of New York’s West Village. For years it has attracted creative types—musicians, photographers, film producers, writers, tech-entrepreneurs, financiers and families who favor an alternative, artisan lifestyle.”
WHAT’S ON THE MARKET IN NOTTING HILL
Christie’s International Real Estate
PRICE: $16.68 million
LOCATION: Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill
This seven-bedroom, four-bathroom semi-detached home includes four floors of living space, a conservatory and a private garden as well as direct access to the Lansdowne Crescent communal gardens.
Tony Blair, who was prime minister between 1997 and 2007, sold his beloved four-story home in north London’s Islington neighborhood in 1997 for £615,000 (about $892,000) when he came to power. He paid £375,000 (about $543,000) for it in 1993.
However, by selling this property he and his wife missed out on an investment opportunity as house prices in this area have surged since. It changed hands again for almost £1.5 million (about $2.17 million) in 2004 and the property is now estimated to be worth over £3.3 million (about $4.78 million).
The borough has gone through somewhat of a transformation since the 1960s, from a run-down neighborhood to a bustling, family-friendly district packed with restaurants and shops.
Those who bought in the 1990s have reaped the rewards. According to Foxtons, a London-based estate agent, the average property price in the area is £762,715 (about $1.1 million), up by 36% over the past year. Detached properties were fetching more than £2 million ($2.8 million).
“Islington remains a diverse residential area, popular with families and young professionals who love both its proximity to the City but also the fashionable vibe that’s emerged over the past two decades,” said Paul Williams, Head of Savills Islington.
But while the Blairs missed out on future gains on that particular property, they have made up for it since. They now own a property portfolio which includes 25 apartments and 7 houses across the UK and is said to be worth around £25 million (about $36 million).
WHAT’S ON THE MARKET IN ISLINGTON
PRICE: $9.4 million
LOCATION: Myddelton Square, Islington
This six-bedroom, five-bathroom home marries modern technology with original period detailing and includes a private garden with raised decking.