Posts with tag: London housing crisis

London Mansions Too Small for Billionaires

Published On: June 9, 2015 at 11:54 am


Categories: Property News

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London billionaires are dealing with their own housing crisis, as the capital’s mansions are too small, revealed property experts.

London homes the highest amount of billionaires in the world, with about 140 owning a house in the city. This is much more than New York at 103, Moscow at 85, Hong Kong at 82 and just 33 in Paris.

But this problem is worlds away from the struggle many Londoners experience with spiralling house prices and rents.

The super-rich are looking for fully furnished, ready to move into houses, but properties in London are tiny compared to mansions in some billionaires’ home countries.

They are now knocking individual houses together, restoring and extending mansions, and turning commercial properties into family homes.

Beauchamp Estates has published its Ultra Prime Barometer, a study on billionaires and their housing habits.

Beauchamp’s Gary Hersham says: “London commentators often forget that in Russia, the Ukraine and Middle East the homes of the super-rich are massive compared to traditional London homes. Palatial properties in places like Ukraine, Qatar and Saudi Arabia can be up to 150,000 sq. ft. in size.

“So an 8,000 sq. ft. London townhouse is like a broom cupboard when compared to super-rich palaces elsewhere on the globe. This is why some extremely adroit super-rich vendors are creating a new level in the London property market and palaces that are a size level above anything currently for sale in the marketplace.

“They know that, like a coveted painting, the rarity value and quality of such a property will ensure that it holds and increases in value. There will always be super-rich buyers available for truly unique trophy mansions at this top 1% of the London housing market.”

Properties currently under construction or under the planning system include 1-3 Cornwall Terrace, Cambridge House, Witanhurst and 14 Princes Gate.

Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser of Qatar acquired Cornwall Terrace for her son, the current Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The three homes cost a total of £120m and are now being transformed into a single home.

However, the plans were initially delayed for going against Westminster Council’s policy of increasing the amount of homes in the borough. Revised plans are currently going through planning.

Witanhurst in Highgate will be worth a huge £300m when it is completed. It will also be the capital’s second largest home, after Buckingham Palace. It is thought that a Russian billionaire bought it in 2008.

14 Princes Gate was the childhood home of John F. Kennedy and has been bought by the Saudi royal family, who will turn it into another £300m property.

Cambridge House was purchased by Motcomb Estates in 2011 and in April 2013 the firm had plans approved to transform it into a 60,600 sq. ft. home worth £250m. The mansion will have 48 rooms, a 35,000-bottle wine cellar and an underground swimming pool.

Hersham continues: “The reason why these grand former embassy buildings like 1-3 Cornwall Terrace and 14 Princes Gate are being converted back to their original residential use, and also being enlarged into homes providing over 30,000 sq. ft. of living space, is that in both cases, quite simply there isn’t anything available on the marketplace at this size in London.

“Owners are creating their own marketplace and converting opulent buildings into new palatial private homes.

“With their huge resources, the super-rich building new mega-palaces in London can afford to be patient; they employ planning consultants, lawyers, architects and contractors to deal with the frustrations of London’s complex planning system.

“An ordinary Londoner planning an extension to their home can be driven mad by planning paperwork, red tape and delays. Not the super-rich, they can employ an army of consultants to suck up any frustration.”1 







London’s Housing Crisis Defined in One Statistic

Published On: May 16, 2015 at 4:08 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

London’s housing crisis has been summed up after it was found that seven out of ten houses on one street in Kensington are second homes.

The 300 metre-long street, Ashburn Place, in West London has 131 residential properties, of which 70% are not classed as a main home, revealed Kensington & Chelsea Council.

London's Housing Crisis Defined in One Statistic

London’s Housing Crisis Defined in One Statistic

The Council found the figures by a Freedom of Information request by The Steeple Times.

The statistic indicates that Kensington & Chelsea has the highest proportion of second homes of any densely populated area of England. The City of London and Isles of Scilly have more second homes, but are more sparse.

The City of London has a population of just 7,000, with a high concentration of offices rather than homes.

The changing population in this area has caused high-profile businesses to close recently. Companies are not getting enough custom because local residents are moving away and being replaced by second homeowners who do not constantly live there.

As a result, many areas in central London are becoming empty, with fewer permanent residents.

Ashburn Place has a considerably higher proportion of second properties than other streets in the top five. Second place is Sloane Avenue, a walk away from Ashburn Place, where four in ten houses are second homes.

The Isles of Scilly is experiencing similar problems. Low average wages and spiralling property prices due to the amount of second homes means that the wealth of some Scilly residents is equal to that of Slovakia and Slovenia.