Last month the world's most expensive flats came on to the market when a development overlooking Hyde Park in central London was launched offering penthouses for £140m each. Primelocation tracks down its near-cousins across the UK
When luxury developers the Candy brothers revealed the most expensive homes for sale within their new development in London, One Hyde Park, many people were shocked by their cheek, particularly during a recesssion.
But the development, which is in Knighsbridge, highlights just how much the Capital's super-prime property market continues to boom.
Primelocation has tracked down the houses that can claim to be in the same class and therefore here's our Top 20 most valuable private houses in Britain, a mix of ancestral country piles, swell 19th century Kensington townhouses, and a few fabulously ornate north London 'Xanadus'.
Once upon a time, a royal visitation was the hallmark both of a stately home’s value and its owner’s social status. Today, similar distinction is conferred by the arrival of a feature film’s director of photography.
So Highclere Castle, or Downton Abbey, as we all know it, makes our list along with Castle Howard (Brideshead), Alnwick Castle (Hogwarts in Harry Potter) and Burghley (The Da Vinci Code).
Their monetary and architectural worth is high, but their value to modern popular culture may be even higher. Valuing national treasures like Blenheim Palace that have been in the same family for centuries is not an exact science, although the 2005 sale of Easton Neston, the Nicholas Hawksemoor Grade I-listed house, for £15 million does provide something of yardstick.
Even in this category, there is a north south divide, with Hampshire worth considerably more than Derbyshire. The real story of our Top 20 is the astonishing rise in the value of London’s hot spots, where prices regularly exceed £4,500 per square foot.
This has, however, proved no obstacle to recent billionaire buyers from Russia, the Ukraine, India, the Gulf, Israel or Kazakhstan. In the interests of variety, we have chosen just one property from grand locations like Belgrave Square, Kensington Palace Gardens and One Hyde Park.
As test cricketers say, ‘form is temporary, class in permanent’. The rarified ‘Prime London’ market has been largely unaffected by the recession as foreign buyers have rushed in where domestic purchasers fear to tread.
For stately homes that have weathered ten British monarchs, the banking crisis is a blink of the eye – of more significance to them is the cost of heating oil and the intricacies of Inheritance Tax. With two properties on our Top 20 currently for sale, now is a good time to join the property-owning elite, although a good-sized piggy bank will be needed.
By Peter Swain, 23 March 2011
The Top 20 Most Valuation Prime Locations
1. 18/19 Kensington Palace Gardens - £149m
2. Lowndes Square, Belgravia - £142m
3. One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge - £140m
4. Toprak Mansion, Bishops Avenue - £105m
5. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire - £100m
6. Witanhurst, Highgate, London - £95m
7. Franchuk House, Belgravia, London - £84m
8. Updown Court, Surrey - £73m
9. Highclere House, Berkshire - £72m
10. Longleat, Wiltshire - £60m
11. 47 Belgrave Square - £55m
12. Palladio, Hampstead, London - £50m
13. Wilton, Wiltshire - £48m
14. Chatsworth House, Derbyshire - £45m
15. Castle Howard, North Yorkshire - £42m
16. Goodwood, West Chichester - £35m
17. Burghley House, Lincolnshire - £33m
18. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland -£32m
19. The Lodge, Cheval Place, Knightsbridge - £30m
20. Holkham Hall, Norfolk -£28m