Prices Start at $80 Million
Cambridge House: This home is located in Mayfair and is currently being renovated. It is listed for $402 million.
The WSJ's MoneyBeat also has more.London is making history once again, this time in the realm of real estate: The capital now has more homes on the market listed for £50 million or more than at any other time on record, according to one new study. That's $80 million for those across the pond.
According to real-estate agency Huntly Hooper, roughly $27 billion in property is on the market in prime central London, of which 14 apartments and houses are priced between $80 million and $400 million. But since at this exceptionally rarefied end of the market most of the action goes on behind closed doors, the true number is certain to be far greater.
Peter Wetherell, managing director of real-estate agents Wetherell, attributes this "exponential growth" to the financial buying power of the world's wealthiest 5%. "They have been able to buy assets and companies at discount prices and then benefit dramatically as the global market has recovered," Mr. Wetherell said. "These global multimillionaires and billionaires see the prime central London market as an island of stability in a turbulent world."
David Adams, managing director of John Taylor estate agents, sells London homes priced between $3 million and $325 million. He believes homes at £50m-plus are usually clustered in three key districts: Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair.
Homes in parts of Kensington and the odd prime street in north London—namely The Bishops Avenue in Hampstead and Avenue Road in St. John's Wood—can also command this kind of price. And a few of the larger properties around One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge and Cornwall Terrace in Regent's Park, are selling for £50 million-plus.
The most noteworthy example came in 2011 when Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov spent £136.4 million ($218.2 million) on a 25,000-square-foot apartment in One Hyde Park.
Mr. Wetherell divides top buyers into four categories. First are the "oil royals" from Qatar, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Brunei. For example, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, acquired an office building in Mayfair in 2006 and then spent six years remodeling it into a $321 million mansion with 17 bedrooms and 14 reception rooms.
Other big players are tycoons from Russia and Kazakhstan, among other countries. Len Blavatnik, the Russian-born property and music mogul, owner of Parlophone Records, is restoring a home on Kensington Palace Gardens that is also said to be valued at $321 million. Neighbors on the street, which backs on to Kensington Palace, include Britain's richest man, the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who bought his house for $92 million back in 2004, and Jon Hunt, founder of Foxtons FOXT.LN 0.00% estate agents. Mr. Hunt paid about $25 million when he bought the property in 2005, but a renovation and rising values have put him in the $80-million-plus club....MORE
About 2-8a Rutland Gate Charles McDowell, a London-based consultant specialising in high-end residential property, said: 'It is a truly rarefied property':