If you're a first-time buyer looking to get onto the property ladder, you may be interested to know that Witanhurst, the 94 year old Georgian-style Highgate mansion, and second largest private residence in London (the largest being the Queen's gaff), has been sold to Marcus Cooper for an estimated £32 million. His firm The Cooper Group plan to "restore and develop Witanhurst beyond its former glory", and transform it into the capital's first £150 million home.
A nice little earner, by all accounts. As The Telegraph notes, "The price tag dwarfs that of Britain's most expensive home, which is on the market for £75 million."
Regular readers will know that Londonist's wallet is rather light, so we won't be putting in a bid just yet. Nevertheless, we're keen to hear the precise details of the development. The building and the gardens are of historical importance: this Grade II listed property spans over 5½ acres, while the mansion covers almost 40,000 sq ft, with 65 rooms, including 25 bedrooms. One of the largest rooms is the Grand Ballroom, measuring 70 feet long by 20 feet wide. The building has been largely uninhabited for the past twenty years, and a significant number of the rooms have been untouched since they were built back in 1913. Restoring this building and retaining its original beauty will be no easy task.
Due to its distinctive style, Witanhurst has been used as a regular location by the BBC for various documentaries and costume dramas, including Tipping the Velvet, Nicholas Nickleby, and The Lost Prince. Surprisingly, the fact that the building has also been used to house the students of Fame Academy has done nothing to devalue the property.
The building would certainly suit a teacher or nurse on the government payroll. Alternatively, as Charlie Ellingworth of PropertyVision says:
"The obvious buyers would be Russian or Middle Eastern. But there are a lot of very rich people out there. If you are a billionaire, £150 million is small change."
Personally, we look forward to the day when £15 is small change.
Image taken from newformula's Flickr stream.