This month, Britain’s house prices have broken some unwanted records. The average UK home asking price has gone above £300,000 for the first time with six regions hitting new highs. In the North West the average price is £177,500 and in the West Midlands it’s a shade over £200,000 but in London, the average price for a home is a quite staggering £644,000. Six hundred and forty four thousand pounds – are you kidding?! A huge amount for sure, but mere pennies in comparison what the super-rich are paying for a roof over their heads…
Last week, we read an interesting tweet from a middle-aged guy in the creative industry. It basically said that when he started work in the late-70s, his salary was £5k pa and the flat he lived in cost £19,000. Now, people in his position then are earning between £25-30k and the same flat in south London costs £800,000. It’s insane how much house prices have gone up and the latest ‘deposit’ stat – there seems to be a revised number every few months – says that first time buyers need somewhere north of £60,000 in cash just to get on the ladder.
That’s a topic for another day, but once you’re on the ladder and you’re sitting pretty on the top rung, what’s out there for you?
A quick (almost voyeuristic) Google search of ‘London’s most expensive houses’ kept pointing us to one house once owned by a Saudi prince and the Prime Minister of Lebanon that went on sale in 2015. It’s a super-mansion in Rutland Place near Hyde Park and the numbers are simply staggering!
- Price: £280,000,000
- Bedrooms: 45
- Size: 60,000 sq.ft
- Interior Design: Alberto Pinto
- Refurbishment Costs: c£50,000,000
- Floors: 7
2-8a Rutland Place Interior © ProAuction/SWNS
From what we can gather, it didn’t sell and the owners decided to turn it into luxury apartments.
Another super-mansion made the headlines last year, this time in Upper Brook Street in Mayfair. Mere pocket-change in comparison to Rutland Place but this newly-renovated, seven-bedroom 21,000 sq.ft Regency mansion was on the market for £90,000,000. It included a ballroom for 200 people, a mews home for staff, a 49-ft swimming pool, library, cinema, after-dinner bar (we’re not even sure what an after-dinner bar is), a master bedroom suite taking up an entire floor and it was described by a London property consultant as ‘a truly palatial home ideal for luxurious 21st century living’.
Upper Brook Street Entrance © SWNS
Of course £100m homes in London are rare but there’s no shortage of multi-million pound mansions to buy if you’ve got the cash. Even Zoopla are listing a 17,000 sq.ft, £45,000,000, 6-bed, 6-bath, 6-floor des-res in Mayfair!
But, while London is undoubtedly a very, VERY expensive place to live, these numbers pale into relative insignificance if we look further afield. Like with many exclusive asset classes such as property, classic cars, fine wine or art, getting exact sales figures are often impossible to come by given the fact that people with that much cash usually don’t want the likes of us to know what they’re spending!
Naturally, many of the world’s most expensive homes are in America and are (or have been) owned by celebs and business leaders, but how much are we talking about?
Owner: Petra Stunt, Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter
Where: Los Angeles, California
How Much: £54,000,000
Features: 123 rooms, bowling alley, tennis court, gym, 56,000 sq.ft
Odd Fact: There are three rooms purely for gift-wrapping presents
The Manor © paradiseleased.com
The Promised Land
Owner: Oprah Winfrey
Where: Montecito, California
How Much: £56,000,000
Features: 42 acres, 14 bathrooms, indoor AND outdoor theatres, 600 rose bushes
Odd Fact: The house was named after a Martin Luther King speech
Owner: Microsoft supremo Bill Gates
Where: Medina, Washington
How Much: £100,000,000
Features: 66,000 sq.ft, unbelievably high-tech, 60ft swimming pool, heated driveways
Odd Fact: The house was named after the title character’s house in Citizen Kane
The Playboy Mansion
Owner: Playboy legend Hugh Hefner
Where: Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California
How Much: £138,000,000
Features: 29 rooms, five acres, grotto, zoo, home theatre
Odd Fact: If you buy the house, you have to let Hef live there
Villa La Leopolda
Owner: Lily Safra, Brazilian billionaire
Where: Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
How Much: £485,000,000
Features: 19 bedrooms, 80,000+ sq.ft, tennis courts, bowling alley, 50 full-time gardeners
Odd Fact: King Leopold II of Belgium built the house for a mistress
Villa La Leopolda © www.moneybagsfull.com
Owner: Mukesh Ambani, Indian billionaire
Where: Mumbai, India
How Much: £650,000,000
Features: 27 floors, 400,000 sq.ft, 168-car garage, 3 helipads, 9 lifts, 2-floor health centre
Odd Fact: 600 staff look after the property in a ratio of 1:100 (six residents)
Antilia Mumbai © fireflydaily.com
at 1 Mar 2016
Some people enjoy travelling on business and see it as a perk of the job and others find it a tiring, lonely experience but in the non-stop world we live in, it’s a necessity that can rarely be avoided. Most short trips involve airports, client offices and nondescript hotel rooms but for longer stays and secondments, Euracom has the answer, and the benefits of business travel are better than you think….
As we’ve said, coming to London on business for a few days is easy and quick to organise. Flights are cheap and you can find decent hotel rooms all over the city. You meet with your clients, they take you for dinner and you’re back on the plane home before you know it.
As a long-term business traveller, it’s slightly more complex than that. Flights are no problem but accommodation might be. Three or more months in a hotel is prohibitively expensive for all but the biggest organisations, as is eating out three times a day. Organising laundry, work, entertaining and relaxation is also a hassle in a hotel.
London Skyline Picture © Neil Howard
But there’s a solution, and it’s much, much easier than you think…
As a business traveller, the things that are most important to you when staying in another country are:
- Comfort with plenty of space
- A home-away-from-home feel
- Close to the tube and mainline rail stations
- 15-20 minutes to Central London
- High-speed wireless broadband
- Weekly housekeeping
- Modern, high-tech apartments
- Immediate availability
- Fully-equipped kitchen and all mod-cons
Have you considered West Hampstead? If you haven’t, it’s time to start! Our brand new apartments are perfectly located just to the northwest of central London and offer some incredible advantages over staying in a hotel.
West Hampstead Picture © Nico Hogg
As we’ve mentioned, apartments are much cheaper than equivalent hotels and it’s exactly like being at home. You come and go as you please; you do what you want, when you want; you can cook, clean and relax in the lounge; you can entertain friends, colleagues or clients, you can work in spacious comfort and you can be in the beating heart of London in 10-15 minutes.
West Hampstead is west of Hampstead, one of London’s most exclusive (and expensive) residential areas and you should expect no change from £10m if you want a five-bedroom family home there. West Hampstead is a thriving, friendly community with a real, old-school Bohemian vibe. Some say it’s a yuppie stronghold and while that’s true to a certain extent, you’ll find all sorts of people buzzing around, from City-types to peaceful old hippies to families, young urbanites and the newly crowned millennials.
The main road that cuts through the middle of West Hampstead is West End Lane and it’s one of the very best high streets in London full of fantastic restaurants, bars and cafés, quirky, independent shops, delicatessens, bakeries and boutiques with a true village feel. You’ll find all sorts here including furniture, art, books and clothes and you are a few minutes away from the delights of Primrose Hill, Hampstead and Regent’s Park.
Not only that, but also, the overall benefits of long-term business travel can’t be ignored:
- See new and exciting cities with new foods and new experiences
- Meet new and interesting people from all over the world
- You don’t suffer from routine burnout with such variation
- Network with businesses you wouldn’t normally have access to
- Your confidence and business acumen grows
- Days are structured for you to get the most out of them
Heathrow Airport Picture © Sergey Yellseev
See! Coming to London on business for three months of more needn’t be a chore, a hassle, a bind or in any way stressful if you contact us on 020 8420 7666 firstname.lastname@example.org and book your corporate apartment in West Hampstead today!
at 22 Feb 2016
Everyone loves the Greens, don’t they? Unlike most of the sets on the Monopoly board, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street are three of the most famous and instantly recognisable streets in all of Europe but they weren't always about shopping!
London’s history is all at once fascinating, vibrant, funny, dark, macabre and two thousand years old and here is the history of the Greens…
Regent Street (£300); Rent £26; 1 House £130; 2 Houses £390; 3 Houses £900; 4 Houses £1,100; Hotel £1,275
Named after the Prince Regent (who became George IV), Regent Street runs north to south from Portland Place down to Piccadilly Circus and is instantly recognisable for its wide, sweeping Nash terraces as well as, these days, the flagship Apple Store and Hamleys, the world’s greatest toyshop.
Regent Street Picture © Gabrielle Ludlow
Regent Street was one of London’s first examples of town planning, dispensing with the ‘industry standard’ of the day, a throwback to the mid-17th century of Wren’s classically formal model and it was intended as a commercial centre, hence the distinct lack of public spaces and gardens. In 1850, it was the first shopping area in the UK to see the value in late-night shopping with stores staying open to 7pm, perhaps a precursor to the highlight of the year, the Christmas lights that attract thousands of tourists and Londoners alike.
The only surviving Nash building on Regent Street is All Soul’s Church completed in 1823 and today, major residents include BBC Broadcasting House, Café Royal and Liberty as well as the aforementioned Apple Store and Hamleys.
Oxford Street (£300); Rent £26; 1 House £130; 2 Houses £390; 3 Houses £900; 4 Houses £1,100; Hotel £1,275
Oxford Street is one of the most iconic shopping streets in the world – think Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Fifth Avenue in New York and L’Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris – and the 300 shops and restaurants that traverse its 1.2 mile length from Marble Arch at the western end to Tottenham Court Road at the eastern end welcome more than 200m visitors a year.
It follows the route of a Roman road called the via Trinobantina and became famous – or infamous – as the route taken by condemned men from Newgate Prison to the gallows at Tyburn, where Marble Arch now stands. In fact, as the prison guards were transporting their charges to their final destination on a horse and cart, they would often stop at an inn along the route for a flagon of ale. When the innkeeper asked if the prisoner was to drink, the guards would reply ‘no, he’s on the wagon’ and this became a phrase that has entered the common parlance meaning to abstain from alcohol.
Oxford Circus Picture © Ihuga
When Harry Selfridge opened his eponymous store in 1909, Oxford Street became world famous and it’s now home to the department stores of John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams as well as flagship Nike, Hennes, TopShop and Adidas shops.
Bond Street (£320); £28; 1 House £150; 2 Houses £450; 3 Houses £1,000; 4 Houses £1,200; Hotel £1,400
Off the hustle, bustle and crowds of Oxford Street and you’ll find Bond Street, one of the world’s most luxurious shopping streets. As the bourgeoisie populated Mayfair in the 18th century, Bond Street – named for landowner Sir Thomas Bond – became a retail area for locals and a pretentious group of residents known as the Bond Street Loungers would parade up and down in expensive clothes and wigs to affirm their superiority.
Bond Street Picture © DncnH
In the 19th century, Bond Street took shape, with auctioneer Phillips and jeweller Asprey opening and these auspicious names have been followed by Sotheby’s, Tiffany, Chanel, Breitling, Bulgari, Rolex and De Beers. Where haute couture fashion is concerned, there’s no better place in London. Walk up and down Bond Street and the names scream out at you – Ralph Lauren, Fendi, Gucci, Prada, Donna Karan, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Ermenegildo Zegna –so don’t forget to take your wallet and don’t forget to have your picture taken with Churchill and Roosevelt, if you can find them…
In commercial property terms, Bond Street is widely considered to be the best retail location in Europe and even if you’re not a Russian billionaire, it’s fun to go window shopping!
at 25 Jan 2016
We’re at the top of the Monopoly board where the properties start to get interesting. What we’re really referring to are the financial rewards and the reds of Strand, Fleet Street and Trafalgar Square are some of the most landed-upon squares on the whole board.
Read on to find out the fascinating story of the Reds!
There’s no getting away from it, Christmas is coming! You’ll buy enough food to feed a small army, presents to keep under the tree and hideous jumpers with reindeers on but after lunch what to do? Monopoly of course, it’s almost the law, but aside from being the world’s most popular board game that turns 80 this year, there are lots of facts about the game you may not know…
- Of the 16 Community Chest cards, 10 will give you cash
- In 1941, the British Secret Service commissioned games that included real money, maps and compasses to be sent to POWs to aid their escape
- The total cash count in every game is £13,190
- The only property on the board south of the Thames is Old Kent Road
- The Monopoly Man, aka Rich Uncle Pennybags is supposed to have been modelled on US financier JP Morgan
Strand (£220); Rent £18; 1 House £90; 2 Houses £250; 3 Houses £700; 4 Houses £875; Hotel £1,050
It hasn’t always been called Strand. In fact, in 1002, it was known as Strondway, in 1185 as Stronde and in 1220, la Stranda. It’s a derivative of the old English word ‘strand’ meaning ‘shore’ and formed part of a shallow bank of the Thames before the Victoria Embankment was built.
Today the Strand runs from Trafalgar Square to Temple Bar where it continues into Fleet Street (hence the grouping on the game board) and in the 13th century it was known as Densemanestret or ‘street of the Danes’ because of the Danish community that settled in the area in the 9th century and who built the famous church of St Clement Danes.
The art deco splendour of the Savoy Hotel sits on the Strand as does the entrance to the magnificent Somerset House and the road was popularised in the famous music hall song ‘Let’s All Go Down the Strand’. In the 19th century it was the centre of Victorian theatre although almost all of the most popular venues of the day are long gone.
Savoy Hotel, Strand, London © Nick Garrod
Today, the Strand is noted for its connections to travel, with hotels, luggage and tourists agents lining its length as well as famous stamp dealers including Stanley Gibbons.
Fleet Street (£220); Rent £18; 1 House £90; 2 Houses £250; 3 Houses £700; 4 Houses £875; Hotel £1,050
Say Fleet Street to anyone in the UK and the immediate association is with the newspaper industry since William Caxton’s apprentice, the perfectly named Wynkyn de Worde set up a printing shop near Shoe Lane around 1500. Even though most of them moved out in the 1980s, the evocative image of hacks hunkering down in pubs and drinking holes looking for the scoop remains.
Fleet Street, Daily Courant © Matt Brown
Fleet Street was named after the River Fleet, the largest underground river in London and was the road that linked the City to the political hub at Westminster in the 13thcentury. Perhaps a natural extension of this was the development of the legal quarter. Temple, formerly the property of the Knights Templar, includes two of the four Inns of Court and the Royal Courts of Justice and the Old Bailey are a few minutes’ walk away.
Today the association is predominantly with high finance. Banking behemoth Goldman Sachs is in the old Daily Telegraph building; England’s oldest private bank C. Hoare & Co have been there since 1690 and the much-maligned Royal Bank of Scotland has been there since 1580.
Trafalgar Square (£240); Rent £20; 1 House £100; 2 Houses £300; 3 Houses £750; 4 Houses £925; Hotel £1,100
Initially laid out by architect John Nash in the 1820s, Trafalgar Square is one of London’s most famous tourist destinations and up until 2001 it was also the home to what seemed like most of London’s pigeons.
Named after the Battle of Trafalgar, perhaps Britain’s most famous naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars, the centrepiece of the magnificent square is Nelson’s Column. A Corinthian column designed by William Railton a little over 169ft in height, it is guarded on all corners by four bronze lions designed by Sir Edwin Landseer.
Trafalgar Square, London © Sathish J
Now pedestrianised, Trafalgar Square is bordered by the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, the church of St Martin-in-the-Field and a giant Waterstone’s bookstore and if you’re in London over Christmas and New Year, Trafalgar Square is a great place to be to join in the revelling!
at 21 Dec 2015
Where are the coolest, hippest areas of London? Vox pops on the streets will give you Shoreditch, Hoxton and the staple on any list, Camden, but there’s a new sheriff in town! Actually it’s not that new as you’ll see when you read the blog on the website but we have acquired a fantastic new property in West Hampstead and you, our lucky readers, are the very first people in the whole world to get the chance to book your stay! Read on to find out more about London’s newest-oldest coolest area!
West Hampstead is, as the name suggests, west of Hampstead, one of London’s most exclusive (and expensive) residential areas and you should expect no change from £10m if you want a five-bedroom family home there. However just a mile or so away is West Hampstead. Bordered by Childs Hill to the north, Swiss Cottage to the east, South Hampstead to, yes correct, the south and Kilburn and Cricklewood to the west-ish, the area is a thriving, friendly community with a real, old-school Bohemian vibe. Some say it’s a yuppie stronghold and while that’s true to a certain extent, you’ll find all sorts of people buzzing around, from City-types to aged hippies to families, young urbanites and the newly crowned millennials.
By and large, West Hampstead in the London Borough of Camden can be defined by one street, West End Lane, the main drag that dissects the area and it’s one of the very best high streets in London. While the whole world is fixated with massive, sprawling shopping malls with hundreds of shops, dozens of food chains and ample parking, West Hampstead has stayed a proper, classic English high street, but it wasn’t always like that…
In the 13th century, the area was known as ‘le Rudyng’, an old English term meaning ‘woodland clearing’ and it’s believed there was a dwelling of some sort on the land at that time. It stayed ostensibly rural for another 200 years but by the mid-1500s the village was called West End, a freehold estate belonging to Kilburn Priory, a small monastic community of nuns. There was an estate house extant by the mid-1600s and it was around this time that West End Lane was so named.
If you’ve ever driven the length of West End Lane from Finchley Road to Swiss Cottage, you notice a hard left-to-right kink. It’s been there for the best part of 500 years because it was used to delineate the individual estates from each other but as time passed, more and more houses were built by London’s merchants and it turned in to a proper, working village.
From the start of the 1800s, there were three major residences in the village – West End House, West End Hall and Lauriston Lodge and interestingly, when the railways arrived 50 years later the estates were sold off to redevelop the area into a thriving commuter town. In 1879 when the railway board called the stations West Hampstead, the area became so called as well, presumably to distinguish it from the more well-known West End further into central London although this was challenged by a local estate agent who claimed he coined the name – they really don’t change, do they?!
As the 19th century turned the corner into the 20th, public amenities like street lights, gas and electricity were provided and the frontages of West End Lane started to take shape as shops.
In 1952, when celebrated German-born British architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, best known for his 46-volume county-by-county guides The Buildings of England came to West Hampstead, he wrote that the area was only worth visiting to see the great collection of Victorian churches, going as far as saying ‘the houses and streets require no notice…’
He was right about a lot of the country but he was most certainly wrong about that!
West Hampstead is a friendly, safe, down-to-earth sort of place and somewhat of a social hub. It retains a village feel with a Bohemian vibe and if you take a stroll down West End Lane, you’ll find some excellent restaurants, cafés, cosy pubs and bars from all over the world, quirky boutiques, delicatessens and bakeries and some very cool shops selling all sorts, including art, furniture, clothes and books. You are also minutes away from the vast expanse of Hampstead Heath, a big draw for any visitor to London.
For these reason (and many others), we have acquired a fantastic property within walking distance of the Jubilee Line at West Hampstead as well as the overground station of the same name that will take you into central London in 10-15 minutes. Clickhere for the full details of these fantastic, newly-refurbished apartments, all furnished with fully fitted kitchens, large double beds and luxury bathrooms. They are perfect for tourists, corporate travellers, couples and families coming to London looking for a perfectly located apartment from where to explore our fantastic city!
Call us TODAY on 020 8420 7666 or email email@example.com to book your apartment in London for Christmas!
at 10 Dec 2015