The UK has the history of being one of the oldest and most sought after lands in Europe. This birthplace of Darwin, Newton, Shakespeare, the Beatles and JK Rowling; home of the world’s richest football club, and the biggest foreign currency market, is also a foremost fashion destination which has seen the rise of the likes of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney.
Living in the U.K.
Home ownership in the UK has been the highest in the European Union. City dwellers tend to focus on London, with the well funded favouring Knightsbridge or Mayfair, while countryside enthusiasts head for the Lake District, Scotland, Wales or the West Country (Devon and Cornwall).
Prime central London is amongst the most expensive locations in the world. A blend of classical and modern architecture, a diverse range of locations and abundance of culture and heritage sites including museums, galleries, shops and palaces make London a sought after venue for a second home.
In 2008, Madonna bought a Georgian town house adjoining her current eight bedroom property in Central London, for some £6 million. This was her sixth home in the city. The first lady of pop music also owns two cottages near Marylebone and a 1200 acre estate in Central London. Supermodels Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer, and pop star Robbie Williams, have set up home in Notting Hill, which has been a celebrity hang out long before the release of the eponymous Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts’ movie.
Outside London, the St George’s Hill estate in Weybridge is home to Elton John, Ringo Starr, and Tommy Lee Jones. Up north, Alderley Edge, close to Manchester, houses several football players including David Beckham; before he headed off to Spain and then Los Angeles. Country boltholes such as Coln Valley in the Cotswolds, are addresses for the likes of Kate Winslet, Liz Hurley, Anne Robinson, and Kate Moss.
Currently, Indians are emerging as some of the biggest shoppers of properties in London and surrounding areas. Industrialist Lakshmi Mittal holds the record for buying one of the most expensive properties in London in Kensington Palace Gardens; costing over £57 m.
Most Sought after Properties
Amongst the most sought after property is One Hyde Park, a new property that is expected to break price records and is expected to be finished by 2009. It is being designed by Richard Rodgers Partnership, the London-based architectural firm, and the project is being handled by Candy & Candy, a London company known for its top-of-the-line projects, like the furnished apartment on Trevor Square that recently went on the market for £15 million.
The project’s four towers, with a total of 80 apartments, are planned for the prime Knightsbridge site once occupied by the Bowater pulp and timber company. The new apartments will be lavish, with amenities like “memory mirrors,” full-length video screens with time delays; so reflections are really images captured 10 seconds earlier.
“There are many reasons for owning property in UK,” says Emma Thorne, from www.bestmanchestersolicitors.co.uk who have overseen thousands of property purchases since 2005. “Property is always a sound investment. In addition, there is a level of prestige involved in owning a global luxury address in one of the top areas. A second home is also of great convenience for those who have children studying in universities in the UK.”