31 Aug

Britain's most expensive house sold to wealthy Russian

Britain's most expensive house sold to wealthy Russian

House-hunters who are renting property currently as a result of being priced out the market may consider that house prices across the board are astronomic. For a truly high end house price, however, look no further than the village of Remenham, near Henley-on-Thames, Oxon.

Remenham is the location of the UK's most expensive home, sold for £140 million to a wealthy Russian buyer. The buyer has not been identified but his finances helped eclipse the previous most expensive house, which is based in Knightsbridge and sold for £136 million.

Park Place was used until 1998 as a boarding school and was recently used in the remake of the film St Trinians. It also includes around 200 acres of parklands as well as listed monuments, horse stables and a boat house which backs on to the River Thames. Known as Park Place, the 30,000 square feet property is set in 570 acres and was bought for considerably less at £42 million in 2007 by a private property developer.

The purchase, along with increased interest from property investors in London has led to housing experts saying that the top end property market is still doing well, despite the global economic crisis. 

Even regular housing in the region of Oxfordshire is above average in terms of the national average. The national land survey shows that for July of each year since 1995, Oxfordshire house prices have been considerably higher than the average across England and Wales. Last month's average house price in the region was £238,522 – considerably more than the national average of £166,607.

The news is also good for those looking at slightly more affordable housing, according to director of Rightmove Miles Shipside. He believes that the housing market is shielded from most financial troubles around the Eurozone and even further afield.

Mr Shipside said: "While the world's financial jitters are now playing havoc with stock markets and our future pensions, there are bound to be concerns about the impact on assets held as bricks and mortar."

"While the repeated shocks to the financial system have severely limited transaction numbers compared to pre-credit-crunch levels, the last four years have seen them stabilise, with an uneasy balance developing between those that have a pressing need to sell and those that have a good reason and the capability to buy."

"Sellers' initial asking price aspirations have remained remarkably stable, and in spite of the continuing global economic unrest, the UK housing market has several unique factors that should help to insulate it from downside risks."

Buyers looking for houses in the south of England may also be in more luck as recent studies showed that the north/south property divide in the UK was growing. 

Mark Boyce, credit analyst at S&P, said: “We believe the widening north-south gap in arrears is partly due to the significantly more robust employment trends evident in the south of the UK since the start of the recent downturn in 2007, compared with the trends in the north."

So, while the very top-end of the property market is coping well, it seems that the rest of the market is also following. If Mr Shipside's comments ring true then bricks and mortar could remain a steady investment while also allowing people into the market more easily.

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