London flat sells for record price of £140m


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The Independent Online

A flat in West London has sold for a record British price of more than £140m, according to a report.

The 16,000-square-foot duplex penthouse, one of four at the One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, was sold to a buyer from Eastern Europe, thought to be either a Russian or Ukrainian, The Times newspaper said.

It has been bought as an empty shell and there were estimates it could cost £20m to fit it out to the expected standard of décor and furnishings.

One Hyde Park has been described as the world’s most expensive block of flats. It was developed by CPC Group and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar.

Charles McDowell, an independent property consultant, said: “At the moment we are seeing a growing number splashing the cash in prime central London, buying houses and buying them through companies so they can remain anonymous.

“The more they can pay for something the better as they just want to get as much of their money into the UK as fast as they can.

“Even though they have to pay the higher 15 per cent stamp duty when they buy through a company, Russians are doing it as they clearly want to get their money out and they don’t want to be traced in any way, shape or form and so are buying anonymously.”

The news came as Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy governor of the Bank of England, warned that the housing market could be running out of control.

He said there were a number of “blinking warning lights” facing the banking sector and housing was “now in my view the brightest light on that dashboard”.

It would be “dangerous to ignore the momentum that has built up”, he added.