The perks of a life of Crimewatch

No one could have imagined the house’s value would rise by 3,800 per cent.

Share

 

It’s like the Scooby-Doo Mystery of property stories. Who is the mysterious owner of the 1908 Notting Hill townhouse bought for £950,000 in 1993 and sold for £35m this week? Could it be Simon Cowell, the multi-millionaire media mogul with a host of properties around the globe? Could it be Sir Alan Sugar, The Apprentice boss with an eye for a hot investment deal? Or could it be mild-mannered Nick Ross, Crimewatch presenter, philanthropist (I should think so) and one-time guest star on Are You Being Served?

It’s always the quiet ones. And for television viewers of the 1980s, it’s exactly as Nick Ross has taught us. Crime doesn’t pay. Investing in an up-and-coming area at the right time and making shrewd adjustments with extensive renovations, however? That’ll be £34m profit, thanks.

Although there is no good reason for begrudging Nick Ross his windfall – he’s just been lucky – news of his extraordinary good fortune on London’s on-the-never-never property ladder is somewhat discomfiting. So on one hand, it’s none of our business. On the other... How much? Ah, he would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for that pesky British obsession with house prices!

Having moved into Notting Hill in the 1980s, Ross and wife Sarah, a television producer, were looking for a substantial house midway between the BBC studios in Shepherd’s Bush and Broadcasting House in central London. The house was bought during the 1993 slump for the supposedly knock-down sum of just under a million.

In those days, that was a hefty whack. But no one – no, not even Peter Mandelson – could have imagined that the house would eventually rise in value by 3,800 per cent. Even with the handy addition of an underground swimming pool. The new owner is like something out of a novel, the son of a Syrian-Saudi billionaire whose sister got married at Versailles with 700 guests and Robbie Williams as her wedding singer.

The coup of one television presenter is representative of the madness of property prices in the past 20 years. It’s unimaginable that 50 years ago anyone would have made such a killing. And they never will again. The unassuming, affable Ross has benefited from one of the strangest bubbles in history. It’s hardly his fault. And to his credit, the profits will be split between his children and charity.

But without victimising him personally, is it right that anyone can make a more than 3,500 per cent profit on anything? It’s not. We need a corrective to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. Doubling your money on your house is plenty. Times by 40? That signals insanity. And someone somewhere carrying a lot of debt. Oh.

One final thought. Forget £35m. A £950,000 house in 1993? For presenting Crimewatch? That’s a lot of Scooby snacks. Who knew?

Twitter: @VivGroskop

 

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Related Articles
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established managed services IT...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Recruitment Genius: Plant Fitter - Construction Industry

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This well established construction equipment d...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Bahrainis on an anti-government protest in May  

Hussain Jawad's detainment and torture highlights Britain's shameless stance on Bahraini rights

Emanuel Stoakes
August 1923: Immigrants in a dining hall on Ellis Island, New York.  

This election demonises the weakest

Stefano Hatfield
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003