British Record Set for Newly-built Home -- $70 Million, Record then Smashed by Sale at $100 Million

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Same estate agent sells both! An Israeli diamond merchant set the record for the most expensive new single family home sold in Britain with his purchase of a Palladian mansion in a northern district of London for $70 million dollars only to have his record smashed within a few days by a Kazakhstani billionaire's purchase at $100 million.

Lev Leviev, Israel's richest man, spent $70 million (£35 million) to purchase what was briefly the most expensive newly constructed single family home ever sold in Britain. The Palladian-style home, located in the exclusive north London district of Hempstead, features a $100,000 bullet-proof door, a ballroom, a $1.5 million stone staircase, and an indoor swimming pool with gold plated mosaic tiles.

The ink was hardly dry on Leviev's contract before Horelma Peramam, a female billionaire from Kazakhstan purchased Toprak Mansion on Bishop's Road, north London's blingiest street, for $100 million. Peramam then announced she planned to spend an additional $30 million to redo the new house and expand it from a mere 23,000 square feet to 42,000 square feet.

Estate agent Trevor Abrahamson, managing director of Glentree Estates, sold both properties.

The two buyers share rags-to-riches stories. Firmly entrenched on the Forbes billionaire list, Leviev is a 51-year old diamond czar who reportedly immigrated to Israel from Uzbekistan in 1971 without a penny to his name. Peramam is a diminutive 75-year-old woman who fled Kazakhstan at the age of 17. A year later, while living in an Iranian refugee camp she met her future husband, a medical student from a wealthy family. She helped him build a $2 billion property portfolio that stretches from Iran across Europe.

"These record-setting sales prices are another indication of the desirability and strength of the London luxury home market," said Laurie Moore-Moore, founder of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a leading research and training organization for real estate professionals specializing in the upper-tier housing market internationally.

"Although the British housing market shows some signs of softening, London is still the most expensive housing market in the world. Research firm Global Property Guide's newest report on the cost of purchasing apartments in major cities around the world puts what the firm calls "prime central London," including the neighborhoods of Belgravia, Chelsea, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, and Regent's Park, at the top of the most expensive list. In those areas, apartments range from $21,800 to $36,200 a square meter.

"The reported sale late last year of a new London penthouse unit at One Hyde Park for $200 million to Sheikh Hamad of Qatar (an investor in the project) still appears to hold the record as the most expensive residential property sold in the world, added Moore-Moore. "This sale bumped the previous record set by the $128 million purchase of a London residence by oil magnate Lakshmi Mittal."

"As the number of wealthy grows around the world, the very top of the luxury home market
continues to be the 'sweet spot' in residential real estate," Moore-Moore concluded.

For more information about The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, visit http://www.clhms.com.

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