Francois Pinault Pays £20 Million For A Two-Bedroom Home In London

Would you pay £20 million for a two-bedroom house? Probably not. But then, you are not Francois Pinault, the PPR founder who recently hit real estate headlines for shelling out £20 million for a two-bedroom home in Chelsea, south-west London. There is more to this real estate than meets the eye. For that, we will have to take a closer look at the luxury property.

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Pinault’s Historic Home

The £20 million home that Pinault just invested in is a splendid Queen Anne revival home. It has enjoyed its moment of Hollywood fame as well, back when it played home to Uncle Monty, Richard Griffith’s character in the 1987 cult comedy “Withnail and I”.

The luxury home may have only two bedrooms, but it remains one of the only London properties to have triple height ceilings. The “Father of Arts and Crafts architecture” Philip Webb designed this stunning home for painter George Price Boyce back in 1868. The home has a significant history therefore.

As Pinault gets ready to move in, he will spare a thought for the previous owner – Professor Bernard Nevill. Nevill was a noted aesthete and he served as a design director at Liberty in the ’60s and ’70s. The Chelsea home became his residence for three decades. Nevill worked on the interiors throughout his stay, after purchasing the home for £80,000.

Makeover Plans

Pinault too will continue his predecessor’s legacy of working on the interiors of the home. The 75-year-old Frenchman has plans of improving the house and has already applied to the Kensington & Chelsea council for approval. Apparently, Pinault wants to restore some of the original features like the main staircase. Additionally, he has makeover plans for the bedrooms, kitchen and baths. Plus, he plans on adding new windows in the large studio area.

Not all businessmen have a soft corner for the arts. But Pinault, who is also among the top two richest men in France, is the proud owner of one of the largest contemporary art collections. He even owns collected works by contemporary artist Damien Hirst. Plus, he owns two art galleries in Venice and a majority stake in Christie’s auction house.

Foreign Buyers Flock To London

Pinault’s £20 million purchase has drawn plenty of attention in London real estate circles and elsewhere. The property transaction is also a fine example of the way in which foreign buyers are flocking to London to buy real estate. Even as the slowdown affects much of Europe and the most expensive foreclosed homes for sale make news, London continues to be regarded as something of a safe haven for foreign investment.

The luxury sector of the London property market is receiving regular boosts from foreign buyers. Last year, £3.7 million worth of property purchases came from foreign buyers. Belgravia and Chelsea especially are areas to which foreign buyers have been flocking. Significantly, most such buyers live in their London homes for only a short period every year.

Foreign interest in London property has also led to a building boom in the region. In many cases, only the facades of newly bought homes remain the same. The interiors are completely remodeled, with additions like swimming pools and larger garages being made.

Via: The Telegraph

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