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Bigger isn’t always better in London’s struggling housing market

Mega-mansion owners are once again carving up their palatial homes

October 23, 2016 03:00PM

The Hyde Park mansion seeking $483M

A Hyde Park mansion

London boasts many of the most expensive single-family mansions in the world. But as the market for high-end housing struggles, mansion owners are once again carving up their palatial homes into multiple units.

In recent years, London mega-mansions were all the rage among the super-rich. International buyers would buy up neighboring townhouses and next-door apartments, combining them into expansive homes. But when it comes time to sell a beast of that size, the market can be a cold and lonely place.

The average sale price of homes in the £10 million-plus bracket ($12.19 million) has fallen 10.4 percent in the past two years, estate agents Savills told the Wall Street Journal.

In response, London city councils are denying up to 50 percent of applications to combine homes. They are also concerned about construction noise and London’s severe housing shortage.

Still, billionaires will be billionaires. In the fight for space, some wealthy individuals have been buying units off site and dividing them into smaller apartments to offset their combinations and appease local councils. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron

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