In the competition between the U.S. and the U.K. for the priciest home sale, the British may soon have the upper hand again.
A 45-room mansion in London’s Knightsbridge neighborhood is in contract to be sold for more than 200 million pounds, or $262 million, Bloomberg reported. Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung-Kiu, whose property firm briefly held the record for most expensive London office purchase, in 2017, is the buyer.
Elsewhere in the world, luxury properties in markets like Hong Kong and Monaco have traded for more than $300 million — heights which New York and London have yet to reach.
But upon closing, the property at 2-8a Rutland Gate would be the most expensive home ever sold in the U.K., and would surpass the U.S. record established last year when hedge funder Ken Griffin shelled out $238 million for the quadplex penthouse at Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South.
The previous record home sale in the U.K. was for the 300-year-old Park Place estate in southern England, which fugitive Russian oligarch Andrey Borodin bought for 140 million pounds in 2012. The previous U.S. record was held by Jana Partners’ Barry Rosenstein, who paid $137 million for an estate at 60 Further Lane in East Hampton in 2014.
The Knightsbridge property, which overlooks Hyde Park, was previously home to the late Saudi crown prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and had been vacant since his death in 2011. Former Lebanese prime minister and billionaire businessman Rafic Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005, also once resided at the property.
Along with a swimming pool, private health spa and gymnasium, the mansion’s amenities include bulletproof windows.
Cheung may divide the property into luxury apartments or keep it as a single house with 62,000 square feet of living space, which is larger than an American football field. The seven-story building was converted from four homes into one massive residence in the 1980s, according to the Guardian.
Born in the city of Chongqing in western China in 1964, Cheung moved to Hong Kong in 1980 and got involved in the local real estate industry in the 1990s. In 2019, his Hong Kong–listed property company bought London’s Leadenhall Building, locally nicknamed the Cheesegrater, for $1.48 billion, making it the city’s most expensive office building for a time — although that record was broken by another Hong Kong firm months later.
Gary Hersham, the founder of Beauchamp Estates, had the listing for the Rutland Gate property. Elie Chamat, a Swiss wealth manager who manages the property on behalf of the previous owner’s heirs, told Bloomberg that the deal represents a bright spot for London’s challenging super-luxury market. [Bloomberg] — Kevin Sun