Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an NZME. News Service reporter

High Commissioner's former residence sells for $144m

1 Cornwall Terrace, London. Photo / supplied
1 Cornwall Terrace, London. Photo / supplied

The former London residence of the New Zealand High Commissioner - one of Britain's most prestigious private properties - has sold for NZ$144 million.

Number one Cornwall Terrace - overlooking Regent's Park - was New Zealand's official ambassadorial home from 1955 until the 1970s.

The historic Regency four-storey, 2000 square metre terraced mansion with seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, hydraulic elevator and nine reception rooms once hosted lavish parties attended by royalty and other VIPs.

But after it was discontinued as a dignitaries' outpost, hippies took it over in 1975, turned it into a squat-house and opened up a health food store.

Now, after a multi-million dollar renovation, it's been sold to British property tycoon Marcus Cooper according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

The no-expense-spared makeover has transformed it into one of London's top "trophy homes", the paper reports.

Originally designed and built in the 1820s by renowned architect Decimus Burton, who also built Buckingham Palace, it now features a mixture of classic and contemporary styles, from marble and limestone-lined halls to iPad-controlled lighting.

It also has a gym, heated indoor swimming pool, landscaped gardens, and high-tech gates that boasts an automatic number plate recognition system.

Official real estate figures show that the average UK house price in January was NZ$293,000 - making the grade I listed property 492 times more expensive than the average address.

"It's a trophy home and I'm not surprised by the value, it is probably in the top 8 per cent of homes in London," property expert Henry Pryor told the Daily Mail.

"It is a cracking address and the purchaser would have had to compete with people from all over the world."

- APNZ

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