An imposing Belgravia mansion has been sold to a British buyer for around £60 million almost a decade after it first went on the market.
It is believed to be the most expensive house sale in the capital this year, but still represents a 40 per cent discount to the original £100 million asking price.
The purchase is the latest in a remarkable flurry of deals at the very pinnacle of the capital’s property market following the £39 million sale of a six-bedroom house in Stanhope Gate in Mayfair.
That deal came just days after a former schoolhouse in Knightsbridge sold for £50 million and a number of other sales at around the same level are said to have been quietly agreed since the summer.
The five-storey stucco-fronted Belgrave Square mansion is Grade 1-listed and was once the London home of William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire.
It was designed by architect Thomas Cubitt and built by George Bavesi in 1825. It has a grand entrance hall, six en-suite bedrooms and six “state room” sized reception rooms with ceilings up to 20ft high.
The lower-ground floor has a swimming pool, gym, cinema room, family kitchen and breakfast room.
There is also an attached mews house with a games room, garaging for four cars, an office and a further five bedrooms.
The 19,325 sq ft residence is next to the Portuguese embassy and has sweeping views over the 4.5 acres of gardens at the centre of one of London’s grandest squares.
It was bought by Lebanese property developer Moussa Salem from the Saudi Juffali family for around £33 million in 2006.
Mr Salem put it on the market in early 2009 for £100 million after gutting and refurbishing the interiors at an estimated cost of £20 million.
The buyer is said to be a British financier who is one of a growing number of super-rich who have been snapping up mansions during the autumn.
Agents said some buyers now reckon the central London market has bottomed out after three tough years overshadowed by Brexit and will soon start to recover.
This latest sale was brokered by Mayfair-based agents Beauchamp Estates, whose managing director Gary Hersham says he is confident about the capital’s prime property market in 2019 because buyers “have faith in London.