iving in London: The World's Most Expensive Residential Street 0

By Sven Lorenz

Summary: Kensington Palace Gardens in London is home to some of the most expensive properties in the world.

Kensington Palace in London's Hyde Park includes a museum open to the public, but part remains a private Royal residence--best known as the home of the late Princess Diana.

Needless to say, owning a palace in Central London is a right reserved to the Royals. But, if you're lucky enough to have truly deep pockets, a quiet street just next to Kensington Palace provides an opportunity to buy homes that are as close as it gets to owning your own inner-city palace.

Kensington Palace Gardens is a private road running alongside Hyde Park, literally only a stones-throw away. There are just 21 buildings, most of which once served as embassies. But with cash-strapped countries starting to sell off their expensive embassy buildings, you may just get lucky, like these new residents:

- 18-19 Kensington Palace Gardens was recently sold to Indian-born steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. The price-tag was a staggering 70m pounds ($125m), making this the world's most expensive private residential home. The 12-bedroom property has enough space for 20 cars, and the building's marble was imported from the same quarry that yielded the raw material for the Taj Mahal.

- 15 Kensington Palace Gardens changed hands for 41m pounds ($73m), purchased by Russian oil baron Leonard Blavatnik.

I don't know of any other properties currently for sale in Kensington Palace Gardens, but when one does become available the bidding is likely to be fierce. London is home to more billionaires than any other city on earth, and there is a distinct shortage of properties for the uber-rich.

Last week I enjoyed the privilege of attending a reception at Kensington Palace as Prince Michael of Kent and the British Luxury Council launched a new concierge service aimed at taking care of the lifestyle needs of London's richest residents. After the launch party, I contemplated whether to take a taxi or a bus. The subsequent bus ride back to my comparatively tiny house set me back 60 pence ($1), after I decided to save the taxi fare so that one day, I too can afford a larger house.

Sven Lorenz
for International Living

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First Published: Dec 25, 2004

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