From overseas heiresses to rock stars’ children, these teens and twentysomethings, bankrolled by their families, make up a surprisingly large proportion of prime central London buyers. Beth Hilson, of Marsh & Parsons estate agents, said: “If you, or your family, have £4.5 million in the bank you may as well put it into London property. It is a safe investment and tax efficient. We think we will see a lot of this sort of buyer this year.”
Splash the cash: Petra Ecclestone chose a £32 million starter pad in Eaton Square, Belgravia
Heirs and graces
Tamara Ecclestone, 29, eldest daughter of F1 motor racing magnate Bernie, owns a 55-room mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens which cost £45 million. She added a nightclub, a bowling alley, a dog spa, and a bath carved from Amazonian crystal. Her sister Petra, 25, chose a £32 million house in Eaton Square, Belgravia, as her starter pad but is selling it to trade up to a £55 million LA estate.
Ultra-wealthy fathers who buy homes for their children in prime areas often have security in mind, as well as an investment. Topshop boss Sir Philip Green’s daughter Chloe, 22, got a flat in Belgravia for her 18th. Chloe says: “I was living with my dad but when you’re a girl you need your own space.”
Not all heiresses enjoy palatial digs, though. The starter home of Anna Abramovich, 21, daughter of Chelsea Football Club boss Roman, was a mere mews cottage in Belgravia which already belonged to the family. However, it was worth £4 million.
Camilla Dell, managing partner of buying agent Black Brick, says about a quarter of her sales are to Porfs. Her youngest client was aged four. “The parents are doing this for their children’s future, knowing they will end up studying and living in London,” she says. “We found a £2 million Mayfair flat for a Middle Eastern university student bought by his father.”
The parliamentary expenses scandal produced clear evidence that MPs had grabbed an obvious investment route, and at the same time secured a home for their children.
In 2009 it emerged Morvah George, daughter of Lib-Dem MP Andrew and a part-time model/intern, was living in a £300,000 Thames-side flat in Rotherhithe. Her father was claiming £847 a month to pay the mortgage. David Chaytor (Labour) claimed almost £13,000 rent on a Westminster flat occupied by his daughter Sarah. Tory Bill Cash agreed to repay £15,000 spent renting a room in his daughter Laetitia’s Notting Hill home. Meanwhile his son, Sam, was living in dad’s Pimlico crash pad.
Tony and Cherie Blair bought each of their eldest three children homes close to the family townhouse in Connaught Square. Property consultant Charles McDowell said it is common for parents to keep their children close. “Often they regard this as a way to keep an eye on them and at the same time create an attractive portfolio of property all in the same area.”
21st birthday (left): £1 million bought Kelly Osbourne, daughter of Ozzy and Sharon, a London flat. Keep 'em close (right): Peaches Geldof, lived in a £1 million Battersea flat below rock star father Bob's place
Kelly Osbourne, 29, daughter of Ozzy and Sharon, got a £1 million London flat for her 21st. By 19, Sting’s daughter Coco Sumner owned a house in Victoria and a cottage in Wiltshire. Bob Geldof provided daughters Pixie and Peaches with an apartment downstairs from his own Battersea mansion flat.