Homes gossip

Country-pop singer Taylor Swift is on a property roll. She has recently purchased a £2.2 million, 1.5 acre Beverly Hills estate for herself and a £850,000 Nashville pad for her parents
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After one for Mum and Dad, Swift buys herself a new pad

Taylor Swift
© AP
Country-pop singer Taylor Swift, travelling the world with her hit Speak Now tour, is rarely in her home town of Pennsylvania. But wearying of the luxury hotel lifestyle may have prompted her to buy a £2.2 million, 1.5-acre Beverly Hills estate.

There is plenty of room for her bandmates at the 1941 property during her Los Angeles gig dates in August — the four-bedroom home has a guest house in its grounds. Swift will be in the master bedroom with its kingsize four-poster bed, soft carpeting and black and cream-etched wallpaper, when she’s not relaxing in the wood-panelled library or exercising on the tennis courts.

Having just bought her parents a £850,000 pad in Nashville, it looks like she is on a property roll.

Alex James
© David Poole

Cheesy Alex churns out music in the Cotswolds

Blur bassist Alex James is set to welcome thousands of visitors to his Cotswolds home from September 9 for his harvest food and music festival. The four-day event, which has the likes of KT Tunstall and Richard Corrigan on the bill, will be held in the grounds of the celebrity cheesemaker’s farmhouse.

But alongside preparations, the 42-year-old father of five is also hoping to find the time for renovations. He wants to convert a two-storey stone barn at the farm near Kingham, Oxfordshire, to create an indoor play area for his kids and, ideally, wants to knock up some tennis courts.

Sophia Shepodd

Sophia: ‘I’ll clamber on to the property ladder all by myself’

As the average age of the first-time UK buyer creeps up to 38, a handful of twentysomethings are still managing to scrape together a deposit. BBC3 series Young, Rich and House Hunting has been following lucky — and loaded — young buyers in their search to find the perfect pad.

One of them is 24-year-old PR girl Sophia Shepodd — and she’s not happy. “I didn’t find the right place because the one I was interested in, an £860,000 apartment in Hampstead, needed an astronomical amount spent on it,” the businesswoman, who also owns a wine importing company, tells me. For her, north-west London is a must. “I was brought up in Regent’s Park and St John’s Wood and lots of my friends live nearby. It has a nice, village feel and is very close to the buzzy bits.”

In the show her mother says she will help her out financially but Sophia, insists: “I work extremely hard. The show put me in the same boat as kids just taking money from their parents. I might need a little bit of help but I am not being bankrolled.”

James Caan

‘I’m in’ to property says Dragon

James Caan is best known for his Dragons’ Den investments but London property developers could soon get a helping hand from the famous entrepreneur, too. His company, Hamilton Bradshaw Real Estate, is keen to invest “finance and expertise” in the capital’s “most progressive” property projects.

He tells me: “With banks holding back from funding new property projects, we have a fresh initiative that will capitalise on a gap in the market in the prime London property industry. Property entrepreneurs with access to off-market residential and commercial deals are encouraged to approach us.” Over to you, then.

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