North London mega-mansion that will not sell


Heath Hall, an impressive 14-bedroom mansion on Billionaire's row in North London, has spent almost 18 months on the market. Its asking price has been slashed from £100 million to £65 million, and Zoopla recently named it as one of the ten most viewed houses in the country, but it still won't sell.

So what's wrong with it?

The house

It's an impressive home on The Bishops Avenue, just round the corner from Hampstead Heath. It was built for Sugar magnate William Park Lyle in 1910, and features 14 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and six reception rooms. There are also the usual trappings of the mega-mansion, including a swimming pool, sauna, tennis court, sun room, snooker room, climate-controlled wine cellar, and a cinema room lined with cream suede.

The building has had a mixed past, and in the 1950s, while owned by the Bank of China, it fell into a poor state of repair. However, it underwent a massive renovation in 2006 - at a cost of £40 million. Now, according to the Daily Mail, it features twelve types of Italian marble in the bathrooms alone - including hand-carved marble basins.

Take a look around inside the mansion:

£65m mansion for sale

£65m mansion for sale

No sale

In August 2012, the owner put it on the market at £100 million - making it the most expensive property on the open market in the country. Unfortunately he didn't manage to attract a buyer.

Some seven months later, in March last year, we reported that the asking price had been reduced to £65 million. It was a dramatic cut, and at the time a spokesperson said it was a more realistic price. But ten months later, despite being named the third most viewed property in the country, the house is still on the market.

So what's wrong with it?

Comments on our story from March revealed that the vast majority of people still thought it was wildly overpriced. There were plenty who said they preferred more rural living, some were unimpressed with the location, and others said that for this kind of money they'd rather have their own island.

It isn't the most expensive home on the market any more. That title goes to a five-bedroom flat in the One Hyde Park development, which is for sale at an astonishing £68 million.

However, there are signs that this end of the market is not as buoyant as it has been. A new-build in St John's Wood had its asking price slashed from £65 million to £35 million at the end of last year, and at the time the experts said it had been a victim of over-confident pricing in a slowing market.

The hike in stamp duty on homes worth over £2 million and the introduction of capital gains tax for overseas buyers, mean that some of the froth is going out of the super-mansion market. In Central and West London, properties are still flying off the market, but in distant North London, things are growing more sluggish.