Double the value of your property: knock it down


A property developer has hit on an unusual way to make a fortune from a property in Sandbanks, Dorset. He bought a three-bedroom 1920s bungalow for £1.5 million, knocked it down, and then put the plot of land on the market for £3 million.

So how is it possible to make money this way?
>Cunning plan

The property was in Sandbanks in Dorset - which overlooks the sea and commands enormous prices. It's known locally as Millionaires Row. The Daily Mail reported that the developer bought the property, knocked it down, designed a cutting edge 5-bedroom house, got planning permission for the home, and then put the plot (with the planning permission) on the market for £3 million.

The buyer can pay this enormous sum for a patch of scrub-land, or wait until the developer has spent £1 million building the property - and buy the finished article for £5 million.

Not the first

It would seem odd anywhere else in Britain, but Sandbanks is no stranger to weird property sales. The record paid for a run-down home in the area was £3.5 million, for a house that was set to be demolished. Unfortunately the couple who bought the property have taken a while trying to agree a design for the five-bedroom home they want to build in its place.
In 2008 a Russian tycoon spent £5 million for a mansion that was only five years old - only to knock it down and build another with a more cutting-edge design - which he said was more suited to his 'aspirations'.

The practice is common in expensive parts of London too. In October last year a pretty mews house in Mayfair went on sale for £35 million. The incredible sum was due to the fact that it came with permission to knock the property down and build an ultra-modern mansion worth about £65 million.

The fact is that when property is worth so much money, and appreciating in value so quickly, it's easy to make money from buying and selling it. In fact, you can make a fortune in some parts of the country just by letting an expensive property go to ruin around you.

As we reported earlier this year, a third of houses on The Bishop's Avenue in North London (known as Billionaires Row) are currently empty, and a number of them are suffering serious neglect. The owners never planned to live in them, they just bought them as assets which they knew would become more valuable over time as the market rose around them.

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