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London’s Wealthy Expanding Realms by Buying Out Neighbors

by Patrick Gower, April 11th 2014

Mergers and acquisitions are making London’s rich richer. This time it involves their homes. Some of the city’s wealthiest residents are buying out their neighbours to create super-sized apartments that can double the value per square foot compared with the separate properties.

Many homes in London’s best neighborhoods are more than a century old and lack the space and amenities that the rich expect. That’s prompted owners to expand upward, outward and downward with backyard extensions and multiple subterranean floors. In the borough of Kensington & Chelsea, home to Harrods department store and the Royal Albert Hall, applications to combine apartments more than tripled last year to 65 and the council received 27 requests in the first two months of 2014.

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