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Opinion

An SW3 key to life after FX

UK house prices leapt by 2.1% last month. The price of the average UK home now rises by £100 a day, putting more pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates.

But could one sale have artificially inflated the figures? At the beginning of April, it emerged that the world's most expensive apartment had changed hands in London after an unnamed buyer paid £27 million for a flat in Manresa Road, Chelsea.

This beat the previous record of $45 million (£25.5 million) paid for a unit in the Time Warner Building in New York.

Behind the sale is Julian Simmonds, ex-global head of foreign exchange at Citigroup. After a frustrating search for a suitably sumptuous pad for himself, he decided to try his hand at property development. Manresa Developments, his joint venture with luxury interior designer Candy and Candy, bought the Chelsea site from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Completed in 1895, 21 Manresa Road is a 122,000 sq ft property designed by renowned architect JM Brydon. Behind its listed façade, 15 apartments and a colossal private garden are being rebuilt.

Each flat in the building is sold "shell and core" and completed and furnished according to its buyer's tastes – at a further cost of £8 million to £10 million.

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