Thais buy $100m British residence
THE Thai Government has splashed out more than $100 million for a plain-looking house in London, which will be used as its ambassador's residence.
It beat off competition from an Asian multinational firm, a Hollywood superstar and a German buyer to sign a deal last week.
Despite extensive refurbishment, there is sure to be concern in Bangkok after the authorities paid out so much money for such a nondescript property.
Developer John Hunter said a figure of close to GBP9 million (HK$106 million) was paid for the 10,000-square-foot house in Tregunter Road.
According to Mr Hunter, rock and film stars, foreign royalty and other celebrities viewed the house.
The house is in Chelsea. Mr Hunter's company, Northacre, renovated two houses facing each other and constructed an underground link.
The result is a house with 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a billiard room, cinema and indoor pool.
Despite the boom in luxury residential prices in Hong Kong this year, no one has broken the $100 million figure.
London's market is believed to be starting to recover again after a long slump.
The house is far more expensive than neighbouring properties whose owners include the Prince of Hanover and Mark Thatcher, son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
''It is suitable for a family, yet gracious and flexible enough to allow people to use the accommodation in a variety of ways,'' Mr Hunter said.
''There is nothing of this type and quality in London which makes it very special indeed.''