Aiming high with your latest purchase, development, or buy to let property? Then it might be worth looking at who your targets are: just how high can you go in the property portfolio world and will you ever catch these large property holders?
Never far from the news, Fergus and Judith caused a bit of a stir in July when it was announced that they were looking to exit the housing market altogether. Why? Well, with their properties in Ashford and Maidstone, they are – or were, if they manage to sell – Britain’s biggest buy-to-let landlords. At the height of their purchasing power, around the year 2000, they were said to be on the lookout for at least a home purchase per day!
It’s difficult to get the final figures of this one, but certainly the Blackstone firm, created by two ex-Lehman Brothers bankers, owns a significant number of property assets, with some claiming that the firm is the biggest property owner in the world. The co-owner is reported to have paid Rod Stewart $1 million to play a set at his birthday so, whatever the total value, we imagine they may have a few pennies spare!
Ireland’s NAMA was forced to put some of its properties up for sale in 2013 but before then it is said to have owned some £19 billion worth of real estate. NAMA’s value came not from volume though but from location: it is the landlord of prime London properties like the Citigroup Tower and the 23 Savile Row office block in Mayfair.
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Another large scale property owner forced to sell, Mr Tchenguiz was reported to be marketing his portfolio in 2012. It included an amazing 1% of all of the UK’s total homes at the time, with 15,000 of his properties located in London.
It is likely that Tesco’s property empire has expanded since the above £28 billion assessment in 2007, which should be some comfort to the superstore, given its recent well-reported financial troubles. At the time, the valuation made Tesco Europe’s largest property company, with 2006 profits for the property division alone standing at £139 million.
Because of the nature of some of the church’s historical properties, a value estimation is difficult but rest assured that their mixture of churches, houses, schools, halls, shops and other properties in Ireland make up a substantial amount of the country’s real estate: up to 1% according to an estimate in 2012. In the 10 years to 2012, religious orders in Ireland collectively sold some €667 million worth of properties.
The Royals are famously large landowners and The Duke of Westminster is no exception. His property management business, The Grosvenor Group, historically owned large swathes of Mayfair and Belgravia, although in recent years it has also invested considerable sums in affordable housing projects. In 2013, the group sold a 19th century Belgravia mansion for the tidy sum of £115 million.