£14million – for doing nothing

OWNERS of a derelict property in St John's Wood have made millions without lifting a finger

OWNERS of a derelict property in St John's Wood have made millions without lifting a finger.

The boarded up mansion in Avenue Road has been empty for three years - but in that time it has increased in value by £20million.

Ownership of the house has changed hands three times since it was put on the market by the original owners, a family from the Middle East, in 2005.

But plans to knock down the once stately home and replace it with two smaller properties have now been revealed.

It is thought the house first passed to property developer David Tucker, who bought it from the family for £11million.

Mr Tucker is said to have sold the house on after just one year to another developer, the Fitzroy Group, headed by Andrew Silver, making a profit of £6million.

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Then Mr Silver received an offer he could not refuse from two subsidiaries of the company BNB developments.

Land Registry records show that in June 2007 the two plots over which the house is built - 38 and 40 Avenue Road - were purchased from Fitzroy Group for a total of £31million.

This sale made the previous owners a massive £14million

profit in just over a year without spending a penny on renovations.

Simon Edwards, a director at Savills estate agents in Hampstead, said: "The property's price tag was increased in the first place by the valuable planning consent given to build a second house on the site," he said.

Property experts have predicted that if two houses were built on the site, they could eventually sell for around £38million.

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