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The best Hampstead and Highgate property moments of 2016

PUBLISHED: 10:39 23 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:55 23 December 2016

David Bowie in 1973

David Bowie in 1973

Archant

It's been a rum old year for houses in Camden but it certainly hasn't been boring. From Bowie and The Beatles to Bieber and Harry Styles here are our favourite stories of 2016.

Game of Thrones actor Diana Rigg had to evict David Bowie from a flat in this Maida Vale blockGame of Thrones actor Diana Rigg had to evict David Bowie from a flat in this Maida Vale block

All the young dudes

News of David Bowie’s death in January was ever so slightly lightened by the discovery of a flat for sale in a Maida Vale block where the singer was Diana Rigg’s tenant in 1973 in his Ziggy Stardust era (until she had to evict him because of the noise). Sadly, only a fan with deep pockets stood a chance of emulating their hero. The four-bed was on the market for £2,395,000. Meanwhile, Pink Floyd’s old gaff in Highgate was put up for rent for a (slightly) more achievable £8,645/month.

A palatial flat was on the market in Regent's Park for more than £17mA palatial flat was on the market in Regent's Park for more than £17m

A flat was on sale for more than £17million

Yup, a flat. For £17,777,750 (when the £1,827,750 stamp duty was factored in). Even to our jaded Hampstead property eyes that seemed like a lot. But this wasn’t just any old flat. It had nine bedrooms, two wings, two en suite bathrooms in the master bedroom, a porter, underground parking, some pretty extravagant décor and a very prestigious location near Regent’s Park. Still, though.

This was the cheapest flat in CamdenThis was the cheapest flat in Camden

And in a world of contrasts… The cheapest property on the market cost £225,000

But was it the bargain it seemed? The Camden studio was so small that each square metre was valued at £14,861 and was available to cash buyers only because it’s close to impossible to secure a mortgage on a studio this small. Still, if you’ve got a lump sum and fancy making a cup of tea from your bed…

A 1960s house designed by Richard Rogers and Norman FosterA 1960s house designed by Richard Rogers and Norman Foster

A mews house designed by world famous architects

Not too many people get to say their house has been designed by arguably the two best known living British architects but the new resident of the Murray Mews house designed by Richard Rogers and Norman Foster in 1964 can. Lucky them.

The Beatles shot by Don McCullin outside a house in HighgateThe Beatles shot by Don McCullin outside a house in Highgate

War photographers

Not one, but two, houses for sale in north London had links to legendary war photographers. A blue plaque marks the house in Primrose Hill where Crimean War photographer Roger Fenton – a British pioneer in the genre – lived in the 19th century, which was on sale for £2.1m. Over in Highgate, Don McCullin – best known for his striking shots of the Vietnam war and Northern Irish Troubles – photographed The Beatles against a house which went on sale for £3.45m.

CASE STUDY Park Cres GreenCASE STUDY Park Cres Green

The art of selling

As we mentioned with increasing frequency, the north London property market was a bit sluggish in 2016. To help them shift their properties developers went to ever more inventive lengths. The people behind the Park Crescent in Regent’s Park filled the luxury flats with £100million worth of museum-quality art to coincide with Frieze Art Fair in order to show off the homes to their best advantage.

There was speculation that Harry Styles might leave HampsteadThere was speculation that Harry Styles might leave Hampstead

Boys toyed with our hearts

There were rumours that Harry Styles was off. But then Justin Bieber arrived

Justin Bieber's fleeting appearance on the Bishops Avenue created wavesJustin Bieber's fleeting appearance on the Bishops Avenue created waves

And then left again.

India at a speed dating-style event for housematesIndia at a speed dating-style event for housemates

Renting got all sexy

We tried roommate speed dating and kinda liked it (although we didn’t find a roommate or a boyfriend, sigh). Meanwhile super-rich renters came over all Downton Abbey with their concierges – they’re the the new butlers don’t you know. Ultra high end tenants (we’re talking £45,000/month) on Frognal and the avenues (that’s Bishops, Ingram and Sheldon) and in central areas like Regent’s Park are calling on their concierge to sort out everything from school places to managing staff, booking holidays and overseeing security for the itinerant and uber-rich renters of multi-million pound property.

Richard and Judy and their copy of Ham & High PropertyRichard and Judy and their copy of Ham & High Property

But Richard and Judy already know all this

Because everyone’s favourite daytime TV couple turn out to be avid readers of Ham & High Property. A year-defining moment, we’re sure you’ll agree. Top that 2017!

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