For most people, property investing is a smart way to earn a few extra pennies for the weekends. Some even go on to quit their 9-5 and make a living out of it. However, for a lucky few property is a gold-plated staircase leading to champagne and caviar. Whether they were the heirs to 80 acre empires or are self-made entrepreneurs, these are Britain’s richest property investors.
David and Simon Reuben (£15.096bn)
David Reuben, 79, and his brother Simon, 77, left Russia for London in 2000. Since then they have invested in prime London property, including 139 Piccadilly and become Britain’s richest property investors. The 18th century mansion was formerly home to the poet Lord Byron, before becoming offices. Plans approved by Westminster council will see the Grade II listed building returned to its original glory as a residential eight-bedroom mansion, containing a swimming pool, sauna and gym.
The brothers are also owners of Grade II listed Millbank tower. This Thames-side tower is undergoing redevelopment into 207 luxury apartments. There will also be office space and a five-star 150 bedroom hotel. Other developments managed by the brothers include 225 city road London, a 1 acre site near the Barbican Centre. It boasts 100 rental apartments and 146,000 sq ft of office space. They also have investment projects in Newcastle, Gibraltar and Tel Aviv.
The Duke of Westminster and The Grosvenor Family (£9.964bn)
When he inherited the title Duke of Westminster two years ago, Hugh Grosvenor became Britain’s youngest billionaire. He is also one of Britain’s richest property investors. The Grosvenor Group’s portfolio includes 65 Duke Street, a complex of 16 luxury one, two and three bedroom apartments in an exclusive corner of Mayfair. If approved, their £500 million masterplan for Bermondsey will be one of London’s largest build to let developments. 1350 new rental homes are proposed for the 12 acre site. The Grosvenor’s property empire spreads across 300 acres in Mayfair and Belgravia, with more in Oxford, Cheshire, Scotland and Spain.
Earl Cadogan and Family (£6.7bn)
The Cadogan group’s 93 acre property estate spreads across Kensington and Chelsea and is over 300 years old. Whilst around half of the £6bn portfolio is made up of retail space, the estate also contains 3,000 flats and houses. A one bedroom apartment between Knightsbridge and Sloane Square tube stations can expect to fetch them £495 a week. Meanwhile, an unfurnished three bedroom house on Sloane street can bring in as much as £2895 per week. The group’s redevelopment of 196-222 King’s Road, will see the construction of 47 new homes opposite Chelsea Town Hall and cement their place amongst the UK’s richest property investors.
John Grayken (£4.763bn)
Grayken’s Quintain property company owns an 85 acre development next to Wembley stadium. The group is building 7,000 new homes there. They have so far invested £1bn in the project. Once finished it will be the UK’s largest build to rent development, with 5,000 homes expected to be finished by 2024. In June 2016 Grayken bought Boston’s most expensive apartment, shelling out over $30 million for it. The 13,000 square-foot penthouse is in the 60-storey Millennium tower. Ironically Grayken himself renounced his US citizenship twenty years ago, meaning he can’t live there full-time.
Baroness Howard De Walden and Family (£4.015bn)
The Howard De Waldens own 92 acres across Marylebone in central London. The land has been in the family since 1879. The majority of their income comes from letting property for Harley Street medical clinics, but they also offer rental flats. They have everything from studio apartments to townhouses throughout Marylebone. In recent years, Marylebone has become one of London’s chicest areas and property in the area can command the city’s highest rents. A fully furnished four bedroom flat on Harley Street can net them £1775 per week, whilst a two bedroom flat near Marylebone High street fetches £1,150 per week.
Mike Pears and family (£3.245bn)
The Pears’ property portfolio includes the Baltic Avenue development in Brentford. The project consists of 206 homes and one, two and three bedroom apartments. They also own the Shoreditch development, Avant-Garde. The tower of 257 apartments, ranging from studios to penthouses, is in one of London’s most sought after locations. As well as being amongst the UK’s richest property investors, they are also notable philanthropists. The Pears Foundation donates £15-20 million a year to charitable projects.