A 45-bedroom mansion overlooking London's Hyde Park has been placed on the market at a record £300m.
The 60,000 square feet home once belonged to Lebanon's late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and was passed as a gift after his 2005 assassination to Sultan bin Abdulaziz .
It was originally built as four separate family homes, from number 2 to 8a Rutland Gardens, but has been converted into one of the capital's largest houses. The imposing building is believed to include a swimming pool, millions of pounds worth of gold leaf decoration and underground parking. It is also thought that the windows are bulletproof.
If the £300m asking price is achieved it will have more than doubled the previous record for a residential sale in the UK, set when a penthouse flat at One Hyde Park sold for £140m in 2010. Agents Knight Frank are offering the house to select international buyers, reports the Financial Times, but it is not being advertised publicly.
Charles McDowell, a London property consultant, told the newspaper: "It is a truly rarefied property on the market and whoever buys it is going to pay a lot of premium for the unusual size in that location. You are going to have to wait a long, long time for something like this to come on the market again."
At £300m the home is almost 800 times the £388,000 average property price in London, a figure which is already out of reach for many of the city's residents. Research this week showed that almost half of prospective first-time buyers thought it would take them 10 years to save for a deposit .
London's prime property market soared in recent years as nervous investors from debt-laden European nations sought to invest cash in dependable assets. Think-tank IPPR estimates that in 2011 foreign buyers poured £5.2bn into central London property.
But George Osborne's increase in stamp duty on the most expensive homes to 7pc could have a braking effect on inward investment. A £300m residential sale would require the buyer to pay stamp duty of £21m.