Islington estate agents strangely silent over Tony Blair’s connection to luxury Barnsbury pad
- Credit: Archant
»To the casual observer, this exclusive multimillion-pound Barnsbury pad may just seem like your average high-flier’s bolthole.
But since it was once the home of former prime minister Tony Blair and his family, the £3.1 million price tag will also buy you a slice of political history – something you may think estate agents Currell Residential would be keen to shout about.
However, the Upper Street firm is not advertising the illustrious history of the property, lived in by Mr Blair when he stormed to a landslide victory in the 1997 general election – for fear of a “negative” reaction from would-by buyers.
Choosing not to associate the former premier with the property could prove the biggest snub to Mr Blair – whose reputation has been mired by the Iraq War – since Prince William and Kate Middleton chose not to invite him to the Royal Wedding.
Sarah Curtis, negotiator at Currell, said there were “mixed views” about whether it would be a positive or negative selling point.
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So far, the Richmond Crescent home, sold by the Blairs in the summer after moving into 10 Downing Street, has had 15 viewings but no offers.
But perhaps it is the tens of thousands of pounds worth of work needing to be done which is deterring potential buyers of the four-floor, five-bedroom town house, despite it boasting “splendid views” across nearby Thornhill Road Gardens.
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“It needs between £100,000 and £500,000 worth of work spent on it,” according to Ms Curtis, who added that a French couple now living there had been bemused by people continually trying to photograph them outside their luxury home.
The sale also highlights the scale of Islington’s property boom in recent years. According to Land Registry documents, current listed owners Verra Budimlija and Michael Nicholson paid just £1.3million for it in 2005, meaning its current value has more than doubled in the space of eight years.
Louise Nicholson, director of premier estate agents Chesterton Humberts in Upper Street, said Islington property prices have continued going from “strength to strength”, despite the recession, due to the area’s exclusive advantages.
She said: “There has been a huge increase in prices in Islington, heavily influenced by the City and the likes of the Boris Johnsons moving in.
“The transport links are fantastic for people getting in and out of London and the City and the squares are very unique, with sought-after architecture.
“Then there’s the fantastic nightlife with the theatres and bars.
“As a result, prices in Islington have been going from strength to strength.”
Mr Blair and wife Cherie shelled out just £375,000 for the four-floor home in 1993, later selling it for £615,000.