Sunday, 1 January 2012

Star homes: How a rock legend can make a property more valuable

Fancy living down the road from The Beatles’ old flat? Turns out lots of people love to live in rock'n'roll localities and their music connections can add to an area's popularity and value, as Pierre De Villiers discovers

They may have a reputation for wrecking rooms, but when it comes to making homes more desirable, rock stars are in a league of their own.
Mention that a flat or house on the market was once occupied by a music icon, and potential buyers happily queue around the block. “Buyers are often attracted to the idea of living somewhere connected to a celebrity – particularly if it has been their home,” explains Peter Bevan of Sotheby’s International Realty. “Having a famous owner is certainly an immense benefit when promoting it.”

In 2008 Sotheby’s had the opportunity to promote one of the most famous flats in the world. Located on the fourth floor at 57 Green Street in Mayfair, Flat L was occupied by The Beatles in 1963 – the only time the Fab Four all lived together. While the home was sold for a large sum in 2009, the building’s status as an important part of Beatles history has made other flats at 57 Green Street hot property.
“The fact that The Beatles lived in the building is such an interesting piece of history,” says Charles Lloyd of Savills Mayfair who is looking after the sale of a two-bedroom flat at 57 Green Street. “It’s a bonus and a point of interest that buyers can tell their friends about.”

A property made famous by musicians not only boosts sales in the building but gives the surrounding area a lift as well. For rock and pop fans, purchasing property in Mayfair is like buying a stairway to heaven with Jimi Hendrix having lived at 23 Brook Street and the Bee Gees at 67 Brook Street.
“If a rock or pop star is connected to an area it can enhance its prestige,” says Bevan. “Locations such as Mayfair have long lasting star appeal that supports its intrinsic desirability.”

The fact that Freddie Mercury lived at 1 Logan Place in Kensington has certainly had a positive knock-on effect on other properties in the area. “We recently sold the property right next to 1 Logan Place and we had a lot of potential buyers asking about the Freddie Mercury house,” says David Terrar of Bective Leslie Marsh. “People found it fascinating that such a big star lived next door and would certainly pay top dollar for a place nearby.”

With so many people enamoured with star musician homes, many estate agents are happy to tell potential buyers where a property fits into London’s rich music history.

Frank Harris estate agents highlight the fact that Bob Marley lived at 34 Ridgmount Gardens in Bloomsbury, where they are overseeing the sale of a four-bedroom flat, while the link between Cheyne Walk in Chelsea and The Rolling Stones is played up by Chasemore Property. “I’m really keen to tell people about the role that Cheyne Walk played in the lives of The Rolling Stones,” says Suja Thomas of Chasemore Property, who promotes properties in a street nicknamed ‘Rolling Stone Row’ after Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood all lived there at some stage. “It’s nice to think you can own a property in a place that was so liked by a famous rock band. It makes the area seem even more special than it already is.”

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