Comment: Why we love seeing how the other half live

Not cheap: Prices at Welcombe House range from £1.5m to £2.12m. Picture: Fairview New Homes

Harpenden House Hotel was converted into five luxury £1.5m-plus apartments, known as Welcombe House. Credit: Fairview New Homes - Credit: Archant

What is it about posh properties that we all find so fascinating? 

Is it the fantasy of the other life we could be living, the one with the swish basement leisure complex and the spare house for the nanny?  

Or, in the case of Hertfordshire's most expensive homes of 2020, it could be a combo of equestrian facilities, acres of Capability Brown parkland and more outdoor pools than you can shake a Rolex at. 

One of the top end agents I spoke to for the piece assured me that selling a humble £300,000 flat was just as rewarding as doing a deal on a multi-million pound mansion, but I find that hard to believe. 

Yes, the look of delight in the first-time buyers' eyes must be a joy to behold, but managing the sale of a massive mansion sounds much more interesting. 

And, let's face it, the commission would be higher, too. While we're not talking 1 per cent, it would inevitably be a more sizeable one off fee than the probable £3,000 the bottom-end flat sale would result in.

Plus, we've all seen far fewer swish mega-mansions than small flats in our time, which only adds to their elite appeal.

I've visited a few posh pads in this job, including the luxury apartments in the former Hertfordshire House Hotel building and 53 The Park, St Albans (the one with the mini Dutch barn and the £8,000 bathtub).

And, yes — snooping round luxury homes is much, much more interesting than visiting the sort of average flat or house most of us already live in. 

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It's a taste of a lifestyle I know I'll never live, and I'm happy to admit I find it fascinating. 

Between the 'Hertfordshire's most expensive' feature, the £1m St Albans penthouse apartment  that's this week's property spotlight and the always-upmarket Harpenden area guide, this issue is an unofficial posh property special. And what's not to like about that!