Comment: Why big budget buyers are bringing the house down

Moneyed home owners are bringing the house down - quite literally (Stock image: Getty)

Moneyed home owners are bringing the house down - quite literally (Stock image: Getty) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Imagine spending more than £5m on a property, only to knock it down and start again.

To those of us who can only dream of having a £5m budget it sounds like madness – after all, surely any home in that price bracket would be pretty special to start with? Not special enough, it turns out.

Jonathan Hufford, founder and CEO of sports spread betting company Spreadex bought nine-bed mansion, Highlands – the most expensive home sold in Hertfordshire in 2016 – for £5,125,000. While he was happy with the Annables Lane, Kinsbourne Green location, the layout was another matter. So, with planning permission promptly secured, he had the whole thing demolished. A new 10,000 sq ft, seven-bed house is currently under construction and work is expected to be completed by next spring.

Over in Cornwall, Gordon Ramsay has been making headlines for the same reason, after ordering the demolition of the £4.4m home he purchased in the upmarket village of Rock.

The celebrity chef bought the 1920s house in 2015 and, much to the annoyance of many of his neighbours, he’s since had it bulldozed to make way for a swish new pad, which is currently being built to his exact specifications. The new beachfront property will have a couple of kitchens, a pool and a wine cellar, plus a glass-covered boathouse at the water’s edge.

So why do we even care? Are we really bothered about these perfectly habitable homes being torn down, or are we jealous of those we feel have a bit more money than sense? Very probably a bit of both.

But for the handful of people blessed with bottomless pockets and the ability to afford exactly what they want – however many extra millions that may cost them – why shouldn’t they splash the required amount of cash to achieve their idea of perfection? Given the opportunity, how many of us would do the same?