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Party leaders fight it out in race for £4.5m pad in heart of London

20th Apr 2010

  • Winner will enjoy rent-free living which would otherwise run to £4,250 per week
  • Value of PM's residence has dropped by £462,420 during Brown's occupancy
  • Under Blair, Downing Street residence grew in value by avg. of over £335k p.a.
  • Brown and Major tenures reduced value versus growth under Blair and Thatcher

Whoever becomes our next Prime Minister will have all the pressures that come with the job but will also enjoy all the benefits, one of these being the official residential digs in Downing Street, now valued at over £4.5m by leading property website Zoopla.co.uk.

Unlike the rest of us, our next leader will be able to enjoy his (new) home without having to worry about the recently announced hike in stamp duty for £1m+ homes or such mundane things as rent, which would likely run to over £4,250 per week for the 3,800 sq ft of prime property in SW1, according to figures from Zoopla.co.uk, which provides a value for every home in the country.

In his short stay so far at Number 10, Gordon Brown hasn't done much for the value of the property and, in fact, its value has fallen by 9.18% since he took up residence in June 2007, costing the taxpayer more than £460k in value. This is in stark contract to his predecessor Mr Blair who saw its value climb from £1.65m when he took office in 1997 to over £5m when he handed the keys over to Mr Brown.

In light of the current deficit the next Chancellor may be well advised to think about selling up and moving his boss. official residence to one of the other Downing Streets across Britain. The most cost-effective move for taxpayers would be to Downing Street in Sutton-In-Ashfield where the average property costs £50,853. Alternatively, if commuting to Westminster is essential for the PM, a move to Downing Street in Farnham, Surrey, where the average property price is £253,528 would help pay down more than £4m of the budget deficit.

If there is a change in leadership over the next few weeks, Gordon Brown is likely to drop quite a few rungs on the property ladder as house prices in his own constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath are amongst the lowest in the land at an average of £120,910 versus his current address in SW1 where average house prices are £920,361 according to Zoopla.co.uk.

Cameron and Clegg will both be keen to upgrade to SW1 from their own constituencies where current values are £289,686 and £219,136 respectively.

Nick Leeming, Commercial Director of Zoopla.co.uk, commented: "10 Downing Street is one of the most exclusive addresses in the country, with a valuation to match. It is one of the few properties that will likely never come on the market and it takes millions of votes to secure the keys. Messrs Cameron and Clegg clearly have a struggle on their hands to wrestle those keys from Mr Brown who has been a Downing Street resident for twelve years now and will be very reluctant to call in the movers."

Changes in value of Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street, SW1

  Arr. value Dept value Value change Yrs in office Avg. change p.a.
Brown years £5,037,251 £4,574,831 -£462,420 2.9 -£165,150
Blair years £1,644,558 £5,037,251 £3,392,693 10.1 £335,910
Major years £1,804,952 £1,644,558 -£160,394 6.5 -£24,676
Thatcher years £692,602 £1,804,952 £1,112,350 11.6 £96,726

Source: Zoopla.co.uk
Note: Leaving value indicated under Brown years is value as at today

Average property values in Downing Streets across Britain

Location Current values (Apr 10)
Downing Street, Farnham, GU9 £254,809
Downing Street, Chippenham, SN14 £144,845
Downing Street, Halesowen, B63 £113,052
Downing Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL7 £94,159
Downing Street, Llanelli, SA15 £86,612
Downing Street, Alfreton, DE55 £87,104
Downing Street, Newport, NP19 £78,565
Downing Street, Nottingham, NG6 £77,384
Downing Street, Preston, PR1 £62,409
Downing Street, Sutton-In-Ashfield, NG17 £50,853

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

Notes to editors

About Zoopla.co.uk

Zoopla.co.uk is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering consumers with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help our users make sense of the residential property market by combining property listings with market value data, local information and community tools.

Zoopla.co.uk was founded on the principles of transparency and efficiency and everything we do aims to make the market more effective for both property consumers and professionals alike. By combining free, instant value estimates for every UK home with sold prices, local market information and hundreds of thousands of properties available for sale and to rent, Zoopla.co.uk has rapidly become the ultimate destination for property consumers to search for property and do their market research. Our unique features allow users to gain an insight into the market and discover information they won't find anywhere else. And, as a result, we have become one of the most valued sources of both applicant and vendor leads for UK estate agents.

Launched in 2008, we are the fastest growing property website in the UK, now attracting over 12 million visits per month and are proud to have been awarded numerous accolades including being listed in the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta 100) as well as being voted the UK's Best Property Portal (Web User, Daily Mail Awards, Website of the Year).

Zoopla Limited is a privately held company with a highly experienced and proven management team, led by Founder and CEO, Alex Chesterman, and backed by well-respected angel investors and leading venture capital firms Atlas Venture (atlasventure.com) and Octopus Ventures (octopusventures.com).

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