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Celebrity homes can command a 10% price premium finds new research from ultra-prime estate agent Aston Chase

Homes owned or rented by celebrities, or those with famous past residents, can have a significant material impact on the value of the property, uplifting the asking price by up to 10% says leading ultra-prime estate agent Aston Chase.

Operating in some of London’s most prestigious residential addresses including St John’s Wood, Marylebone, Regent’s Park, Belsize Park, Primrose Hill and Hampstead, Aston Chase have established a reputation for marketing and selling luxury homes owned by celebrities or with famous past residents.

During 2020 alone Aston Chase has managed the marketing and sales of the London homes of Rihanna, Mark Carney, Ellie Goulding, Dua Lipa, Damien Hirst and Robbie Williams and also dealt with the homes of other A-list celebrities where the high-profile owners have specifically declined any publicity or marketing relating to their property.

For the definition of celebrities Aston Chase refer to the annual Forbes Celebrity 100 list and the annual Ulmer list, produced by Hollywood Reporter James Ulmer, which ranks 1,400 celebrities worldwide.

Forbes and Ulmer define an A-list celebrity to be a person whose name alone can raise 100% or the majority financing up-front for a movie or music album, with their name guaranteeing commercial success and big-brand endorsements/advertising. B-list celebrities are television stars; a C-list celebrity is a stage/theatre actor or someone famous for business or fashion; and a D-list celebrity is a reality television or social media influencer.

Aston Chase highlight that an A-list celebrity linked to a home for sale or let, can have a genuine material impact on the instruction and can uplift the asking sales or rental price by up to 10%. The A-list celebrity association can also generate worldwide exposure via traditional media and social media for the instruction. Aston Chase say that B-list and C-list celebrities can add appeal and significant exposure to the successful marketing of a property, but are unlikely to enhance the value of the property. D-list celebrity can be useful for social media based marketing, but has far less impact for traditional marketing.

Aston Chase highlight that over the last five years, because of a combination of shifting attitudes amongst celebrities (who are increasingly open to sharing their personal lives via social media and PR with their fans and followers); members of the general public spotting and sharing celebrity homes on social media; and the open manner in which the ownership of properties has to be registered both in the UK and overseas countries there has been a significant sea-change in celebrity attitudes towards collaborating with agents instructed to market their properties.

Aston Chase observe that ten years ago most celebrities and their managers would have been deeply reluctant to collaborate in a property marketing exercise. Now however many are happy to participate in helping to market their properties. This year, of the celebrity instructions Aston Chase have handled, 70% of the vendors have been willing to authorise social media and PR campaigns to support the marketing of their properties and some have even fronted interviews with journalists.

Celebrity endorsement can also help to generate sales. Of the £225 million worth of sales that Aston Chase achieved since the lockdown restrictions were eased at the end of May 2020 two notable deals were high profile celebrity homes – the first the £5.5 million sale (asking price at the time of marketing) of former Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney’s house in South Hampstead and the second the £11.95 million sale (asking price at the time of marketing) of hair tycoon Lesley Clarke’s home in St John’s Wood.

Because of these changes Mark Pollack, co-Founding Director of Aston Chase says: “Celebrity endorsement has become the modern day ‘Blue Plaque” and a property owned by an A-list celebrity can add to the material value of the instruction and generate worldwide exposure. Likewise a famous celebrity resident can help to endorse the importance and value of an address. We have found that homes and addresses associated with extremely famous people help to generate significant enquiries from potential buyers and tenants who feel they are buying a property endorsed by its celebrity association.”

Aston Chase highlight that historically Paul McCartney effectively put Cavendish Avenue on the map as a prime sought after address, likewise Rihanna has made St John’s Wood Park famous (with even google maps listing her property), Damian Hirst added to the cachet of Hanover Terrace and Anthony Joshua helped to put Avenue Road on the map.

Tom Ford did the same for Regent’s Park when he moved there, two of Tottenham’s star players Harry Kane and Gareth Bale have helped to make The Bishop’s Avenue look fashionable again, and first Madonna and now Ellie Goulding have done much the same for Marylebone.

Aston Chase reveal that A-list celebrity homes are typically priced from £5 million up to £30 million with the common denominators being that all of them provide privacy, they tend to be set back off the street and are not visible to the public, and allow the owners to enter and exit quietly without being seen, due to gated driveways and garaging with direct internal access into the main home.

Aston Chase highlight that celebrities tend to fall into two clear camps when it comes to their home address. Some celebrities are comfortable talking publically about where they live. Rihanna shared on social media her life in St John’s Wood Park, there have been articles published about Tom Ford’s home in Regent’s Park and Nicky and Lesley Clarke in Queen’s Grove have been happy to share their homes on social media and talk to the media about the benefits of their homes and chosen address.

In contrast Kate Moss kept an extremely low profile in Melina Place and Greville Road, Paul McCartney has remained very discreet and Emma Watson remained low-key in St John’s Wood until it was publicised on social media.

Aston Chase highlight that the other market for celebrity homes are celebrity rental properties. Celebrities typically rent a property for anything from £5,000 to £20,000 per week and stay for anything from three months to two years.

Aston Chase highlight that there are three types of celebrity letting. The first, and most common type, are short lets which are taken by celebrities whilst they are filming movies or TV series in London for a few months, with famous examples including Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford. Some celebrities also rent properties whilst their own homes are being refurbished, with notable examples including Robbie Williams and Sting and Trudi Styler. The final type of lettings is celebrities choosing to rent in London for several years for personal or business reasons, Rihanna is surely the most famous example of this.