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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February, 2005, 12:50 GMT
70m price tag for 'trophy' home
Updown Court at night (rear view)
The house has 22 bedrooms and a heated marble drive
A house in Surrey is being put on the market for more than 70m - an asking price which agents say makes it the most expensive house in the country.

Last year, a house in Kensington Palace Gardens went on sale with a price tag of 85m, but agents said the most actually paid for a house is 70m.

The 58-acre estate in the village of Windlesham is said to be attracting "an international audience".

Developers say there are inevitably a limited number of potential buyers.

Viewers at Updown Court in the last couple of months have been from Russia, the Middle East, and China.

Main entrance gates at Updown Court
Nearby facilities include racing at Ascot and polo at Smith's Lawn

Developer and entrepreneur Leslie Allen-Vercoe, of Rhymer Investments, told the BBC the sort of people agents were looking for was "in the billionaire league rather than the millionaire league".

He added: "There are over 600 known billionaires in the world and probably twice as many as that who keep their names quiet."

The house was built in 2000 on the site of an earlier property owned during the 1970s by Egyptian prince His Highness Prince Sami Gayed.

Developers said the original building was left as "a shell" after it was damaged by fire during the Great Storm of 1987, and that an earlier project to restore the house went into receivership.

Bowling alley in the basement of Updown Court
Entertainment includes a cinema, bowling, tennis and squash

Rhymer bought it from receivers in 2002 for 20m and have since spent 30m on its renovation.

Publicised as "a trophy home", for "ambassadorial living", the house has a panic room in case of terrorist attacks and five swimming pools.

All systems in the house are computer controlled and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

And the residents of the house's 22 bedroom and bathroom suites will enjoy a heated marble driveway, along with a private cinema and bowling alley.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Take a tour of the 70m mansion



SEE ALSO:
House prices continuing to rise
28 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland
First-time homebuyer debt rises
23 Feb 05 |  Business
London 'top for wealthy houses'
08 Feb 05 |  London


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