Jon Hunt, the property billionaire who founded, ran and then sold Foxtons, is worth a cool £1.186 billion – yet is far from the wealthiest figure in British property.
Estates Gazette’s Rich List 2015 places Hunt as 49th. Some of his wealth came from the sale of Foxtons just before the downturn in 2007 – he received £375m for it.
More recently accounts filed for Heven – the parent firm of his current property business Ocubis which buys commercial and residential property before refurbishing and re-selling – showed turnover up 21 per cent in the past year.
EG says Hunt turned down an unsolicited offer for his seven-storey townhouse in Kensington Palace Gardens in central London in 2008, reputedly for £200m.
The EG list is dominated by commercial and residential developers and investors, few with connections to estate agency.
But Sir Charles Dunstone, the former Carphone Warehouse chief and now a well-publicised investor in the HouseSimple online agency, is number 36 on the list with an estimated wealth of £1.666 billion.
Predictably Baroness Howard de Walden and family and Viscount Portman and family feature prominently – they own the central London largely-residential estates that bear their names – while the Duke of Westminster, Lord Alan Sugar, Prince Charles and one-time soft porn magnate David Sullivan are also prominent, mostly for commercial property activities.
Less known for his property empire, Ryanair chief excutive Michael O’Leary is said to be worth £618m thanks to his Bradley Investments, which owns property as diverse as an industrial complex in Altrincham and an office block in the City of London.
TV Dragon Peter Jones scrapes in to the top 100 at number 99. In addition to his Phones International company he has property interests in Barbados, Switzerland and Portugal.