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Million Pound Properties

From castles to shoeboxes, what does a million pounds really buy in the UK?

From Scottish castles to central London shoeboxes to ex-council houses, a record number of British properties are valued at a million pounds plus. Filmed over one of the most unpredictable years the property market’s ever known, this documentary reveals what a million pounds actually buys across the UK, finds out what the country’s wealthiest buyers demand for their money and uncovers a council house millionaire.

Twelve years ago, Susan De Vere bought Orchardton Hall for £450,000. Situated on the beautiful west coast of Scotland, the property is a majestic 52 room Baronial manor, complete with 17 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a sewing room and stables. Susan and husband Alan first put the property on the market roughly five years ago for £2 million, but it has failed to sell and the price has been reduced to £1.4 million. With both Susan and Alan struggling with poor health, they’ve now fallen behind with their mortgage repayments and are £40,000 in arrears. In a race against the clock, can the couple find a buyer for Orchardton Hall before the bank begin repossession proceedings?

In 2002, Kamal Hussein bought his 4-bedroom North London council house from Islington Council for £157,000. It’s now on the market for £1 million. With an eye on London’s lucrative lettings market, 28-year old property developer Stefan Canavan thinks he’s found a bargain with the million pound ex-council house, but before he can make an offer he needs to find an investor to go in on the deal with him. Can he find the funds to turn Kamal into a millionaire?

Principal House is a 5-bedroom detached home in commuter-belt Essex on the market for offers over £1 million. It was bought in 2006 for £565,000 by oil executive Sam Malin and his wife Irène, a former Miss Cameroon. Since then they’ve spent around £1.2 million renovating the property and adding unique design features, such as an underground nightclub complete with stripper’s pole. The couple call Principal House a joint artwork and compare their style to Monet, but so far potential buyers have been unimpressed and their estate agent fears the property is worth nowhere near a million. Could a specially arranged open day prove successful in attracting a buyer prepared to spend a seven figure sum on Principal House?

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