London Girl? Taylor Swift is ‘looking for a house in Hampstead’ to add to her £123m property portfolio
“Took me back to Highgate, met all of his best mates,” sings Taylor Swift in her 2019 hit, London Boy. “Stick with me, I’m your queen/Like a Tennessee Stella McCartney on the Heath.”
Swift’s love of north London is well-documented. And, since starting a relationship with actor Joe Alwyn in 2016, she’s been spending a lot more time in the big smoke.
As London Boy suggests, it’s thought that the couple initially divided their time between Alwyn’s Crouch End flat and his parents’ house in Highgate. They are now rumoured to be renting a £7 million flat in Primrose Hill together and — prepare yourselves, Swifties — are now said to be looking to buy a property in Hampstead or St John’s Wood.
“This is the big gossip all over the central London super-prime market at present,” says Rosy Khalastchy, head of Beauchamp Estates’ St John’s Wood office. “There is always huge excitement when someone super famous is house hunting.
“We are led to believe that Taylor Swift is looking in St John’s Wood and Hampstead for a house to live in; I am told she currently lives in Primrose Hill. Taylor has been looking for a period house with a garden, and crucially looking at roads and addresses that will provide her with privacy, security and discretion.”
Euan Williams at Harding Green has also heard rumours that Swift may be house hunting in the area. “Broadly speaking, she’ll be looking for something private. I suspect it will be something gated to offer her privacy.”
If Swift is looking for a house in Hampstead, Williams says that Bishops Avenue or Winnington Road, which runs parallel, both offer properties which may suit Swift’s security requirements — as well as having amenities like gyms, pools and cinema rooms.
That said, new luxury developments like Buxmead on Bishops Avenue may also appeal to Swift. “[Buxmead] is quite popular with high profile people, including footballers. It’s gated; it’s secure; you’ve got a 24-hour porter and people don’t see you coming and going. That sort of development would be right up her street.”
In St John’s Wood, on the other hand, Williams says that streets like Cavendish Avenue, Elm Tree Road — where he rented a property to Robert Patterson last year — or one of the substantial houses on Hamilton Terrace, with off-street parking, large gardens and plenty of amenities, could be popular choices. Rihanna previously rented on St John’s Park, while Norfolk Road and Queens Grove have “beautiful houses… a lot of them may be off market, but could be tempted to sell at the right figure.”
Either way, Swift would be in good company. In St John’s Wood, she’d have Sir Paul McCartney — who has owned his house there since the 1960s — as a neighbour. Sam Smith, Annie Lennox and her ex, Harry Styles, all also live around the north London too.
“People love these sort of locations because they’re private, they’re quiet and you’ve got fantastic open green spaces on your doorstep — but you’re also not a million miles away from prime central London,” says Williams, who argues that similar properties in areas like Kensington will not offer the same level of privacy. “That profile of buyers and tenants love looking at St John’s Wood and Hampstead.”
Swift is likely to buy off-market, says Williams, and a property in these areas will likely set her back between £20 and £25 million.
Thankfully, as one of the most successful artists of all time Swift is likely to have the budget to spare. She released her first album at 16 and at 33, her net worth is $570 million (£465.65m), according to Forbes.
In the last 14 years, she has assembled a lengthy property portfolio across the US, worth an estimated $150 million (£123m), ranging from a New England mansion to a historic Hollywood home.
Where are Swift’s other properties?
After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue her career as a musician, Swift bought her first apartment for $1.99 million in 2009, aged 19.
Close to the famous Music Row, where Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson all recorded tracks, the three-bedroom penthouse covers 4,000 sq ft, with a double-height living room wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass windows and an enormous wine storage room (despite not being old enough to drink at the time she bought it).
She followed up the purchase by buying another one-bedroom unit in the same building, which cost $387,000. And in 2011, she treated her family to a property nearby: a 7,700 sq ft Greek revival-style home in Forest Hills, Tennessee, which cost $2.5 million.
The no trespassing sign outside Taylor's house... Epic @TSwiftOnTour pic.twitter.com/bvuwZ6vGBw
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) July 1, 2013
In 2013, after she’d released the multi-award-winning Red, it was time for a holiday home. Swift reportedly bought High Watch, in exclusive Westerly, Rhode Island, for $17.75 million (£11m) in cash.
The waterfront, colonial-style mansion covers 11,700 sq ft, with seven bedrooms, five acres of land, a swimming pool and a private shoreline. It was previously owned by socialite Rebekah Harkness, inspiring Swift’s song, The Last Great American Dynasty.
To deter uninvited visitors, Swift initially put a sign outside which, referencing one of her songs, read: “I knew you were in trouble when you walked in. NO TRESPASSING.” Even so, fans have scaled the walls of her property and even tried to swim to her shoreline. In 2019, a man was apprehended on suspicion of burglary.
Swift still owns the property and has used it over the years to entertain friends — including hosting an (almost) annual Fourth of July party.
In 2014, Swift bought two penthouse units at the Sugar Loaf building in Tribeca, New York, for $19.95 million (£14m) and combined them to create an 8,000 sq ft mega-apartment.
The duplex penthouse reportedly has nine bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, a 1,200 sq ft living/dining area and more than 2,000 sq ft of terraces.
During the renovation, she rented a five-bedroom townhouse in Manhattan’s West Village for a reported £28,400pcm.
Built in 1882 as a warehouse, the Sugar Loaf Building has been a honeypot for famous residents. Swift bought the penthouses from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, while Aziz Ansari, Orlando Bloom and Steven Soderbergh have all owned homes in the building too.
Built for producer Samuel Goldwyn (the G in MGM) in 1934, Swift reportedly paid $25 million (£20.7m) for the 11,000 sq ft property in 2015.
The Georgian revival-style mansion has almost two acres of land, a swimming pool, tennis court, screening room and library. Swift embarked on an ambitious restoration of the house, gaining permission to turn the home into a historic landmark in 2017.
There are only three houses on the same street — one of which belonged to the William Randolph Hearst estate, which recently sold for $63.1 million (£51.3m). Today, Swift’s property could be worth around $70 million (£57m), according to the Wall Street Journal.
When she purchased it in 2015, the Goldwyn Estate was Swift’s third Beverly Hills property. She also owned a four-bedroom East Coast-style house and a glassy 2,950 sq ft bungalow, but sold both in 2018 for $4 million and $2.65 million respectively.
In 2017, Swift added to her Tribeca property portfolio by buying a three-storey townhouse next door to the Sugar Loaf Building, for $18 million (£13.7m).
The four-bedroom townhouse was built in 1915 and features a cinema, gym, spa, private bar and spacious rooftop.
The same year, Swift also purchased another unit on the second floor of the Sugar Loaf Building for $9.75 million (£6.9m), intending to connect the two and use the townhouse as a garage, according to the Wall Street Journal.
So far, Swift has spent $47.65 million on property in Tribeca.