Chiswick Celebrity Homes to Get Plaques

Would-be buyers will be able to tell where famous once lived

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David Cameron's Notting Hill home

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Estate agents in Chiswick could soon be targeting former celebrity homes with purple plaques to identify where famous  actors, writers, singers and media figures lived.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s former home in Notting Hill is one of the first to be identified for the new Purple Plaque – a marketing tool devised by online property outfit  Zoopla - but others to be targeted include Gary Barlow, Liz Hurley, and Lewis Hamilton.

Chiswick boasts a large collection of celebrities, from Oscar-winner Colin Firth, to Richard Briars, Ant and Dec, Dara O Briain, and Vanessa Redgrave amongst others. Any home once  lived in by a well-known figure and put on the market could qualify for the scheme so that would-be buyers would easily be able to identify homes once occupied by the famous.

The inspiration was taken from the Blue Plaques presented by English Heritage to properties associated with notable figures- providing they have been dead for at least twenty years. The Purple Plaque scheme would honour living celebrities, and point out the council flats, terraces, suburban semis and picturesque penthouses where they have once lived.

Christian Harper of fixed-fee London estate agent OliverFinn said a celebrity connection attracts media interest and makes it easier to market a property.

“I was involved in the sale of Noel Gallaghers’ former London home Supernova Heights. I always mention a celebrity provenance but it’s difficult to put a price on it.

“Sellers often get celebrity-itis but it doesn’t make buyers choose one property over another unless they’re a staunch fan. The celebrity connection attracts media interest especially for internal photos of stars’ bedrooms etc.

“This makes it easier to market the property and results in more viewers, not necessarily more buyers. You have to be prepared for people wanting to snoop around the house to see where the celebrity cut their teeth. From a sales point of view it’s all about separating the wood from the trees.”

December 16, 2011