Life & Culture

The great £2 million conundrum


Inheritance tax doesn't like the number "two million". Parents and grandparents will be able to leave homes worth up to £850,000 to their children without attracting inheritance tax from 2017 and this limit will rise to £1 million by 2020. However, for every £2 of value over £2 million, £1 will be deducted from the new "main residence threshold" from 2017, so those owning particularly expensive properties won't get the same level of tax break.

The idea, first pledged as part of the Conservative Party pre-election manifesto, means that each parent is able to leave £500,000 in property - up from the current £325,000 per person - without paying inheritance tax. But try not to leave £2 million-worth of property.

So what does £2 million buy you these days? Among property for sale at that price in north London, you can pick up three-bedroom flats in Hadley Wood and Mill Hill, or a house in Muswell Hill.

Renaissance, on Cockfosters Road, Hadley Wood, comprises eight three-bedroom apartments by Heronslea Group, in gated grounds. Designed for those downsizing from large north London houses, the apartments are set out across three floors and range from 1,990 sq ft to 2,743 sq ft. Prices start at £1.95 million through Statons.

Statons is joint agent, with Knight Frank and Jeremy Leaf, for St Joseph's Gate, NW7, a grade II listed building with modern interiors by Berkeley Homes. The three-bedroom apartments are priced up to £2.15 million.

Estate agent Martyn Gerrard is instructed on Pinnacle N10, a development of 22 apartments and six houses in Muswell Hill. Built by Jamm Living, the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and five-bedroom houses are priced from £499,950 for 52 sq m to £1.385 million for 145 sq m. The houses start at £1,899,995.

Martyn Gerrard has been named "best letting agent" in its class at the Negotiator Awards 2015, organised by The Negotiator Magazine. It also picked up silver awards in the marketing and London estate agent categories.

Opening its first office in Whetstone in 1964, Martyn Gerrard now has 11 high-street offices covering areas from High Barnet, Mill Hill, Hendon and Finchley to Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Kentish Town and the business is run by Martyn's son Simon. As well as lettings, the agent handles property consultancy, including new homes sales.

Another recent award winner, developer Fusion Residential, took home a basket of prizes from the UK Property Awards. Among them, it was highly commended for its Palazzo scheme. The concierge-serviced Palazzo in Beech Hill, Hadley Wood offers luxury flats, with the penthouse available for £2.5 million. Agent is Debbie Williams.

Buy it and there might be a lot less to leave the kids - but your retirement will certainly be comfortable.

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