Yours for £250m: Inside the world's most expensive house

Located a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace, 18 Carlton House Terrace is the ultimate 'des res'.

LAST UPDATED AT 13:27 ON Wed 18 Dec 2013

A LONDON mansion less than a mile from Buckingham Palace has been identified as the world's most expensive house. The property is on the market for £250m and is expected to find a buyer early next year.

The listing of 18 Carlton House is so exclusive, says the Evening Standard, its availability has not been publicised to the hoi polloi. Instead a "strictly confidential" brochure describing the six-storey Grade I listed Regency mansion as "the finest residence in London" has been distributed among the super-wealthy. Here are five things you might not know about the property:

It's handy for visits to the Queen: Buckingham Palace is only 0.8 miles away, so you can make a late run to that garden party. Closer to home, your neighbours on the ultra-exclusive road will be the wealthy Indian business dynasty the Hindujas. If you run out of milk, the nearest shop is Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, advises the Daily Mail. Culture buffs will appreciate the close proximity of the Royal Society, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Mall Galleries, who all own buildings on Carlton House Terrace.

It's really, really big: For "security reasons", only vintage black and white pictures of the house's 50,000 square foot interior are available. But rest assured there's a ballroom and a sweeping double-staircase. A source who has seen the property tells the Evening Standard "many of the rooms are completely empty and after so many rooms, one fades into the next". The decor is "very much as it was in its heyday", the source added, meaning a new owner should budget for a few pots of paint.

Council tax is very reasonable: If the mansion goes for the asking price, the buyer will have to fork out £17.5m in stamp duty. But council tax is a snip at just £1,361.48 per year.

The owner is a little mysterious: According to Land Registry documents, the house is owned by Carltop Estates, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. The actual owner is thought to be a member of the Saudi royal family.

It's not unique: If your budget doesn't stretch to £250m (the property is 1,537 times more expensive than the average house sold in Britain last month), there are other options on the market. Property site Mouseprice values another 18 Carlton Terrace in Halifax, West Yorkshire at between £67,000 and £96,000 - a steal in comparison. · 

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