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Powered by GulfNews.com, one of the most popular daily English language newspapers in the United Arab Emirates.

Blair to sell house to pay off mortgage


10/02/2009 05:42 PM | Agencies

London: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is selling his onetime constituency home in the pit village where he began his political career for £300,000 (Dh1.7 million).

The Blairs bought the handsome four-bedroom detached house in Trimdon Colliery, County Durham, in 1983 for just £30,000, giving them a tenfold profit.

However, in 2004 they remortgaged the property for £297,000 to help fund their expanding property portfolio.

That loan will now need to be repaid, so even if it sells for its asking price, it is unlikely they will see much, if any, of the cash, after legal fees are deducted.

A source last night told the Mail: "The house was put on the market last week and within a couple of days they had a firm offer close to the asking price.

"Naturally, they're keen to get a quick sale and have told the estate agents to only allow prospective buyers who have already sold their home to view it."

The house boasts five reception rooms, a double garage, large forecourt and a secluded garden. The Blairs have not yet agreed to release full details to buyers but an advert appeared in a local newspaper this week.

Pictures show the peach-coloured hallway with the stairs leading to the first floor, the simple kitchen with white cupboards and oak surfaces, and the rear garden with its tall green hedges.

Named Myrobella after a variety of plum, the Victorian pit manager's home was visited by Blair once every five weeks as prime minister. Over the past 10 years it has played host to famous faces including former US president George W Bush and ex-French prime minister Lionel Jospin.

Some of the Blairs' previous property speculations have been disappointing. First they missed out on the property boom when they sold their Islington home to move into Downing Street after the 1997 General Election.

They had bought the four-storey property five years earlier for £375,000 and sold it for £615,000.

Mrs Blair had wanted to keep the house as an investment and was furious when it was sold in 2004 for almost £1.5 million.

And last year it emerged that the value of the Blairs' main home in Connaught Square, Central London, had plummeted by more than half a million. It was to make the £3.6 million purchase of that five-bedroom Georgian home that the Blairs remortgaged the Sedgefield property.

 
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