Two Former Military Forts Floating off the Coast of England Head to Auction as Lavishly Amenitised Properties
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Two Former Military Forts Floating off the Coast of England Head to Auction as Lavishly Amenitised Properties

Both currently used as hotels, the two properties can be converted into a residential property for a buyer looking for the ultimate private escape

By LIZ LUCKING
Thu, May 16, 2024 8:40amGrey Clock 2 min

For buyers interested in taking their home security to the next level, this pair of historic forts floating off the coast of England might suit.

The duo, dubbed No Mans Fort and Spitbank Fort, are nestled in the sea between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth on the mainland and they’re headed under the hammer with Savills on June 18 with a guide price of £1 million (US$1.26 million) each.

Though both are currently used as hotels, each has pre-existing permission to be converted into a residential property for a buyer or buyers looking for the ultimate private escape.

No Mans Fort is a 35-minute boat ride from the mainland.
Savills

Both forts, which have previously been on the market for £4.25 million and £4 million, respectively, “offer an opportunity like no other; a waterfront location, up to 99,000 square feet of space and a chance to champion the heritage and legacy of these iconic maritime structures,” said Robin Howeson, head of Savills Auctions, in a news release.

Mansion Global couldn’t identify the owners, but according to Savills, they’ve held both of the unique properties for 12 years.

No Mans Fort is roughly a 35-minute boat ride from the mainland. Over its four levels, it has 23 bedrooms, plus staff quarters, a restaurant, bars, a traditional English pub, a rooftop terrace and a nightclub.

Spitbank Fort is a little closer to land, sitting in the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour, and spans three floors with nine bedrooms, a restaurant, bars, a wine cave, a games room, a pool and spa facilities. There’s also a scenic rooftop terrace, a sun deck and a fire pit.

Spitbank Fort has a rooftop terrace.
Savills

“Throughout my career as an auctioneer I’ve seen several sea forts hit the market that have achieved impressive prices,” Howeson said, calling such forts trophy assets. “I anticipate there to be a global interest from multiple buyer types looking to take the forts into their next chapter, whether that’s as a new commercial venture or residential home.”

In 2022, Savills auctions sold the unmodernised Bull Sandfort in the Humber Estuary on the east coast of Northern England for £490,000, nearly 10 times its guide price after worldwide competition from bidders in 27 countries, the firm said.



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The cost of owning a home in an LGBTQ-friendly area in the U.S. comes with a hefty price premium of almost 50%, according to a report Wednesday from Redfin.

In a metropolitan area with state laws protecting LGBTQ people from housing discrimination, a home buyer needs to earn an annual income of $150,364 to afford a median priced home. That’s 46.8% more than the $102,435 buyers need to earn to afford a home in places without such protections, the online property portal said.

For the purposes of their report, a metro is considered to have protections if the state it’s located in prohibits housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, Redfin explained. In the case of metro areas which span multiple states, Redfin considered the metro to have protections if at least one of the states it’s located in prohibits such discrimination.

“LGBTQ+ Americans face disproportionately large barriers to homeownership,” said Redfin senior economist Elijah de la Campa in the report. “On top of paying a premium to live somewhere that feels safe, many LGBTQ+ house hunters are earning less than the typical U.S. worker, and face discrimination while shopping for homes despite laws that prohibit it.”

The locales where individuals identifying as LGBTQ make up the largest share of the adult population are also those where housing is the least affordable, the report found.

In San Francisco, where 6.7% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ—the highest share of any of the 54 metropolitan areas Redfin analyzed—only 5.1% of listings last year were affordable based on the median local income, one of the lowest shares in the country.

In Portland, Oregon, which had the second highest share of LGBTQ adults at 6%, only 6.7% of homes for sale were affordable; in Austin, Texas, where 5.9% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ, 2.9% of listings were affordable.

And in Seattle and Los Angeles, where LGBTQ adults make up 5.2% and 5.1% of the population, 4.8% and 1.9% of homes for sale were affordable, respectively.

All but one of those top LGBTQ metros—Austin—has state-level protections, the report said.

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