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A sign is seen outside New Scotland Yard in central London January 10, 2014. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has apologised to former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell, after police officer Keith Wallis admitted to misconduct in a public office. Wallis claimed to have witnessed a row between former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell, and police officers manning the gates of Downing Street, local media reported. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS) - RTX178Q5
Reuters/Luke MacGregor
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LONG LEASE OF THE LAW

Even the cops are cashing in on London’s crazy property market

By Kabir Chibber

London property prices are soaring, especially in the center of the capital. The Metropolitan Police saw this for themselves when they put their iconic New Scotland Yard property in Westminster up for sale for around £250 million ($391 million)—and it sold for a whopping £370 million to Middle Eastern investors.

The Met bought the site in 2008 for £120 million, which means the filth have tripled their money in six years. That’s certainly a more lucrative line of business than fighting crime.

“Super prime” properties in the city center are in huge demand among the ultra-rich, who only occasionally actually live in the places they buy in London. The Abu Dhabi Financial Group plans to tear down what has been the headquarters of the Met since 1967 and turn it into luxury residential apartments for well-heeled buyers. And that looks to be a good move: the rise in house prices in the borough of Westminster outpaced the rest of London until very recently, and that is really saying something.

It’s not just a residential boom—punchy prices for of commercial property is also driving a frenzy of development. The owner of London’s grubby Camden market—home to sour-faced teenagers in leather trenchcoats, street food vendors, and Amy Winehouse enthusiasts—is set to be valued at £750 million when it floats on the stock market later this year.

And if you’re worried about the fate of the famous rotating sign outside New Scotland Yard, don’t fret—it’s going with the bobbies as they move to a smaller building (which they already own) along the Thames.