The Canadian rapper Drake is rumoured to have bought a six bedroom Hackney mansion for £9.15m, 12 times the average house price for the area.
The rumours began as the mansion was allegedly sold via direct messages on Instagram with Hamptons estate agent Grant Bates, who refused to reveal the buyer’s identity. Social media real estate is second nature to Grant, who has a total of over 133,000 followers on Instagram and calls himself ‘London’s coolest agent’ in his bio.
Hamptons described the house as “An imposing and striking double fronted detached home moments from London Fields.”
The property was also only advertised on the Hamptons website once it had already been sold.
Previously, the house had been owned by the same family for 100 years.
After numerous renovations the Navarino Road home now has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a swimming pool, sauna, cinema room, games area, bar, gym and an off-street garage – perfect for Drake’s £9m car collection.
Many fans began these rumours on TikTok and Instagram, comparing recent Instagram photos on Drake’s page to the outside of the London Fields property. There has also been speculation on Twitter, although its not clear where and when exactly the rumours began.
Nick Verdi, head of Savills East London said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Drake was the new owner.
He added: “I’ve worked in East London for 18 years and I’ve never seen a house like that. I don’t actually think another one exists.”
Born in Toronto, Canada, Drake found early fame as an actor on Canadian soap opera, Degrassi: Next Generation.
From there he went on to release mixtapes through the mid-2000’s gaining a dedicated fanbase that led him to becoming one of the world’s best-selling music artists with over 170 million records sold worldwide. He also owns three houses in LA and a Manor House in Toronto, costing around $150 million.
Drake has made his fondness for East London publicly known, he even surprised fans by appearing on stage with Section Boyz at Village Underground in Shoreditch in 2016.
The comeback success of the once-cancelled show has been largely attributed to Drake’s association with it, and his well publicised love for East London’s music and culture.
As exciting as it may be for the four-time Grammy winner to become a Hackney neighbour, it speaks volumes to the drastically changing landscape of the borough.
The average price for a property in Hackney is now £734,149, a six percent increase from 2021, and 12% up from the previous house price spike in 2019.
The gentrification of Hackney is well-known among Londoners. In a 2018 study it was named one of the top five areas in the country for levels of social mobility and gentrification.
In October 2021, Hackney resident organisations such as The Morning Lane Peoples Space (MLPS) have held many protests and created petitions with several thousand signatures, voicing their concerns that gentrification will lead to people being priced out of their homes.
In the 18th century, Hackney was a rural escape for London aristocrats, but it became a factory and working-class hub during the Industrial Revolution.
The borough was later infamous for its tower blocks and council estates in the 1950s and 60s.
It was in the 1990s when artists, creatives and students took advantage of the cheap housing and slowly turned the borough into the desirable “hipster” hotspot it is today.
Drake is not alone when it comes to celebrities who have fallen for Hackney’s homes. Other famous neighbours include Paloma Faith, Colin Firth and Leona Lewis.