Christian Candy, the millionaire property developer behind London’s most expensive apartment block, has turned his attention to New York, buying up one of the city’s best-known addresses.

In his first venture in the city, Mr Candy is understood to have paid $37.5m for a three-storey, 6,500 square foot penthouse apartment at the Plaza Hotel. The four-bedroom apartment, which overlooks Central Park and has a private elevator, is centred round an 80 foot wide living and dinning area.

Mr Candy said New York, next to London, had some of the most exciting property in the world. “I look forward to exploring other opportunities in the city in the coming months,” he added.

The purchase tops off a £150m spending spree by Mr Candy's CPC Group since the start of the year. As well as the Plaza apartment, Mr Candy has bought two houses in Chester Square in London's Belgravia, a house on Cornwall Terrace overlooking Regent's Park and an apartment opposite his One Hyde Park development.

Prime property – the top 5 per cent of the market by value – has been one of the safest investments during the financial crisis. International investors have flocked to the most expensive houses in London, New York and Hong Kong in an effort to protect their wealth from the economic turmoil engulfing the financial markets.

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