Townhouse
Overview
 
A townhouse is the term historically used in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and in many other countries to describe a residence of a peer
Peerage
The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system...

 or member of the aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 in the capital or major city. Most such figures owned one or more country houses in which they lived for much of the year. During the social season
Season (society)
The social season or Season has historically referred to the annual period when it is customary for members of the a social elite of society to hold debutante balls, dinner parties and large charity events...

(when major balls
Ball (dance)
A ball is a formal dance. The word 'ball' is derived from the Latin word "ballare", meaning 'to dance'; the term also derived into "bailar", which is the Spanish and Portuguese word for dance . In Catalan it is the same word, 'ball', for the dance event.Attendees wear evening attire, which is...

 and drawing room
Drawing room
A drawing room is a room in a house where visitors may be entertained. The name is derived from the sixteenth-century terms "withdrawing room" and "withdrawing chamber", which remained in use through the seventeenth century, and made its first written appearance in 1642...

s took place), and when parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 was in session, peers and the servants moved to live in their townhouse in the capital.

Today the term townhouse can have multiple definitions: in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 it is used to describe terraced housing and in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 the term is commonly used for contemporary medium density
Medium-density housing
Medium density housing is a term used in Australia to describe residential developments that are at higher densities than standard low-density, suburban subdivisions, but not so high that they might be regarded as high density housing. The density of standard suburban residential areas has...

 housing in the terraced style.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland most townhouses were terraced
Terraced house
In architecture and city planning, a terrace house, terrace, row house, linked house or townhouse is a style of medium-density housing that originated in Great Britain in the late 17th century, where a row of identical or mirror-image houses share side walls...

.
Encyclopedia
A townhouse is the term historically used in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and in many other countries to describe a residence of a peer
Peerage
The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system...

 or member of the aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 in the capital or major city. Most such figures owned one or more country houses in which they lived for much of the year. During the social season
Season (society)
The social season or Season has historically referred to the annual period when it is customary for members of the a social elite of society to hold debutante balls, dinner parties and large charity events...

(when major balls
Ball (dance)
A ball is a formal dance. The word 'ball' is derived from the Latin word "ballare", meaning 'to dance'; the term also derived into "bailar", which is the Spanish and Portuguese word for dance . In Catalan it is the same word, 'ball', for the dance event.Attendees wear evening attire, which is...

 and drawing room
Drawing room
A drawing room is a room in a house where visitors may be entertained. The name is derived from the sixteenth-century terms "withdrawing room" and "withdrawing chamber", which remained in use through the seventeenth century, and made its first written appearance in 1642...

s took place), and when parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 was in session, peers and the servants moved to live in their townhouse in the capital.

Today the term townhouse can have multiple definitions: in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 it is used to describe terraced housing and in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 the term is commonly used for contemporary medium density
Medium-density housing
Medium density housing is a term used in Australia to describe residential developments that are at higher densities than standard low-density, suburban subdivisions, but not so high that they might be regarded as high density housing. The density of standard suburban residential areas has...

 housing in the terraced style.

Britain and Ireland

In the United Kingdom and Ireland most townhouses were terraced
Terraced house
In architecture and city planning, a terrace house, terrace, row house, linked house or townhouse is a style of medium-density housing that originated in Great Britain in the late 17th century, where a row of identical or mirror-image houses share side walls...

. Only a small minority of them, generally the largest, were detached, but even aristocrats whose country houses had grounds of hundreds or thousands of acres, often lived in terraced houses in town. For example the Duke of Norfolk
Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Norfolk is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke of Norfolk is, moreover, the Earl Marshal and hereditary Marshal of England. The seat of the Duke of Norfolk is Arundel Castle in Sussex, although the title refers to the...

 owned Arundel Castle
Arundel Castle
Arundel Castle in Arundel, West Sussex, England is a restored medieval castle. It was founded by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. Roger became the first to hold the earldom of Arundel by the graces of William the Conqueror...

 in the country, while his London house was a terraced house called Norfolk House
Norfolk House
Norfolk House, at 31 St James's Square, London, was built in 1722 for the Duke of Norfolk. It was a royal residence for a short time only, when Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of King George III, lived there 1737-1741, after his marriage in 1736 to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, daughter of...

 in St. James's Square
St. James's Square
St. James's Square is the only square in the exclusive St James's district of the City of Westminster. It has predominantly Georgian and neo-Georgian architecture and a private garden in the centre...

 - although that particular terraced house was over 100 feet (30 metres) wide. However, the British and Irish architectural term for a house with party walls with its neighbours on both sides was always "terraced house", not townhouse. There was little difference between the more modest terraced townhouses of less opulent members of the aristocracy, and the terraced houses of wealthy middle class Londoners, but they were generally located in different districts.

Many aristocratic townshouses were demolished or ceased to be used for residential purposes following the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. In the post World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 period large terraced houses in general in London and other British cities were divided into flats or converted into offices. However, in the early 21st century this trend is being reversed to some extent, as there is less demand for old houses as offices nowadays since open plan layouts are preferred, and the number of very rich people in London has risen. For example, in 2004, the Grosvenor Group
Grosvenor Group
Grosvenor is a privately owned property group with offices in 18 cities. It has four regional investment & development businesses in Britain & Ireland, the Americas, Australia and Asia Pacific; an international fund management business, which operates across these markets and in continental Europe;...

 sold two grand terraces houses in Belgrave Square
Belgrave Square
Belgrave Square is one of the grandest and largest 19th century squares in London, England. It is the centrepiece of Belgravia, and was laid out by the property contractor Thomas Cubitt for the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, later the 1st Marquess of Westminster, in the 1820s. Most of the houses were occupied...

 which had been in office use, for reconversion to family houses. The asking price was £12 million each.

Nowadays for marketing purposes British property developers and estate agents often call new city terraced houses "townhouses", an Americanism
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

, probably because for many potential buyers the main mental association of terraced housing is with working class terraced housing. The aristocratic pedigree of terraced housing is widely forgotten, and "townhouse" still has more exclusive connotations for marketing purposes.

Examples in London

Most London examples were located in Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

. Kensington
Kensington
Kensington is a district of west and central London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. An affluent and densely-populated area, its commercial heart is Kensington High Street, and it contains the well-known museum district of South Kensington.To the north, Kensington is...

, Hampstead
Hampstead
Hampstead is an area of London, England, north-west of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Camden in Inner London, it is known for its intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland...

 etc., were countryside hamlets outside London until the 19th.c., so mansions in these areas, for example Holland House, cannot be considered as true historical townhouses. The following examples, most of which are now demolished, are comparable to the Parisian Hôtel particulier
Hôtel particulier
In French contexts an hôtel particulier is an urban "private house" of a grand sort. Whereas an ordinary maison was built as part of a row, sharing party walls with the houses on either side and directly fronting on a street, an hôtel particulier was often free-standing, and by the 18th century it...

:
  • Northumberland House
    Northumberland House
    Northumberland House was a large Jacobean mansion in London, which was so called because for most of its history it was the London residence of the Percy family, who were the Earls and later Dukes of Northumberland, and one of England's richest and most prominent aristocratic dynasties for many...

     (demolished)
  • Spencer House formerly the London residence of the Earls Spencer
    Earl Spencer
    Earl Spencer is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain that was created on 1 November 1765, along with the title Viscount Althorp, of Althorp in the County of Northamptonshire, for John Spencer, 1st Viscount Spencer, a great-grandson of the 1st Duke of Marlborough...

  • Grosvenor House
    Grosvenor House
    Grosvenor House was one of the largest private townhouses situated on London's exclusive Park Lane in the district of Mayfair. The house was the home of the Grosvenor family for more than a century...

     (replaced by eponymous hotel)
  • Bridgewater House, Westminster
    Bridgewater House, Westminster
    Bridgewater House is at 14 Cleveland Row, Westminster, London, England. It is a Grade I listed building.The earliest known house on the site was Berkshire House built in about 1626-27 for Thomas Howard, second son of the Earl of Suffolk and Master of the Horse to Charles I of England when he was...

  • Pembroke House, Whitehall
    Pembroke House, Whitehall
    Pembroke House, located on Whitehall, was the London residence of the earls of Pembroke-History:It was built by the "architect earl" Henry Herbert in 1723–24 , on ground leased by the earl in 1717 and 1729 amidst the ruins of the parts of Whitehall Palace that burned down in 1698...

  • Clarendon House
    Clarendon House
    Clarendon House was a town mansion which stood on Piccadilly in London, England from the 1660s to the 1680s. It was built for the powerful politician Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon and was the grandest private London residence of its era.-History:...

  • Essex House
    Essex House (London)
    Essex House was a house in London, built around 1575 for Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and originally called Leicester House.The property occupied the site where the Outer Temple, part of the London headquarters of the Knights Templar, had previously stood , and was immediately adjacent to the...

  • Burlington House
    Burlington House
    Burlington House is a building on Piccadilly in London. It was originally a private Palladian mansion, and was expanded in the mid 19th century after being purchased by the British government...

     (now home of Royal Academy
    Royal Academy
    The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

    )
  • Somerset House
    Somerset House
    Somerset House is a large building situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, England, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge. The central block of the Neoclassical building, the outstanding project of the architect Sir William Chambers, dates from 1776–96. It...

  • Devonshire House
    Devonshire House
    Devonshire House in Piccadilly was the London residence of the Dukes of Devonshire in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was built for William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire in the Palladian style, to designs by William Kent...

     (formerly on Piccadilly, opposite present Ritz Hotel. Formerly Berkeley House)
  • Buckingham House
    Buckingham Palace
    Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

     (now Buckingham Palace
    Buckingham Palace
    Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

    )
  • Marlborough House
    Marlborough House
    Marlborough House is a mansion in Westminster, London, in Pall Mall just east of St James's Palace. It was built for Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, the favourite and confidante of Queen Anne. The Duchess wanted her new house to be "strong, plain and convenient and good"...

     residence of the Prince of Wales
    Prince of Wales
    Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

     and later Queen Mary the Queen Mother
    Mary of Teck
    Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

     (1936–1953) (now the Commonwealth Secretariat
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

    )
  • Londonderry House
    Londonderry House
    Londonderry House was an aristocratic townhouse situated on Park Lane in the Mayfair district of London, England.The house was the home to the Irish, titled family called the Stewarts who are better known as the Marquesses of Londonderry....

     (formerly on Piccadilly)
  • Crewe House, Curzon Street, Mayfair. Currently the Saudi Arabian embassy.
  • Apsley House
    Apsley House
    Apsley House, also known as Number One, London, is the former London residence of the Dukes of Wellington. It stands alone at Hyde Park Corner, on the south-east corner of Hyde Park, facing south towards the busy traffic interchange and Wellington Arch...

  • Chesterfield House
    Chesterfield House, Westminster
    Chesterfield House was a grand London townhouse built between 1747-52 by Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, statesman and man of letters. The exterior was in the Palladian style, the interior Baroque. It was demolished in 1937 and on its site now stands an eponymous block of flats...

     (demolished 1937, now eponymous Mayfair block of flats)
  • Norfolk House
    Norfolk House
    Norfolk House, at 31 St James's Square, London, was built in 1722 for the Duke of Norfolk. It was a royal residence for a short time only, when Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of King George III, lived there 1737-1741, after his marriage in 1736 to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, daughter of...

  • Montagu House
    Montagu House, Whitehall
    Montagu House was the name of two mansions in Whitehall in Westminster, Central London, England.In 1731, John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, abandoned the existing grand Montagu House in the socially declining district of Bloomsbury, which was later to become the premises of the British Museum, and...

  • Lansdowne House
    Lansdowne House
    Lansdowne House is a building to the southwest of Berkeley Square in central London, England. It was designed by Robert Adam as a private house and for most of its time as a residence it belonged to the Petty family, Marquesses of Lansdowne. Since 1935, it has been the home of the Lansdowne Club....

  • Clarence House
    Clarence House
    Clarence House is a royal home in London, situated on The Mall, in the City of Westminster. It is attached to St. James's Palace and shares the palace's garden. For nearly 50 years, from 1953 to 2002, it was home to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, but is since then the official residence of The...

     the residence of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
    Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
    Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

     and now the residence of Charles, Prince of Wales
    Charles, Prince of Wales
    Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

  • The Albany
  • Dorchester House
    Dorchester House
    Dorchester House was a stately mansion in Park Lane, London built in 1853 by Robert Stayner Holford. It was demolished in 1929 to make way for the present Dorchester Hotel.-Overview:...

  • Bedford House

Examples in Edinburgh

  • Bute House
    Bute House
    Bute House is the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland, who is the head of the Scottish Government, the country's devolved government established in 1999...

     - Former residence of the Marquis of Bute in Edinburgh's Charlotte Square, now the official residence of Alex Salmond (First Minister of Scotland
    First Minister of Scotland
    The First Minister of Scotland is the political leader of Scotland and head of the Scottish Government. The First Minister chairs the Scottish Cabinet and is primarily responsible for the formulation, development and presentation of Scottish Government policy...

    )

Examples in Dublin

  • Leinster House
    Leinster House
    Leinster House is the name of the building housing the Oireachtas, the national parliament of Ireland.Leinster House was originally the ducal palace of the Dukes of Leinster. Since 1922, it is a complex of buildings, of which the former ducal palace is the core, which house Oireachtas Éireann, its...

     - residence of the Duke of Leinster
    Duke of Leinster
    Duke of Leinster is a title in the Peerage of Ireland and the premier dukedom in that peerage. The title refers to Leinster, but unlike the province the title is pronounced "Lin-ster"...

     (Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    's premier duke) and now the seat of Oireachtas Éireann, the Irish parliament.
  • Powerscourt House - Dublin residence of Viscount Powersourt, a prominent Irish peer. It was sensitively converted into an award-winning shopping centre in the 1980s. (See an image of one of its decorated ceilings here.)


Georgian Dublin
Georgian Dublin
Georgian Dublin is a phrase used in the History of Dublin that has two interwoven meanings,# to describe a historic period in the development of the city of Dublin, Ireland, from 1714 to the death in 1830 of King George IV...

 consisted of five Georgian squares, which contained the townhouses of prominent peers. The squares were Merrion Square
Merrion Square
Merrion Square is a Georgian square on the southside of Dublin city centre. It was laid out after 1762 and was largely complete by the beginning of the 19th century. It is considered one of the city's finest surviving squares...

, St. Stephen's Green
St. Stephen's Green
St Stephen's Green is a city centre public park in Dublin, Ireland. The park is adjacent to one of Dublin's main shopping streets, Grafton Street, and to a shopping centre named for it, while on its surrounding streets are the offices of a number of public bodies and the city terminus of one of...

, Fitzwilliam Square
Fitzwilliam Square
Fitzwilliam Square is a small but historic Georgian square in the south of central Dublin, Ireland. It was the last of the five Georgian squares in Dublin to be built....

, Ruthland Square (now called Parnell Square) and Mountjoy Square. Many of the townhouses in these squares are now offices while some have been demolished.

Canada and United States

In the United States and Canada, a townhouse has two connotations. The older predates the automobile and denotes a house on a small footprint in a city, but due to having multiple floors (sometimes six or more) it has a large living space, often with servant's quarters. It is a two or three floor single-family residence. The small footprint of the townhouse allows it to be within walking or mass transit distance of business and industrial areas of the city, yet luxurious enough for wealthy residents of the city. In areas so densely built that detached single-family houses are uncommon or almost nonexistent, ownership of a townhouse connotes wealth. Some examples of cities where townhouses are occupied almost exclusively by the wealthy are New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Philadelphia, Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

"Rowhouses" are similar, and consist of several adjacent (next to), uniform units originally found in urban areas on the east coast such as Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, but now found in lower-cost housing developments in suburbs as well. A rowhouse will generally be smaller and less luxurious than a dwelling called a townhouse.

The name "townhouse" or "townhomes" was later used to describe non-uniform units in suburban areas that are designed to mimic detached or semi-detached homes. Today, the name townhouse is used to describe units mimicking a detached home that are attached in a multi-unit complex. The distinction between dwellings called just "apartments" and those called "townhouses" is that townhouses usually consist of multiple floors and have their own outside door as opposed to having only one level and an interior hallway access. They can also be “stacked” and such townhouses have multiple units vertically (typically two), normally each with its own private entrance from the street or at least from the outside. They can be side by side in a row of three or more, in which case they are sometimes referred to as “rowhouses”. A townhouse in a group of two could be referred to as a townhouse but, in Canada and in the United States, it is typically called a semi-detached, and, in some areas of western Canada, a half-duplex.

An example of a non traditional "townhouse" that is in a complex akin to an apartment complex, is a two bedroom unit with the living room in the front on the lower level, kitchen in the back. Two bedrooms are on the front and back of the upper level with a single bathroom between. This style has become less popular in areas where it has been adopted by 'rent control
Rent control
Rent control refers to laws or ordinances that set price controls on the renting of residential housing. It functions as a price ceiling.Rent control exists in approximately 40 countries around the world...

' or HUD
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as HUD, is a Cabinet department in the Executive branch of the United States federal government...

 apartments.

In Canada, single family dwellings, be they any type such as single family detached homes, apartments, mobile homes or townhouses for example, are split into two categories of ownership:
  • condominium
    Condominium
    A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights...

     where one owns the interior of the unit, and also a specified share of the undivided interest of the remainder of the building and land known as common elements.
  • Freehold where one owns exclusively the land and the dwelling without any condominium aspects. In the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     this type of ownership called fee simple
    Fee simple
    In English law, a fee simple is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is the most common way that real estate is owned in common law countries, and is ordinarily the most complete ownership interest that can be had in real property short of allodial title, which is often reserved...

    .


Condominium townhouses, just like condominium apartments, are often referred to as "condos", thus referring to the type of ownership rather than to the type of dwelling. Since apartment style condos are the most common, when someone refers to a "condo", many erroneously assume that it must be an apartment style dwelling and conversely that only apartment style dwellings can be condos. All types of dwellings can be condos and this is therefore true of townhouses.

A "Brownstone" townhouse is a particular variety found in New York.

Asia, Australia and South Africa

In Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, townhouses are generally found in complexes. Large complexes often have high security, resort facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, parks and playground equipment. Typically, a townhouse has a Strata Title, i.e. a type of title where the common property (landscaped area, public corridors, building structure etc.) is owned by a corporation of individual owners and the houses on the property are owned by the individual owners.

In population-dense Asian cities dominated by high-rise residential apartment blocks such as Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, townhouses in private housing developments remain almost exclusively populated by the very wealthy due to the rarity and relatively large sizes of the units. Prominent examples in Hong Kong include Severn 8, in which a 5067 square feet (470.7 m²) townhouse sold for HK$285 million (USD$37 million) in 2008, or HK$57,000 (USD$7,400) per square foot, a record in Asia, and The Beverly Hills
The Beverly Hills
The Beverly Hills is an upscale, private gated community in Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, situated along the coastline with a panoramic view of Tolo Harbour, developed by Henderson Land Development....

, which consists of multiple rows of townhouses with some units as large as 11000 square feet (1,021.9 m²).

Commonly in the suburbs of major cities an old house on a large block of land is demolished and replaced by a short row of townhouses, built 'end on' to the street for added privacy.

See further at semi-detached
Semi-detached
Semi-detached housing consists of pairs of houses built side by side as units sharing a party wall and usually in such a way that each house's layout is a mirror image of its twin...

.

See also

  • duplex
    Duplex (building)
    The term duplex can be used to describe several different dwelling unit configurations:A duplex house is defined as a dwelling having apartments with separate entrances for two families. This includes two-story houses having a complete apartment on each floor and also side-by-side apartments on a...

  • terrace
  • list of house types
  • Hôtel particulier
    Hôtel particulier
    In French contexts an hôtel particulier is an urban "private house" of a grand sort. Whereas an ordinary maison was built as part of a row, sharing party walls with the houses on either side and directly fronting on a street, an hôtel particulier was often free-standing, and by the 18th century it...


Other famous London houses

Among the most famous London houses not official residences of noble families also resident in the countryside are:
  • 10 Downing Street
    10 Downing Street
    10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

     - the residence of the Prime Minister
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

    , currently David Cameron
    David Cameron
    David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

  • 11 Downing Street
    11 Downing Street
    11 Downing Street , is the official residence of the Second Lord of the Treasury in Britain, who in modern times has always been the Chancellor of the Exchequer...

     - the residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Chancellor of the Exchequer
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

    , currently George Osborne
    George Osborne
    George Gideon Oliver Osborne, MP is a British Conservative politician. He is the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, a role to which he was appointed in May 2010, and has been the Member of Parliament for Tatton since 2001.Osborne is part of the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy, known in...


Additional reading

  • Daisy, Countess of Fingall, Seventy Years Young (The acclaimed autobiography of an Irish peer's wife, covering the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Though currently out of print the book is periodically reprinted.)
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