3 Stories, 1 London Housing Market

by Aaron Bastani

14 April 2014

The average London house price surged to a record £414,356 last month with the capital’s property prices rocketing by 13.8% in the year to February — the fastest rate since 2007. Below are three stories that summarise how unhinged the London property market has become.

1. Most central London property (zones 1 and 2) is now being bought by the global 1%.

Figures recently compiled by real estate consultancy Knight Frank show that for the two years to June 2013, 69% of new-build buyers in central London were not UK citizens.  More importantly a stunning 49% of those buyers were not resident in the UK. It is almost certain that those numbers are even higher now. The majority of central London property (zones 1 and 2) is now being bought by the global 1% as either a form of reserve currency (London property is like ‘Bitcoin for oligarchs’) or in the pursuit of incomes through rent.

2. A ramshackle garage in Camberwell just sold for £550,000.

A garage, a GARAGE.  Okay so Camberwell has a decent falafel place, The Hermit’s Cave boozer and the Silk Road restaurant (quality cuisine from Xinjiang) but seriously, WTF.

3. This urban transformation is backed up by violent force, specifically the police.

Here are a few videos of the MET evicting a man with mental health problems in Camden.

The vanguard of gentrification is not artists, although they can figure pretty high, but the state’s hired thugs whose primary social function is to protect the interests of the powerful.

3 stories, 1 London housing market. Safe assets and growing revenue streams for the wealthy – guaranteed by the violent force of the state – mean infinitely more than the right to housing.

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