A rash of recent articles has blamed foreign property investors for apparently killing the atmosphere and creative spirit of certain London neighbourhoods.
Writing in the Telegraph, nightclub boss Alex Proud laments the death of Cool London and writes that “ultra-prime central London is fast becoming a ghost-town where absentee investors park their wealth”.
This echoes other articles that claim the capital is now home to hundreds of mansions left to rot by investors who are only interested in trading properties as assets, not living in them as homes.
Other reports have suggest that very large numbers of new overseas buyers are dominating the London property market, inevitably making housing less affordable for local people.
It’s a compelling narrative, but what are the facts?
London estate agent Knight Frank did some research on foreign investment in the capital’s new-build property sector last year.
The first problem they highlighted was how you define “foreign”. Born in another country? Well, that covers nearly 37 per cent of the population of London, if you go by the 2011 census. (more…)