London's new high-rises: speculators' luxury flats designed never to be occupied


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/31/hollow-city.html


#2

So we’re now actually at the point of building giant statues as value stores?


#3

Look at the bright side - if they are empty all the time, there won’t be any casualties when they are burned down.


#4

Here, vacancy was measured by looking at homes with little or no “transactional data”, relating to finance, retail or other forms of administration, such as tax records and bills.

How can that be proof of vacancy? It isn’t like people who can afford such properties are going to be paying taxes.


#5

Council tax.


#6

What could possibly go wrong?


#7

Just announced today, sales of apartments at the Centre Point Tower (junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street) have been suspended because buyers are offering low prices - relatively speaking - a one-bed flat starts at £1.8 million:

The developer said: “offers are now reflecting uncertainty on potential changes to stamp duty, taxation of overseas investors and other fiscal policy proposals”.


#8

Damn, only 9am and that’s already the zing of the day!


#9

I propose a hefty ‘Use It Or Lose It’ tax on unoccupied property. [sure, this has been floated around before, but, hey! I’ve given it the viral name it needs!]


#10

Someone should publish a map for squatters.


#11

Hussey said there was still interest from buyers, but “offers are now reflecting uncertainty on potential changes to stamp duty, taxation of overseas investors and other fiscal policy proposals”.

He added that because Almacantar had sold half of the apartments, cleared the debts run up by construction and leased the retail space at the bottom of the tower “we see no point in chasing a market that is increasingly detached from reality”.

Hussey is Almacantar’s chief executive.

Note - he doesn’t mean that the market is detached from reality because prices are ludicrously high.

He means the market is detached from reality because buyers are currently not prepared to pay such ludicrously high prices.

He claims to be confident that eventually sense will prevail and the super-rich will be back, clamouring to shell out the vast sums he wants.

Hussey said Almacantar, which is part-owned by Italy’s billionaire Agnelli family, might relaunch sales after a Brexit deal had been agreed. “When buyers feel more confident about the wider macro situation, they will also feel more confident about paying these prices again,” he told the trade magazine Estates Gazette.


#12

Might these properties be safe harbors to flee to once the owners’ home country realizes their corruption?


#13

Yeah, I dunno what could be going on in Britain right now that would be causing market disruption…


#14

I thought that, but then realized that it’s probably hard to squat in a high rise where you need to get through security just to get in.


#15

The fleas go with the rats abandoning the sinking ships.


#16

#17

Somehow the market is detached from reality?


#18

Hard, but not impossible. I’d start by wearing a high-vis and carrying something. That’ll get you through most doors.

Anyway, a £5M flat in central London is probably only just bigger than a couple of wardrobes put together.


#19

Bribes to the security guards/doorman would still be a lot less than rent!


#20

“Live It Or Give It”? (Forced confiscation)